More than a year ago, Saucer and I fell in love with this dish we found in Seoul. It was known as Dak Galbi, a traditional Korean dish prepared by stir-frying marinated chicken dices in a gochujang (chili pepper paste) based sauce, sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions and tteok (rice cake) together on a hot plate. Once we returned from Seoul, we kept searching for this dish from the local Korean restaurants, to no avail. Someone must have heard our cries, for recently, we came to know about Uncle Jang Restaurant, that served just that – pure, unadulterated, spicy Dak Galbi!
Stir-frying marinated chicken pieces in gochujang and cabbage
The covered hot plate
Without further ado, I visited the restaurant during lunch with my colleagues when Saucer was away on his business trip. We went to the branch in Bandar Puteri Puchong, to find the place spacious and relatively quiet on a working day. The photo wall kept me entertained while we waited for our food. So many happy patrons posing in the pictures.
Photo wall at Uncle Jang’s
The hot plate
Before long, our order arrived, in the form of raw chicken, vegetables, rice cake and the like. There were only 2 options available, either Spicy or Non-Spicy. No prize guessing which one I ordered! But since I was sharing with my colleague, we played safe by mixing 1 portion of Spicy and 1 portion of Non-spicy. And we waited for the staff to cook.
The raw ingredients
The skilful staff cooking our dish
While waiting for the food to be ready, we were served some banchan in the form of kimchi and a bowl of cold sourish soup. I didn’t quite enjoy the soup but eventually found out that it’s actually useful to curb the spicy feeling after eating the dak galbi. Ah, since I’m quite the seasoned spicy-eater, I didn’t need it.
Refillable Kim chi and cold soup
It was definitely not easy sitting and waiting patiently for the food to be cooked while the strong aroma of gochujang attacked our senses. The smell was make us salivate non-stop, not to mention the spicy whiff that we got once in a while that caused us to choke.
Wear the bib if you don’t want to smell like Dak Galbi
Finally, the staff said the golden words “Please enjoy your meal”. Yes, we started to dig in like hungry beasts, almost scalding our tongue from the piping hot chicken. Oh but it was good! Just like how I remembered it from Seoul. I ate the chicken on its own. I ate it wrapped with lettuce. I even ate it with kimchi. And don’t forget the rice cakes – so chewy and bouncy! I wish there were more of those.
Ready to be eaten!
Wrap it in lettuce
We have the option of adding in side dishes if you think the main dish is not filling enough. During my first visit, I asked for Ramen and fried rice, to be shared by 2 persons. I personally enjoyed the Fried rice more, as the flavour was well absorbed within the rice and the addition of seaweed and extra gochujang made it even more tantalizing.
Fried ramen in Dak galbi
Adding the fried rice towards the end of meal
Very delicious fried rice!
After the very satisfying meal, I went home and raved to Saucer about it! Just like me, he’s a fan! Which was how we ended up at the second Uncle Jang outlet at Solaris Mont Kiara. Compared to the Puchong branch, this was certainly more crowded with a large Korean crowd. Without further ado, we ordered the same dishes that I did on my first visit, except that we asked for Udon instead of ramen.
Second visit with Saucer
I found that the Udon paired better with the Dak Galbi due to its thick and slightly chewy nature, almost like rice cake. The ramen would have been too soggy after being cooked for a while. The udon was just nice! Both of us ate and ate until Saucer’s face was red and full of perspiration! But he enjoyed it.
Look at the rice cakes
Adding in udon side dish
In my opinion, Dak Galbi can create either a love or hate relationship with people. You either worship and love it like we do, or dislike it for being monotonous. Really, there’s nothing else you can eat here except for Dak Galbi, unlike a full-fledged Korean restaurant. But I urge you to try it out, because it really tastes just like the real thing back in Seoul. Of course, if you’re a first-timer, I would suggest you to go with the non-spicy version.
The largely Korean crowd at Solaris Mont Kiara branch
Uncle Jang at Bandar Puteri Puchong
Each portion of Dak Galbi is priced at RM19 for non-spicy and RM22 for spicy. The side dishes of ramen and fried rice cost RM6 each, while the udon cost RM8 each. Banchan, drinking water and coffee are unlimited and complimentary. And there’s no tax!
Uncle Jang at Bandar Puteri Puchong
Uncle Jang Korean Restaurant (Puchong)
No,1-1, Jalan Puteri 1/7,
Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong,
Tel No.: +603-8051 2208
Business Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm (except Tuesday: 6pm – 11pm only)
Uncle Jang Korean Restaurant (Solaris) – Above Maybank Solaris Mont Kiara
No 11-3 & 13-3, Jalan Solaris 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel No.: +603-6211 2536
Business Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/unclejang