Penang has a number of Korean BBQ restaurants and lately we saw the arrival of Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant in our shores. The outlet opened in the middle of May, less than a month ago occupies two shoplots in Penang Bayan Point. Daorae operates by the motto ‘the customers is always right’, thus their main objective is to provide good services to their customers. We had a hearty meal there recently.
Recently opened on the 14th of May 2009, the restaurant holds a pleasant and welcoming ambiance. The restaurant is divided into two sections, the upper floor which houses the Tatami style seating while the lower floor are the regular seats, generally for non-smokers.
A plus point for Daorae is that every table comes equipped with a cooker hood, which sucks up most of the smoke. It means there is no unpleasant bbq odour lingering on the customers, nor the restaurant. Amazingly, they opted to use charcoal as the heating element, which I personally have an extra liking for as I find the dishes to have a more authentic taste compared to their gas-stove counterparts.
To our delight, there are numerous items on the menu and an even wider choice of BBQ items! We opted for two different types of meat, Hanhang Dweji Wang Galbi and Wang Gal-Bi. Both cutlets are specially hand filleted and marinated by the Chef.
The Hanbang Dweji Wang Galbi@ RM35 is pork ribs, marinated in special Korean ginseng and herbs extract and sweet soy sauce. I personally find this my favorite dish for the night! The pork was marinated to taste, and after being delicately BBQ-ed, the juice and tenderness is still well-trapped in the meat. Oozing with goodness all round, we had that wrapped with lettuce and it was totally awesome.
Pork rib was lightly seasoned
Perfectly grilled succulent pork
Wang Gal Bi @ RM55 is beef short rib, marinated in heavenly sweet soy sauce. Through our conversations with the Head Chef, we learned that the Beef Ribs are marinated in their ‘secret sauce’ and grilled lightly to avoid over cooking! Unlike other places where the beef could be tough & overcooked, Daorae grilled it to perfection and went very well with either rice or lettuce wrap!
We get to enjoy the company of Daorae’s Head Chef (seated) alongside the CEO himself, Mr Steve Cho (standing). Besides sharing both their insights about Korean cuisines, Steve was personally on-hand attending to our grill. It was indeed a privilege, Thanks Steve!
The well-marinated meat turned out fantastic, and we also learned from Steve the proper way of indulging on the BBQ meat. He recommend placing a succulent piece of grilled meat that is dip in a slight salty oil on top of the lettuce. This is follow up with a slice of BBQ-ed garlic that is dip in a chili bean paste sauce. He made it a point to have the lettuce folded up as small as possible so as to enjoy the goodness and the juice of the meat at one go. Yummy!
Tantalizing succulent barbeque beef
A perfect wrap with a piece of meat, bbq garlic & Daorae’s sauce
We were served with some complimentary Korean soup which changes daily! Tonight we enjoyed the beef soup. Fresh cuts of vegetable for the wrap were served out, rounding up the BBQ dishes.
The dinner started with numerous choices of banchan laid on the table. According to Steve, Malaysians are luckier as they get to enjoy eight or more banchan to compliment the main meal unlike in Korea; the restaurants usually serve a total of three to four banchan. The replenish banchan in Daorae’s are largely based on vegetable and seafood with four standard items and the remaining changing daily.
Among the banchan we enjoyed for the night was the bali tung (very unique dish, but amazingly it is widely eaten in Korea!), gigantic bean sprout and bayam veg, pickled radish, macaroni and fish cake, and last but not least, Korean picked vegetable, better known to everyone as kimchi!
Besides the BBQ dishes, Steve also recommend this two side dishes, one of them was the Nakjee Bokkum @ RM30 which was stir-fried sliced small octopus with assorted vegetables in spicy chili sauce. It was an excellent compliment with the rice, and the octopus is very much different from those Lidako in Japanese Cuisines! The octopus was not tough, very well textured and the spices really brought up our appetites.
The tofu soup, Soon Dubu Jjigae @ RM17 is cooked in a spicy broth together with seafood and comes with a bowl of rice. The point which I would like to highlight is that this soup is spicy, but not chili hot. The spiciness is very appetizing.
All customers on that night got the privilege to enjoy some complimentary seafood pancake. Simple yet tasteful with the texture very well done, and the sauce was just a joy dipping into!
Savory Pa-jeon (pancake) with fresh seafood
The Korean tea that was served during the dinner was an enjoyable drink, with a slight burnt taste and was refillable. We were quite curious as to what this drink was made from. Steve was kind enough to show us that the drink was actually brewed from baked corns imported all the way from Korea!
After our hearty meal, we were served with some watermelon and ‘rice drink’. I have been to a number of Korean restaurants and noticed that all of them serve watermelon? Is it a tradition, because of the red color or a norm in Korea?
Although Daorae is only opened barely a few weeks, this restaurant is getting very popular with a long waiting queue seen on that night. It’s better to make a reservation in this restaurant. There are ample car parks along the service road. Click here for the Map Location.
The staffs were very polite, very friendly service, bowing as we made our way into and on leaving the restaurant. This courtesy indeed brings a smile to each customer, making Daorae a real pleasant place to enjoy delicious Korean Food. Penangites will be hearing a lot of this restaurant as they are planning to open more outlets in Georgetown in the coming future.
Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
15-2-G, 2-1 & 2-2 Bayan Point
Medan Kg. Relau
Tel : 04 6402616
Business Hour : 12pm-3pm (lunch) & 5.30pm -11pm (dinner)
GPS Coordinates : N05 1957.0 E100 1740.5