Monday, September 22, 2014

Dong Seoul Korean BBQ Restaurant, Sri Utama, Segamat

When I was growing up in Segamat, a fancy dinner out is usually to one of the few Chinese restaurants. If we want "western fare", all we had was KFC. Much later on (like when I was in secondary school), we had MacDonald's, and later Pizza Hut. 

However, much had change over the pass year. At the row of shops facing the main road at Sri Utama Commercial Centre, Segamatians now have a choice of premium western fare (Vivo Pizza), Peranakan food, Sushi King (coming soon), KR Roasters and of course Korean BBQ which is the topic of my post today. 

Dong Seoul Korean BBQ is run by a Korean expatriate. This, I was made to understand, is the third or fourth outlet with the first outlet in Johor Bahru and branches in Kuantan. I was told that the owner uses his mother's recipe and all the major ingredients are imported from Korea. The matriarch even stationed herself at the outlet during the opening week to make sure that nothing is amiss in the food preparation process. 

First Visit

Grilled pork. What can I say? They use the finest cut of meat that is available and marinate it to perfection. Not too salty, not to bland. Just nice. Best part is there is no need for us to do the grilling, the servers will do A to Z for you. I have tried a few Korean joints in Jalan Ampang and I dare say this is on par if not better than those. Definitely better then the sorry excuse that is called Bulgogi Brothers. Well, never trust a pork free Bulgogi joint like you should not trust a pork free German restaurant. 

Next, Korean seafood hotpot. As usual, this is out of bounds for me. But look at the prawns, the squid, the enoki etc. I am sure it is choke full of flavours.

The kimchi here, is one of the best I have ever eaten. The cabbage is crunchy, the spiciness not too over powering. There are some version of kimchi were the chili paste taste like it had been over blended in a blender and left too long in the fridge. Things here are fresh.

The meal was ended with a refreshing dessert of fermented rice drink. Never seen or tried this before. It taste a bit like winter gourd tea.

Second Visit

Second visit was over the pass weekend for lunch. Since it was lunch we did not ordered anything fancy. Agnes ordered the sliced beef rice and I ordered the Bibimbap. Beef of course, I am not allowed but I don't think there was any complains from Agnes.

The bibimbap though, well, how should I put it. Ingredients are authentic but then I do not think Bibimbap is their forte. Firstly, I have no idea why they put a thoroughly cooked fried egg on top. Besides that, the dressing is a bit bland and it lacks the heat of Dolsot (hot stone) Bibimbap, which I prefer over normal Bibimbap. Best Bibimbap is still at Bibigo! and best Dolsot Bibimbap I have tried is at Mana Kitchen.

Other recommendations not pictured here are the Pancake (Seafood and also Kimchi)

From the way the restaurant is run, one can tell that the owner is indeed passionate about the business, which is exactly what you need when running an F&B business. Does not hurt when you insist on using the freshest ingredients available and is serious about spreading the food culture of your country. Verdict : Nothing to see here, Gordon Ramsey. However, your attention might be needed few doors down. 

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