“Hallyu” (Korean wave) may have won over many hearts in the past few years but the best way to win a Malaysian’s heart is through their stomach! That’s right, Korean culture has not only conquered our entertainment industry, it also made its way to dominate our taste buds.
K-food franchises like KyoChon Chicken and Daorae are currently the hottest go-to places for those who crave Korean food but little do they know that there are so many other places that are worth trying! Luckily for you, we’ve done the legwork and have come up with a list of the 8 most underrated Korean restaurants in Klang Valley to spoil you with choices:
1. Dae Jang Geum
Named after a popular historical chef, Dae Jang Geum serves very authentic Korean food and is located at the heart of Taipan, USJ. The restaurant provides an extensive selection of marinated meat and if you are up to try something new, the ox tongue is definitely a must-order. They also serve many of our Korean favourites such as bibimbap (Korean style mixed rice) and sundubu jjigae (tofu seafood stew).
The restaurant is usually packed on Friday nights and weekends, so try to make reservations before you plan to get your fill of some K-goodness.
Dae Jang Geum is located at 15-G, Jalan Usj 10/1F, Subang Jaya 47620, Malaysia.
2. Asa Dakgalbi
If you are not too keen on eating Korean BBQ, you should definitely try the Dakgalbi from Asa Dakgalbi. It is a popular Korean dish made by stir-frying marinated chicken in a gochujang (chili pepper paste) based sauce on a hot plate. It is usually cooked together with sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions, and tteok (rice cake). They also serve Korean-style fried chicken and other dishes like pajeon (Korean pancake).
The restaurant has a lively environment and an awesome view facing Oasis Square’s water fountain. Great for some soju after work with some friends, eh?
Asa Dakgalbi is located at R-08 Ground Floor, Oasis Square, No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
For more information, visit Asa Dakgalbi’s Facebook page.
3. Huo Lu Ai
Literally translated as “fire stove love”, Huo Lu Ai is a hidden gem situated at Setiawalk, Puchong. The interior of the restaurant is very similar to the BBQ joints in South Korea and they even have the stools where you can keep your bags / jackets under the cushion to prevent it smelling like BBQ!
Huo Lu Ai offers affordable BBQ sets that come with a bowl of kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew). You should also try their soju cocktails, which is not something commonly served in other Korean restaurants around Klang Valley.
Huo Lu Ai is located at D3A, Ground Floor, Block D, Setia Walk Persiaran Wawasan, Puchong, 47100 Selangor.
For more information, visit Huo Lu Ai’s Facebook page.
4. Wow Chicken
Wow Chicken is a humble joint decorated with many vibrant and colourful pop art paintings that will make you feel like you are at a diner in Hongdae. Managed by a Korean couple, this place serves up a variety of fried chicken, but their must-tries are the deep fried chicken breast with green onions and the fried chicken covered in spicy sauce. If you can’t make a decision, savour both of their signatures by ordering the “ban-ban” (means half-half)!
All their chicken will be made fresh, so please allow about 30 minutes waiting time after you place your order. Now, doesn’t “chi-mek” (chicken and beer combination) sound like the ideal Friday night plan? :)
Note: They offer delivery service around Mont Kiara till 2am!
Wow Chicken is located at 66-1, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480, Kuala Lumpur.
5. San Mae Eul
Located in the “Korean Hub” of Klang Valley, San Mae Eul is a lively place to enjoy a good hearty Korean BBQ meal. With exposed bricks and dark woods as the main interior element, the joint gives off a rustic vibe.
Thanks to the charcoal grill, the nicely cooked meats will be infused with a unique hint of smokiness, making it more flavourful and delicious (as compared to using a normal gas grill). If you need to take a break from the protein-filled dinner, make sure to try their signature jumokbap (spicy seaweed rice balls) that is worth getting your hands dirty for ;)
Note: There are other outlets located in different parts of Klang Valley as well.
San Mae Eul is located at No1, GF 1-1,1-2,1-3,Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur.
For more information, visit San Mae Eul’s Facebook page.
6. Jung Won Korean BBQ Restaurant
Jung Won Korean BBQ Restaurant is housed in a lovely bungalow with sprawling landscaped grounds all around. The quaint setting is complete with a “koi” pond with a water wheel, swings, and long wooden pavilions. Diners can either sit at the few outdoor tables or sit cross-legged on the wooden floor.
The chefs use Korean spices and blended pears in the marinade, giving the meats a subtle sweetness. Their must-order items are the duck loins, lamb cutlets, and beef spare ribs.
Jung Won Korean BBQ Restaurant is located at No. 255 Jalan Ampang Hilir,Hampshire Park, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
For more information, visit Jung Won Korean BBQ’s Restaurant’s Facebook page.
7. Seoul Garden
Seoul Garden in Kuchai Lama is the kind of place where families gather for some homely Korean food. The restaurant has a huge variety of choices that will certainly satisfy your cravings. If you have not tried Korean food before, the menu offers reasonably priced meal sets that come with 12 different kinds of complimentary side dishes!
If you don’t like the smell of BBQ lingering on your shirt, you can even request for the waiter to grill your meat for you before serving it on you table.
Note: Lunch sets are as low as RM10!
Seoul Garden is located at Jalan Kuchai Maju 7, Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, 58200 Kuala Lumpur.
8. Pyongyang Koryo
Pyongyang Koryo is the only one on the list that specialises North Korean cuisine. The restaurant offers a wide selection of cold noodles, rice dishes, stews, and hot pots. On top of that, you can grill your own meat here with their built-in tabletop grills. Some of the must-order items include the seafood hot pot and samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup).
Not only that all the servers in Pyongyang Koryo are dressed in traditional costumes, they also have North Korean traditional folk song and dance performances starting at 8:30pm every night.
Pyongyang Koryo is located at No. 1 & 3, Jalan Kamuning, Off Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, 55100, Kuala Lumpur.
For more information, visit Pyongyang Koryo’s official website.
What are you waiting for? Gather your friends and family to try one of these Korean restaurants today! If you know of any Korean restaurants that you think the world should know about, leave us a comment and we’ll add them to the list too! ;)
Featured image: Squall Cuisine.