Friday, November 11, 2011

Dae Jang Gum Korean Restaurant

This restaurant is named after a Korean television drama series. Dae Jang Geum (大長今) is a popular Korean TV series based on a true story of a woman physician in the Korean royal court who managed to cure the King of his many ailments with her cooking and medicine. The TV drama was apparently so popular that they have a theme park in Korea dedicated to it. 

Dae Jang Gum Korean BBQ Restaurant (the name is spelled slightly differently but the Chinese characters 大長今 are the same) is located on Jalan USJ 10/1F in the Tai-pan area of Subang Jaya. It is not far from and along the same road as the Public Bank in USJ 10. I googled "Dae Jang Geum Korean Restaurant" and apparently Dae Jang Geum is a very popular name for Korean restaurants throughout the world. They include 2 similarly named restaurants in Section 14, PJ and in Malacca. I have no idea if all these DJGs are related.

We were greeted by a large portrait Lee Young Ae (the Korean actress who played the leading role in the television drama) as we entered the restaurant in USJ 10. She continued to haunt us on the menu before we even ordered our food.

The restaurant is rather small. The shop lots on USJ 10/1F are not that big and wide. Still they managed to squeeze into 2 dining areas - a tatami sit-on-the-floor platform and some normal tables and chairs at the side. The furnishings appeared old and well-used. But the place was pleasant and comfortable.

We settled down, ignored Ms Lee and perused the menu. We ordered 2 meats to barbeque and 2 soup dishes to supplement. Then things began to quickly arrive on our table. They started with our eating utensils and sauces..

And the small appetizer dishes typical of Korean restaurants. I found it delightful picking up the delicious morsels before the main meal. The variety offered here was many.

And of course kimchi. No Korean food is complete without this.

Our first meat was the Sam Gyoub Sal or pork belly slices. They had substantial fat on them. Rather sinful but (what the heck) nice. The grilled outcome was soft, succulent and delicious. Delightful when wrapped in fresh salad and the sambal-like Korean sauce.

The Yang Nyum Gal Bi or marinated beef rib was not so tender. But equally delicious. The flavor was more pronounced because of the marinade. I tackled the rib bone, attempting to get the meat off it. But it was just too tough.

I found the Sam Gye Tang (chicken broth with ginseng) rather bland. It was a milky soup that did not taste very flavorful. I think we have to stop ordering this dish the next time we go to a Korean place. It is getting to be very boring.

In contrast, the Yuk Gye Jang (spicy soup with glass noodles, vegetable and rice) was too strong and spicy. Looked like we had the ying and yang of the soups. I did not particularly like the spiciness. But my wife seemed to enjoy it. 

Dessert was pieces of water melon and a bowl of sikhye. Sikhye is a sweet Korean drink brewed from barley malt powder (yeotkiereum) and rice. It was served cold. I found it very refreshing. Perhaps it is not so suitable as a dessert. On a hot thirsty day, it would be fantastic.

DJG is a typical Korean BBQ restaurant. It did not stand out from its counterparts that we have visited. Neither is it any less. Very honestly, I find most Korean restaurants to be about the same. It is like visit one and you have visited all. Perhaps my Korean taste buds are not yet that discerning.

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