23 January, 2012

Daorae Korean BBQ @ Sri Petaling

Happy Lunar New Year of Dragon!

According to my family tradition, a Reunion Dinner (团员饭) is a must during the Lunar New Year's Eve (除夕夜) although we stay at KL and don't celebrate the night with my Grandmother. Without any miss, my Mama cooks a full 8-course Chinese meal for the family and we'd spend the whole night together.

However, there's a slight change this year--- Mama doesn't cook at all , since she is busy preparing for prayers at night (Although she does the same each year). And we head outside for our reunion session. Frankly, I'm surprised that my Dad chose a Korean BBQ Restaurant for a typical Chinese reunion dinner!

In Daorae, besides the normal sitting area, they also have a dining area with tatami style, and obviously you will need to take off your shoe before entering the area. For a perfectly comfortable dining, each table is equipped with a white long exhaust chute, which can be pulled down to be as close as possible to the BBQ area to suck the smoke. 

Here's the cosy area you can sit while waiting to be seated. The traditional furniture set amazes me upon entering the restaurant. To complement with the Korean theme, this waiting area is also equipped with Korean magazines :)

 #1 Salmon Yee Sang

Being a part of the conservative family, Prosperity Toss is a must for us but sadly, Daorae doesn't provide any. They are, nevertheless, kind enough to allow us bringing in Yee Sang from another restaurant to dine here. Well, I'm quite satisfied with their services because most restaurants usually don't allow any outside food. 

Brought from an ordinary Chinese restaurant around my house, of course the quality may not be as promising as those offered at hotels. But a simple Yee Sang is good enough for a small family like mine, because every year we have the same purpose that is to get together once again and welcome the new year!

 #2 Dolsot Bibimbab @ RM20

A rich layering of fresh, seasoned vegetables, and crab sticks, is served in steaming hot stone bowl over a bed of steamed rice topped with a fried egg, and served with Korean chilli paste. The condiment is served in a separate plate and you can mix them according to your preference. 

In other restaurants, the waiter would perform the mixing for us but here we have to do it by ourselves. I love the steaming hot rice that satisfies my empty stomach but it would have a greater taste if the chilli paste can be sweeter and more spicy. 

 #3 Pa-jeon @ RM25

This delicate savory pancake comprising of fresh seafood in batter topped with spring onions is my all-time favourite! I personally enjoy dipping this Korean pancake into the mixture of soy sauce and vinegar with chopped spring onions. Without this condiment, you can taste an original taste of seafood especially the baby shrimps and chopped clams. 

#4  Dderk-bokgi @ RM30 

Just like us Chinese, Koreans have their own version of Nian Gao as well. This platter of stir-fried traditional Korean rice cake in hot spicy chilli sauce works best as an ultimate snack or even a meal for a light eater!

Along with the chopped cabbage, onions and eggs, we happily stuff our belly with this spicy goddess.  Slobbered with spicy chilli paste, I have a good time with the soft yet chewy rice cakes. Despite of its fiery red presentation, the sauce is over-sweetened in my opinion.

#5 Kimchi-Jeon-Gol @ RM55 

Another popular meal during Chinese New Year is a hot pot, stuffed with a vast variety of ingredients. Hence we opt for a spicy combination of pork, kimchi, tofu and Korean noodles simmered in a rich kimchi soup served in a cast iron pot.

Looking back at its price, this hot soup can reasonably serve up to 3 persons or even 5 ladies because the ingredients used can easily fill up your stomach! 

When the Korean noodles are completely cooked, you can compare the amount of noodles alone with FOUR (4) packets of Maggi noodles! Note that it has not include other materials in the broth.

A sumptuous and hearty serving of tummy-warming concoction; and not too spicy too!

 #6 Vegetarian Chawan Mushi 

Apart from this tasty steamed egg, some Korean side dishes (Ban Chan) are served to perk up our appetite before the meats come into play. However, the banchan served for us that night is very limited. Only 4-5 varieties, I feel this is much lesser as compared to other Korean restaurants. Moreover they only refill the banchan upon request.

#7 Fruit Slices
This plate of watermelon slices are complimentary dessert as an endnote for the dinner.

#8 Korean Barley Juice

Apart from the Korean Green Tea served throughout the meal, we are given a glass of Korean Barley Juice at the end of the meal as well. To my surprise, this is definitely not the Sikhye, a traditional Korean beverage made with barley malt powder and rice. But its taste is sweet and cold, just like the barley malt!

We also ordered two bowls of Steamed Rice @ RM5 each,
summing up the bill to RM154 including service tax, and an additional RM48 for the Prosperity Toss. 
Therefore, the pre-Chinese New Year dinner only costs RM202 for 5 pax

Verdict:
1. All in all, the dinner is acceptable for me although the taste is mediocre.
2. A spacious, nice ambiance is a right deal for my family.
3. I don't know bout other Daorae franchises around Malaysia, but this one at Sri Petaling has a huge room of improvement on the services.

Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
21-1, Jalan Radin Anum, 
Bandar Baru Seri Petaling,
57000 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 603-9057 3617

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