A new category has been added to my food categories: Korean.
I don’t fancy Korean food mostly because a lot of their food taste/smell like kimchi which has lotsa lotsa garlic. So my Korean food choice is limited to one bi bim bap, which I like. That pretty much sums up my Korean food eating habits.
However, I was introduced by my ex-roommate to dak gal bi, a stir fry on a cast iron pan with spicy chilli paste. One taste and I was hooked! My first try was in Puchong which is darn far from wherever I’m usually at so I decided to sought out a branch and lo behold, I was lucky to find one in Ampang.
There was a long half an hour wait for this outlet during this particular Saturday. It is a rather small shoplot and they’ve maximized the space by placing tables close to each other so watch out for your neighbors and don’t bump into them. Also the ventilation is not too great as there’s so much stir-frying going on – you’ll be bringing the dakgalbi smell home with you.
The Puchong branch fairs better in terms of atmosphere – not so cramped and better ventilation. Though it could be that I was there on a weekday.
For a starter, we had some ginseng chicken soup. There were chunky pieces of chicken, bones intact and some rice in the soup. However, the ginseng flavor was not strong and in fact, the soup was very clear and quite bland.
After adding some soy sauce (actually quite a bit), it was slightly more palatable but the color of the soup had become a scary color. We didn’t like the soup very much.
Side dishes of pickled onion and kimchi which I didn’t touch.
The cutlery and utensils are specially imported from Korea, this is proof!
Each portion has chicken, cabbage, sweet potato sticks and spring onion. Most of the dish is made of cabbage.
You get to choose whether you want it spicy or not. It’s a per portion basis so this is 2 portions of spicy and 1 portion normal. Also you get to add on to your standard dak gal bi set whether more meat, vegetables, rice, noodles, rice cakes etc at different prices per portion.
A server will be assigned to serve and cook for you so all you have to do is wait and watch.
And wait some more.
And wait- ooh cheese.
Till it’s finally done. Ooh stringy cheese.
The stir fry was very good, the paste used might seem inadequate at first but as the waiter cooks, you’ll see that it coats the food just right. The spicy portion is actually very spicy, the waiter will warn you beforehand. Despite the spiciness, the entire dish was tasty. The ramen went well with the dak gal bi and surprisingly so did the cheese!
When it gets too hot, wrap the dak gal bi in some coral lettuce leaves and attempt to cool yourself down. I doubt it will work haha. The leaves did complement the dish though.
Btw here are my parents attempting to play/cook while the waiter was away. The waiter will look grumpily at you if you attempt to spoil his masterpiece lol.
I have not tried dak gal bi at other restaurants but Uncle Jang’s is tasty, spicy and absolutely delicious (provided you can withstand spicy fumes!)
Their Facebook site can be found here