I have never expected Korea BBQ is a popular internationally known cooking until my SO brought me to a newly established Korean restaurant in Penang. DAORAE Korean BBQ Restaurant – the restaurant he picked for my birthday this year.
If you are familiar with Bayan Baru area in Penang, you would never miss the façade of Daorae Korean BBQ. It is clearly visible from Bayan Baru roundabout right at Bayan Point. To be exact, Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant is sandwiched between Hong Leong Bank and StarEast Photo Studio.
Arriving earlier gave us the advantage for us to pick our seat. We opted for first floor, to be seated of tatami-setting.
Very little I know about Korea cuisine and perhaps our previous experience with Korean restaurant was not up to our expectation. Since then, we had never tried until last Monday.
I did a bit of search and found below from Wikipedia.
“Korean barbecue, or gogi gui, refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner’s table on gas or charcoal (burned wood chips) grills that are built into the center of the table itself. Most diners enjoy doing their own grilling at the table.”…
Exactly, this was what we experienced last night. After flipping through the pages of colorful menu, we decided to go for two BBQ dishes and a bowl of stone rice.
Our appetizer – Seaweed Soup was the first dish to arrive on our table. My friend told me that seaweed soup is a significant soup served on Korean birthday. What a lucky day for me! It was served at the right moment and I was a self-claimed Korean for a dinner!
Then, the side dishes keep flowing in non-stop until we got worried whether we could manage them! Opsh! We were not aware that Korean barbecue comes with various banchan (side dishes). There were so many varieties ranging from pickled Chinese cabbage, pickled cucumber, fresh bean sprouts, fried spinach with sprinkled sesame seeds, fruits salad, jelly fish & crab stick. Wow!!!
And now, the highlight of our main course. Here comes the ‘show’. The round stainless steel cover lid was removed and a pot of smokeless amber was placed into the slot. After placing a stainless steel grill plate, a tiny bowl of fresh garlic was heated up.
What surprised me is the movable chute, connected right from the ceiling almost touching the dining table. It works as suction to absorb unwanted smoke/smell and could be adjusted rather close to the grill.
After the grill pan was prepared, the waiter placed the garlic and onion first. Then, he put in the pork neck which was marinated with sesame oil. After the meat got cooked, he cut them into smaller pieces and turned them over to ensure they were fully cooked yet not burned. They were just perfectly grilled!
The second in our list to be barbecued was marinated chicken or called Yang-nyum Dak-gal-bi. It was marinated in special sweet soy sauce.
One thing I like about this place is the professional service. As soon as some part of the grill plate turned almost charcoal black, it would be immediately changed. The waiters are obviously well-trained to handle all these cooking and the tools!
A popular way of eating Korean BBQ (barbeque) is to wrap the meat with lettuce. Our faces must be saying ‘we are hopeless, please help!’. The friendly waiter suggested to us to place a piece of fresh lettuce on our bowl. Then, he picked a piece of pork, dipped into the sweet sauce then dunked into ssamjang (a spicy paste made of doenjang mixed with gochujang). Then, garlic and another condiment called pajori (spicy scallion salad) were added. Wrap them and place in your mouth! It was so much fun to play and eat!
The stone rice (Dolsot-bibim-bab) was served soon after. Again, a waiter assisted to add in the orange sauce and stir-mixed all the ingredients. So far, this was the best stone rice we tried! Rice was soft and the spices were just nice for us, almost balance in everything!
Besides the above dishes, we got a chance to try the Korean pancake, a complimentary dish for us! Initially, My SO almost picked this dish from their menu! Of first glance, it might look like an omelet but it tasted like our home-style pancake. Made thin of a round shape, I believe the pancake flour was mixed with some egg, sugar and plenty of spring onion. A combo flavour of savoury and sweet, good to eat with the spicy sauce. The boss must be good at reading our mind.
Overall experience is great. We will go again soon!
DAORAE Korean BBQ Restaurant
Penang Bayan Point Branch
15-G-2 Bayan Point
Medan Kg Relau
11900 Penang, Malaysia
Click here for Google Map
Opening hours: Daily from 11:30am to 2:00pm (Lunch) and 6:00pm to 11:00pm (Dinner)