Koreana restaurant is quite an established institution serving authentic Korean food in Kuching. It has recently moved its premises to 101, complete with brand new décor and fittings.
I like the eating implements (and also using unconventional words instead of just “utensils”) in Koreana. The chopsticks at Koreana are Korean chopsticks – it’s angular and oblique which makes it difficult to handle the first time you come across it.
We all had a mug of steaming green tea (RM 2) since we had just consumed an excessive amount of Slurpees previously, which made us a little on the cold side. The weather was chilly too, for some reason – rainy season, probably.
Koreana serves a select range of complimentary entrees for all diners. There’s kimchi (the staple of Korean food), clams in some sort of hot sauce, seaweed, anchovies, a salad and vegetables of some sort.
Irene had the Dolsot Bibim Bub (RM 20) which is described as “slizzling rice with assorted vegetables in stone bowl”. I’m sure they meant sizzling. ;)
The bibim bub (stone bowl mixed rice) comes with a raw egg which was cracked in by the waitress…
…and mixed thoroughly. Check out the look of concentration on her face. The raw egg is actually cooked by the excess heat from the stone bowl.
The obligatory kimchi is then added to the stone bowl mixed rice…
…before it is served. Koreana serves a pretty mean bibim bup and a testament to the authenticity of the place is the Korean expatriates at a table beside us.
Emeric opted for the Kimchi Fried Rice (RM 12). It tastes a lot like the Dolsot Bibim Bub minus the theatricals. ;)
I went for the Mulnaengmyun (RM 22) which is cold noodles in soup. It came with bamboo shoots and other vegetables and half a boiled egg. The dish was served in a metal bowl full of ice cubes. It’s not just cold, it’s freezing! I like! :)
Koreana also provides you with scissors for the cold noodle dish to cut the noodles into more manageable lengths for slurping. I really liked the taste of this dish – the freezing cold soup tastes delicious and although the concept of having ice cold noodles may be foreign for some people, it actually tastes really good.
We also ordered a bowl of Samgaetang (RM 35) to share. It is chicken soup cooked with ginseng Korean style and Irene insists that it is a very healthy substitute for ED meds. I’m not sure why she thinks me and Emeric has that kind of problem, but the chicken soup does taste good. ;)
The chicken soup with ginseng is served with half a whole chicken and lots of Korean ginseng. There’s also some rice at the bottom of the soup bowl and the rice expands and absorbs all the goodness of the soup and is meant to be eaten after everything else is consumed. It’s delicious!
Koreana is a nice place to have dinner if you’re hankering for authentic Korean food. The bill came up to about RM 95 so it’s pretty reasonable for three people. Thanks to Irene for driving me around Kuching in search of the elusive Slurpee! ;)