Korean Restaurant Review: Ja Gum Sung Bangkok

Korean Restaurant Review: Ja Gum Sung Bangkok

I am slowly making my way through all the Korean restaurants here in Bangkok. There are lots of Korean restaurants gathered around Korea Plaza (between Sukumvit Soi 10 & 12). It’s not the most authentic “little Korea” I have found, but it will have to do for now.

We went to a Korean Chinese restaurant called Ja Gum Sung (자금성). Korean Chinese restaurants are famous for two dishes – Black bean noodles(jja jang myun-짜장면) and Spicy seafood noodle soup (jjambong-짬뽕). I knew it would be hard to beat my favourite Korean restaurant in Singapore(Dong Bang Hong), but worth a try.

 We ordered seafood Jja jang myun . The sauce mainly consists of pork, seafood, and onions( and of course the black bean sauce).

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The second dish  was the Seafood Jjambong. This was super spicy! Apparently, I found out later you can ask for less  spice (phet nit noi – my broken Thai).

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The side dishes were pretty good. My husband commented how sweet the kimchi is. Personally, I prefer it to be a bit more spicy and salty 🙂

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My husband I are usually order the above two dishes and share but here you can order half and half. It’s called Jjam Jja myun! I might have to try this one next time. (circled in the menu)

jjam jja myun

 

For those of you that want to try, here is the business card.

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The entrance looks like this. It can be a bit hard to find.

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I visited Sunday around 6pm and it was full  of Koreans which is a good sign, but we were lucky to get the last table. I recommend booking  a table in advance. They do deliveries as well.

Tour of Gwangjang market

Tour of Gwangjang market

My trip to Korea a few weeks ago was a little dampened by an unexpected typhoon and the early arrival of monsoon season. The weather was great on the first two days and then rained day and night from day three. At one stage, the rain and wind was so strong I didn’t think I was going to make it back to Singapore.

I usually go to Nam-de-mun market when I go to Korea but this trip I decided to visit somewhere less known(by tourists) called Gwangjang market. It’s located in between Jongno 3ga and jongno 5ga subway station. I didn’t realise how big this market was until I had a look at the map. It is more known to the locals as a wholesale shops and food.

Gwangjang market was opened in 1904. You can find many wholesale shops selling Korean traditional costumes (hanbok -한복) and fabrics. This is where I usually by my bath towels. Only ₩10,000(U$10) each and the quality is exceptional. I used to visit this market to either buy towels or have lunch so I never really took the opportunity to look around.

It also has an old fashion market selling fresh vegetables and seafood.

This is one of the most popular fish that Koreans use. You can’t find it in a western supermarket. It’s called hairtail or belt fish. We love to grill or steam them in chilli powder and soy sauce. I have seen this fish in the Malay market in Singapore a few times but it’s usually really hard to find.

This was the most interesting shop I found. This lady sells homemade soy sauce, chilli sauce and miso paste. It was pity that I couldn’t buy some. I am always given some by mum so It would have been an insult if I brought some home. Next time…

Besides the shopping, Gwangjang market is famous for muk ja golmok (street food-먹자골목). I had a little walk around the street and had lunch afterwards. It’s a little bit like being in a Singapore hawker centre but much bigger. There are lots of little stalls. Some stalls were still closed as some only cater for night crowds.

This stall sells chilli rice cake (dduk bok yi – 떡뽁이), japche, fishcake soup, pig trotters, gimbap. Pretty much everything!!

 

One of the most famous food in this market is mung bean pancake made the old fashion way. Mung beans are ground by the old stone mills.

 

 

 

The second most popular food in this market is handmade noodle soup. I really wanted to eat this soup as the weather was a bit grey but obviously everyone thought the same as it was a full house!

 

My lunch stop at the market!

 

We ordered so much food. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach! The first dish is a very simple noodle called party noodle(janchi guksu-잔치국수).

 

Mini gimbap with soon de also known as Korean blood sausage. Some people just love this.

 

Next is one of my favourites to have in summer. You can see ice floating in the soup. It’s soybean soup with rice noodle. Very refreshing…

 

After all this food, I had to make a quick stop by a dessert place. This lady has been here with her mother making rice cake for the past 10 years. When I visited she was making rice cake which is made with glutinous rice powder and red bean. Her hands were so fast, I could barely see what she was doing.

If you are visiting Seoul, check this market out. I think it’s an authentic way to experience Korean food and cheap shopping!

bellissimo!

bellissimo!

There’s been a good reason why I haven’t had the time to post recently. My husband’s friend was getting married in Italy and we decided to take the opportunity to travel around my favorite part of the world. We started from Florence, driving through different parts of Tuscany and flew out of Rome. It was just magnificent in every way!

 

 

 

 

 

The trip was amazing and revolved around one word – food!.  We drove from village to village tasting fresh Italian food everyday. I got a little obsessed with all the different delicatessens and fruit’n’vegie shops in each town to see what fresh produce were available.  Instead of buying souvenirs in each town, I bought different salamis. I think my husband was happy that I wasn’t buying shoes or handbags but our suitcase was slowly filling up with all the food.

Check out this big piece of prosciutto!  I almost bought this whole leg which weigh about 5kg.

