Having any sense of decor in an Asian restaurant is novelty enough. So you can imagine how impressed I am when faced with Korean-imprinted wallpaper, logoed crockery and wooden chairs carved out with the name of Chinatown's latest Korean restaurant, Dae Jang Kum.
The menu arrives bound in suedette with heavy gold-trimmed edges. Interestingly Dae Jang Kum is a Chinese name, written in Chinese characters. A Korean translation takes up a small square to the left-hand side.
We order the lunch set menus which arrive with complimentary side dishes of pickles or banchan.
Banchan side dishes
Fried tofu strips
Mixed dumplings $15.00
An entree of mixed dumplings is attacked with gusto - there are two different typed of steamed bundles as well as crescents that have been deep-fried till crispy all over. The salad in the middle is more Japanese in style - shavings of cabbage and carrot dressed with a thick sweet mayonnaise.
Beef bulgogi set menu $14.00
Beef bulgogi announces its arrival with aggressive sizzling amidst heady fragrant plumes of steam. It's sweet and tender, with plenty of onion and delicious dregs of sticky marinade.
Grilled yellow croaker set menu $15.00
I'd been curious to try the yellow croaker, a fish I didn't think I'd tried before. The fish, deep-fried whole, is quite oily and rich in texture. Much of it can be crunched down, bones and all.
It's a little different. Just like Dae Jang Kum.
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8/02/2007 10:24:00 p.m.