Updates 01/03/2015: The Nexus, Bangsar South outlet of San Nae Deul has been converted into a Korean BBQ buffet concept. They no longer serve ala carte dishes at all and the buffet is not as great as the ala carte dishes were. Their banchan is made in bulk and does not stay fresh for long with oil floating to the top of stir fries and lots of wilted vegetables instead of the crisp ones we used to get. The quality overall has deteriorated immensely and I would suggest that you stick to their ala carte outles only.
Because we had discount vouchers for F&B outlets in Nexus, Bangsar South, we started considering dinner in the vicinity. However, after the last Korean BBQ experience, we were skeptical that we would want Korean BBQ again so soon. But lo behold, here we were at a Korean BBQ restaurant contemplating dinner.
San Nae Deul is actually not a new Korean BBQ Restaurant, they have outlets in Subang, Puchong and Solaris Dutamas. This outlet is rather quiet on the weekend, perhaps because of their location. There were only 2 other tables occupied. This outlet we were at had about 6-7 private rooms and about 30 tables or more which made us feel very small and quietly doubt our dinner choice.
I was happy to see Citron Tea served and ordered it right away.
The mixture of sweet and sour was very refreshing throughout the meal. LC’s green tea was the roasted rice variant, nice and strong.
I was told that the sesame dipping was correct this time – not sweet but salty. The fermented bean paste was pretty standard tasting.
We were served 10 varieties of banchan (I’ve only recently learned that this means accompanying side dishes). Some were great, some not so.
Clockwise from top left are gamja yachae bokkeum – julienned potato, myulchi bokkeum – sweet stir fried anchovies and peanuts (LC rejoiced at the sight of this), spicy pickled cucumber, eomuk-bokkeum – spicy stir fried fish cake and broccoli with gochujang (chilli pepper paste used in bimbimbap) – I may be wrong that it’s the gochujang used in bimbimbap but it certainly tasted like it. The potato was lightly cooked so it was still on the crispy side, I didn’t like it very much but I’ve been told that the texture is like that. The anchovies and peanuts I loved, it was sweet and addictive. The pickled cucumber was quite average. The broccoli was strange with the sauce while the fish cake I liked! It was spicy and actually had some kick to it.
From top left, the same spicy pickled cucumber, shredded purple and white cabbage with a salad sauce, stir fried french beans, sigeumchi-namul – stir fried spinach, Korean pancake and kimchi. The cabbage dish tasted like a coleslaw while the french beans were under-seasoned and quite bland. The spinach was not overcooked and the pancake went very well with the spicy bean paste served with it. Still not a fan of kimchi but I tried it anyways. It was rather bland.
After awhile, they ran out of the round pancake and served a cabbage variation, it was just as good. The spicy bean paste made it better.
We ordered 3 meats – a Grilled Sliced Pork in Korean Spicy Sauce, some Grilled Sliced Pork and Grilled Sliced Beef.
The marinated pork was good. Tender without the slightest bit of ‘porky smell’ that I don’t like. The marinade was spicy and salty but was not overpowering. We requested for the kitchen to cook all our meats and it was cooked just right.
The Grilled Sliced Pork was similar to the previous dish minus the marinade. This was very good with the bean paste and the sesame dipping wrapped in a piece of lettuce.
The Grilled Slice Beef came in a really big portion, bigger than the pork which was surprising! I found the beef a bit dry but it had enough grill and burn so it was quite nice in the vegetable parcel like the sliced pork.
The rice sticks however were awesome! After the trauma of having hard rice sticks at another Korean place prior to this, this was absolutely delicious. The rice sticks were cooked to perfection, soft and chewy with sauce that tasted just right. There were slices of fish cake (the same kind in the banchan) which was great with the mostly tasteless rice cake.
A bean soup came free of charge with clams as well as slices of watermelon at the end of the meal. It was a nice gesture from the restaurant but we had over-ordered (bad couple!) and some food had to be packed to take away. Overall, the dining experience was great – the food was a mile above our previous Korean BBQ experience and service was good. It really makes me wonder why there are so few who frequent this place. Reviews for other outlets are available here, here, here, here and here.