 

My favorite Octopus served with fennel and fresh tomatoes. I was in heaven!! We found this amazing restaurant in Sienna where we ended up having 3 course lunch for 3 hours. They gave us a tasting of freshly made Spaghetti carbonara and I was speechless.

Grilled Osso Bucco(braised oxtail) for my main. Normally Osso Bucco is braised for several hours but this one was baked so I had to try. The black paste you see under the meat is a type of olive which gave this smoky flaour and it was a perfect match for the meat. I was looking for this olive all around Italy and finally find a bottle to bring back home.

My husband’s main dish was pigeon. You can see my husband impatiently waiting for me to take the photo so he can attack the dish.

 

And the dessert… Strawberries were in season so I decided to go with this dish. The strawberry puree was so sweet and fresh. My husband and I were fighting for the last drop.

Our new favourite dessert – you dunk the biscotti into the dessert wine for a few seconds and then bite off soggy part.

Have I mentioned that Italians are very similar to Koreans? They speak very passionately using both their hands in the air and they believe in close family relationships! By the way, we almost tried Korean food in Rome…

 

 

Enough about food, a few more shots around Cinque Terrra where we went for the wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

After suffering from a week of bad jetleg with sleepless nights, I am back and re-inspired to cook beautiful food and grow a  lot more tomatoes using all the seeds I bought in Italy. Watch this space!!! 🙂

Korea town – Sydney Australia

Korea town – Sydney Australia

I was back in Sydney visiting family and friends a few weeks ago and took some snap shots of an area that I grew up called Strathfield. My family moved to this area when we first moved from Korea. Strathfield has a lot of Koreans and therefore a lot of the shops cater to the Korean community. Sometimes, I felt I was in Korea rather than Australia.

I went to my favorite Korean restaurant at Strathfiled Plaza called Tomoya (Korean/Japanese) and had a lovely lunch with my family. The silken tofu soup wasn’t up to the usual standard according my father but my hot stone bibimbap with fish row was amazing!

While we were in Sydney, the weather was amazing. It was not too hot and we had an amazing clear blue sky every day except our final day. The weather turned completely and it was like being in winter so I was craving for a hot and spicy soup to warm me up. My brother recommended a restaurant tucked away in a sports club called “Red Pepper @ Strathfield”. They had an incredible kimchi jjige cooked with pork ribs and I also highly recommend the chilli fried chicken (yang nyum chicken). It was so crunch and spicy. I loved it…Drop by if you are around the area! 🙂

Red Pepper @ Strathfield restaurant

Address: 45 The Boulevard  Strathfield Sydney, Australia   Tel: +61-9746 7500

Korea town in Kuala Lumpur

Korea town in Kuala Lumpur

I really enjoy  discovering “Korea towns” in different cities when I travel and sharing my little discoveries with everyone through my blog. As I travel quite frequently, I am starting to see a big difference in various cities.

My last exploration was in Kuala Lumpur(KL), Malaysia. I used to live in KL 7 years ago and never noticed how many Korean restaurants or grocery store there were. According to my research, there are more than 20,000 Koreans living in KL so its only natural that a “Korea town” would pop up.

My adventure started with a 20 minute taxi ride from KL city  to an area called “Sri Hartamas”. If you only spoke Korean then you could survive in this suburb :-). There were at least two Korean supermarkets in the area, many Korean restaurants and countless hair dressers (Why are there so many hairdressers?? – Are we that vain that we need to look our best when we are grocery shopping?!).

My first pit stop was Seoul Mart. What I really liked about this Korean supermarket was that they had fresh vegetables and fruit directly from Korea.

You can see Korean zucchinis, mandarins and apples as well as Korean squid and frozen fish .

I was curious to find out what else this supermarket had so I tested them by asking if they had a cold medicine called “contact 600”. (This is a famous brand and works wonders  for a cold) To my surprise,  the grocer had some for sale on the counter. So with only a 1 hour flight or 5 hour coach ride from Singapore I can now get my Korea fix! They had everything except the Korean weather…..

I was getting a little hungry so the owner of the Seoul Mart pointed me to a restaurant upstairs from the grocery store called Daore. The name of the restaurant in Korean means “Come everyone”. Strange name for a restaurant but I guess it makes sense, right? 🙂

I ordered a hot stone bowl bibimbap (dol sot bibimbap – 돌솥 비빔밥) which is a perfect lunch dish when you need a lot of energy for exploring a city. Koreans usually have dol sot bibimbap in winter,. It’s normally too hot to have in Malaysia or Singapore but the aircon in the restaurant was strong enough to make me wish I had brought a scarf.

The meal was served with many delicious side dishes. I had to resist not to eat too much of these before the dol sot bibimbap arrived. The kimchi tasted and looked authentic, and the cabbage salad was amazingly refreshing.

After a nice lunch, I went further down the street and found a Korean rice cake shop. Yum – My favourite! But unfortunately they  had moved and no matter what  way I looked at the directions , I couldn’t find the new shop. Later I found out they have not yet opened at the new address.. 🙁  If you ever around the area and find it, drop by to check it out and let me know.

Around the block from the Seoul Mart, is another grocery stored called “Lotte Mart” and a number of other Korean run stores.

I will be back in KL again soon to do more shopping. I am also organising Korean cooking class in KL soon, so I will keep you posted. Hope to see you there soon! ^_^