Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ann young ha sei oh!

In the heart of Puchong lies an unassuming Korean restaurant aptly named Korean B.B.Q. And trust my gastronomically inclined sister to actually know the existence of the place and even find our way there without getting lost.

Proudly pasted on the glass panels were newspaper cuttings about the restaurant, as well as close-up pics of a variety of the dishes that they serve. Apparently this is their second outlet after their first one in Ampang and this branch is called Dae Jung Gum (or Jewel In The Palace).

As we entered the restaurant, we were quite surprised to see the place completely empty. Then I remembered that it was only 11.00am and since it was a public holiday, the lunch crowd wouldn't come in till much later. All the better for us. :)

As we sat down at our table, our attention was on this long metal pole sticking down from the ceiling. The waiter explained that it's an exhaust funnel to suck off the smoke when grilling the meat below (more on that later.) Dad thought it's a lamp with the bulb missing. Yes, he even looked up into the funnel. Hehehe.

Amy heard about this restaurant when she came here with her boss last month for a lunch meeting with the powers-that-be from Germany. Hmmm... Germans eating spicy Korean fare..... I wonder if they liked it.

Dad isn't exactly the adventurous type when it comes to food... heck, he isn't the adventurous type, period. Anyway, trust Amy to persuade him to try some weird concoctions from a land thousands of miles away, with names neither one of them could pronounce correctly.

As they were deciding on what to order, I had a look around the restaurant. It was simply furnished but tucked away in one corner were two shelves filled with traditional Korean items including these little plaster cast dolls.

Also on display was this tea set, complete with teapot, cups and erm... cartoon character coasters??!? I think this must have belonged to a little Korean girl for her very own tea party back in Seoul.

The adults, in the meantime, used these adult coasters... at least I think that's what they are. See the beautiful traditional costume? So delightfully.... Korean. Hehehe

And then there were these cutesy Barbie-esque dolls dressed in what must be various types of traditional Korean costumes. At first glance they looked really adorable, but having looked at these pics repeatedly since then, I now find them rather creepy.

Ooh... the food has arrived. And what a spread it was. First to arrive were the cold side dishes - a selection of hors d'oeurves that's not exactly cold, in fact some were decidedly hot and spicy.

For starters, each of us were served with a small tangy salad dish. What, no rice? Actually the rice did come later, but by the time it arrived, we were already knee deep in the side dishes that we completely ignored it.

One by one the side dishes (or Ban Chan as they're called) came. This one is fried egg with onion, garlic and meat in it. Very tasty. Also very oily.

And for the uninitiated, this is the famous kimchi. It's basically fermented cabbage and is usually red because of the red chilli peppers that are used to season the vegetable. Can you say HOT?

This is a mini hotpot version of tom yam kung that contains vegetables, mushrooms and meat. This was my favourite dish so far.....

... until this came along. It is also a meat dish and but its reddish colour comes from a generous helping of tomato sauce which was a welcome change from all the spicy dishes that came before it. The sesame seed garnishing gave it a delicious nutty flavour.

Amy also ordered Jab Che, Korean glass noodles which was fatter and chewier than the local version and was definitely more flavourful thanks to its stir-fried ingredients of sesame seeds, capsicum, chili, carrots, onions, garlic, spinach, mushrooms and prawns.

Next came Pa Jeon which is a pancake served on a hot skillet. Made with egg and a crisp flour base, it is topped with long strips of spring onions. Bite into it and you'll be rewarded with juicy pieces of squid and meat. Not exactly my favourite as I wasn't really a big fan of seafood, but my parents loved it.

But the piece de resistance has got to be the grilled meat. There was a variety of meats and flavours to choose from and we opted for the beef bulgogi which was beef marinated in soya sauce, sesame oil, garlic and chili pepper.

Sensing that we weren't the most independent sort, they sent over a chef to help us cook the meat which he placed over a charcoal grill right in the middle of our table. Interestingly we didn't feel too hot as the previously mentioned exhaust funnel was very able at its job of sucking away all the heat as well as the smoke.

So how does one eat Korean BBQed meat? Why, sandwiched in a leaf of lettuce, of course. Very healthy and very delicious thanks to the black bean sauce that was spread onto the vegetable before wrapping the meat with it.

Amy proudly demonstrated the 'proper' way to eat bulgogi. Mom couldn't be bothered with all that wrapping; she just tossed the meat and the lettuce into her mouth and pronounced it delicious anyway.

Just when we were completely filled to the brim, came this late entry, an egg custard. As we didn't order it, we thought it was a mistake and enquired to the waiter. As it turned out, it was complements of the chef since we had ordered 'so much'. I didn't know whether to be happy or embarassed.

All that glorious food was washed down with a free-flow supply of iced tea. Which was just fine with me as the spiciness was almost too hot to handle, even for a Malaysian.

When the bill finally came, Amy most graciously offered to give us all a treat. As it was my birthday, I most graciously let her. ;) Hmm... I wonder where Wendy will bring me to next week for her turn to give me a birthday treat. Hehehe

1 comment:

Friggindildo said...

Happy Birthday (belated?) dear friend,

lots of hugs and love and keep on believing! :-p

Just Me