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Jotaro's Food Review
Secretly Good Authentic Korean Food @ Po Cha BBQ Kuala Lumpur
Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - March 2017
I like cycling with my buddy Sin (of the haPpy HaPpY blogs). We have our regular Wednesday rides and often we end up eating at one of the foodie joints that he had recently discovered. And usually these places are interesting, some may be well known while most are gems waiting to be discovered.
This time round it was a place that's like a rough diamond, where with one look one may not think much of it.
The name of the place is Po Cha BBQ, a Korean restaurant at the Ampang Korean village enclave. The place is not just a uncut diamond, its look is very misleading. They are no bright signboards on the outside, in fact the shop front is dim with no bright shop windows. I had though we were entering a seedy massage parlour, what with posters of ladies and many signs in oriental characters.
Inside, it looks like an illegal workers' quarters, with long narrow corridors lined with walls that seemed to be a hotch-potch of unmatching timber partitions. On both sides are small are sliding doors that lead into...
... equally tight rooms, the tables and chairs almost takes up the whole room. In fact when all are seated, the innermost patrons would have difficulty getting out; so do your toilet business before going in. Again the walls are unmatching timber with posters of Korean characters taking up much of it. Some Korean paintings were hung up there too.
These odd mixture just adds to the authentic eating experience; sitting there I felt like I was in one of those small restaurants at some dark alley at the outskirts of Seoul.
Okay, enough talk of this; let's see how well the food match the unique place:
We kicked off with this Korean Seafood pancake. This one is good, soft with lots of veggies and spots of seafood; easy to bite into and tasty too, just reminds me of the soy bean pulp pancake we had in Gyeongju Wongjo Kongguk.
Won't really see much of the seafood, but they're there as can taste them - fish, prawns and squid.
This Tofu (bean-curd) soup was our starters. Oriental style starters are heavy stuff, and it became heavier as we requested them to add in ramen too.
The food here is no frills. Instead of the fresh chicken or pork, this one came with pork sausages, luncheon meat with big chunks of soft white tofu with lettuce and garnished with a few stalks of spring onions. What we liked about the ones here is that the kimchi flavouring was good - slightly sweet and not overpoweringly sour.
Slices of the sausages; surprisigly without any fresh meat, even with these simple ingredients this dish came out pretty well. Love it!
This pan-fried mackerel looks quite pathetic, lying there bare without any decorations or garnishing. Well as I had said, this place is no frills and that's why their food are so reasonably priced. Do not let this patheticness fool you, the fish was very fresh, the cooking well done and the meat juicy and sweet.
The Barbecued Pork Ribs.
Again, do not let looks decieve you. The dish looked like something one would get at a market stall, just chopped up and thrown onto a plate without any stylo presentation.
But it was good, the meat tender and sweet with just the right amount of burnt bits to bring out the aroma.
Kimchi Rice Cake.
I love this dish as the Kimchi sauce is just right, not too sour. I think they use very good kimchi sauce at this place as I found them to be much better than those from other places. The rice cake was a tad tough, but fortunately there were Ramen noodles coming with it.
Pork and Squid Combo.
Po Cha really don't bother much about presentation, this one looks lik a dish from a Chap Fun (Economy Rice) stall. But it was good, with the pork and squid coming in with lots of cabage to give roughage for the meal.
The small cuts of pork and squid were tender while the gravy was a thinner and much lighter on kimchi.
A testament of how good the food was; soup and gravy finished till the last drop.
Their pricing was very reasonable at RM198, i.e. RM22 per pax.
No frills and simple is good as long as the food was delicious.
Below are Po Cha BBQ's menu:
723, Jalan Sulaiman 1, Taman Putra Sulaiman, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Hours: Mondays to Saturdays - 5:30pm to 3:00am | Sundays -5:30pm to 12:00am
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