So recently I met up with C after work at Setiawalk in Puchong. It was a rainy night, so we thought of getting hotpot at one of the new outlets, Gangnam 88, which specialises in Korean cuisine. Hip but cosy, the restaurant is decked out with earthy wood and brick, minimalist black and block-coloured steel chairs, while wall-mounted TV screens blast K-pop music and ads.
The menu offers a wide variety of choices – from rice-based dishes to ramen, barbecues, hotpots and snacks. Expect traditional favourites like Rabeokki (ramen + dokpokki – rice cakes), Samgyupsal (pork belly BBQ), Bibimbap (rice/beef/veggies in a stone bowl), Korean fried chicken, pancakes, and more.
Green tea was refillable. Unlike the Japanese version, this had a strong roasted rice-like flavour. C had corn tea.
Ordered a small Budae Jjigae (army stew). Don’t be fooled by the seemingly ‘small’ portion – it’s good for two, albeit, you might need to add on an extra block of ramen (RM5). We waited for the ingredients to boil before adding the ramen so it wouldn’t get too soggy.
Budae Jjigae is a relatively new dish created during the Korean war. As food was scarce, people made use of surplus food from US military bases such as hot dogs, Spam or ham and added them to a traditional spicy soup of red chilli paste and kimchi. The result is an interesting mix of flavours and ingredients that’s perfect for cold winter nights and rainy days!
The version here had a generous amount of chilli, fish cakes, hotdog, spam, minced chicken meat , onions, tofu, glass noodles and spring onions. The soup was pretty spicy and had us gulping down lots of water, but the flavour was great.
Adding the ramen. What I like best about Korean ‘ramyeon’ – they have a chewy texture and don’t get soggy easily, even after swimming in the broth for some time. 🙂
‘Banchan’ or side dishes (refillable). We liked the simple but very flavourful spinach + chilli, drenched in a fragrant sesame sauce; the fried pajeon (pancakes) which were cold but still crispy and not greasy, and what seemed like grilled/roasted sweet potato with a honey baste.
Restaurant really started filling up later in the evening.
Food prices are quite steep here so be prepared to fork out some cash.
GANGNAM 88 (Puchong branch)