To start off the night, we were shown on the right and proper style to savour our Korean BBQ meal. One of the best things as a food reviewer, is that we are not there just to try out food but to really understand the culture and to gain knowledge about food antics.
As usual, in most Korean BBQ meal, you will be served with green lettuce. Usually this is used to wrap your BBQ food but apparently, as Malaysian, we will eat it at its own, wrap with some side dishes or eggs servings and etc. This is a no no in Korean BBQ eating style.
For Korean BBQ, your first taste of BBQ should be to eat the meat as it is, with no condiments and any sauces. This is to enable you to taste the freshly grill piece of the meat as its best. From this, you will be able to taste the whether the meat is of quality and well marinated.
If you eat with sauces added to it, most of the time the taste is of the sauce and you can’t really savour the taste of the marinated meat.
Your second helping of the meat should be with the lettuce wrapping. Next, will be the meat with the dipping sauce (only for pork) with lettuce wrapping, a slice of garlic and spring onion, parsley salad. This will ensure that you will be able to taste each of the condiments and meats. Note: Another No No is the Korean does not eat their BBQ with rice.
At Jal-Dae-Ji, the proprietor is a Korean and has a strong passion in cooking and serving real authentic Korean fares i.e. he will not compromise to make the dish suited to local taste. Almost all the sauces and marinates are his top secret recipes (jokes aside, even his wife does not know how we made it). That is why, majority of the customers venturing to this restaurant are mainly Korean. To them, this is the next best to home cooked meal.
For BBQ, we started with Yong Yang Galbi (Marinated Fresh Marble Beef)
Daew Ji Galbi (Marinated Pork Spare Ribs) – marinated for 2 days
Dak Gla Bi (Marinated Boneless Chicken) – marinated for 1 day
GoChuJang Samgyoup Sal (Marinated pork Belly in Red Hot Pepper Paste).
The taste of all the meat was juicy and succulent even after grilling it. We had the pleasure of one of the staff to grill for us and making sure it was grill to perfection.
Side dishes are common in mostly Korean restaurant, these side dishes varies on a daily basis i.e. You don’t get to eat the same side dishes everyday except for one or 2 i.e, Kimchi (a must for all Korean food). We were told by the proprietor that they do l prepare about 100kg of Kimchi every week for his restaurant.
Rice is usually eaten with these side dishes which are a little tad salty. These side dishes are cooked without the use of oil. Thus, it is a healthy food. Now, you know the secrets why majority of Koreans are quite lean. You seldom see many Korean which are extremely obese.
Next, we proceed to the Bulgogi Beef – it is a dish which is served with thinly slices of beef, marinated in with a special sauce and cooked with a variety of vegetables and the familiar soo hoon noodles.
Our next dish is the Kimchi Jiggae, which is a thick stew of Kimchi simmered in Pork. If you love Kimchi, this is the one of the dish for you to try out.
A Korean pancake (Kimchi Jeon) is really a great challenge for many chefs. In the past those that I have tasted was either too soggy, too much batter or somewhat not the right taste. Here at Jal-Dae-Ji, the pancakes was nicely made, it retains the flavors and blended well with the seafood infused into the pancakes. Taste wise, it was perfect especially the fresh squids. A dip of the pancake to the slight spicy dipping sauce was the perfect blend to this dish.
The next dish was none other than the tTeokbokki (similar to Chinese Chee Cheong Fun) but the noodle here is of the harder and tougher type unlike the chee cheong fun which have a smooth and silky texture.
Lastly, we had the Bibim Guksu which is Noodles with vegetable and Red Hot Pepper sauce. For me, this was an average fare, which I find the sauce a little too sourish and the texture of the noodles was not to my liking.
On the whole, the entire meal was very satisfying and I would rate it as one of the best Korean restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. So, the next time you carve for real authentic Korean food, head over to Jal-Dae-Ji, it sure will be “getting better”.
Tips. If you really want your Korean meal to be cooked by the proprietor himself, make way there on every Monday. It is when he will be helming the kitchen. Also if you are going there on a weekend, please make sure you make a reservation well in advance else you might be left waiting for your place outside the restaurant.