[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
K-food, K-pop, K-drama and K-whatever, seriously we’ve already lost track when the K-wave hit our shores but we, for one, are happy about it, especially the increase in the number of authentic Korean restaurants gracing our Johor Bahru. At a time when many organisations are scaling back and abandoning expansion plans due to the less than rosy economic outlook, many Korean companies are forging ahead with the opening of new outlets in Malaysia, in particular, Johor Bahru.
With its headquarter in Myeongdong and one of the most popular fusion food restaurants in Seoul since 1981, TEUMSAE actually means “a narrow space between walls”. Despite its small space, there’s always a queue lining up around the place. Another interesting aspect there is we can leave any messages on the restaurant’s wall. Covered with thousands of testimonials written on slips of paper, it’s obvious this place is something special.
For those of us who have yet to visit TEUMSAE in Seoul, fret not as the brand has recently set up shop on the first floor of Sunway Citrine Hub in mid-January, its first overseas outlet outside of Korea which has made even the locals drool over.
With the staff in the restaurant seemingly Koreans, it really sets the mood when we hear them speaking their native language. Korean food, like other Asian cuisines, can be spicy to give our meals some kick, but fret not, these intimidating bright red sauce that comes with many of the authentic Korean dishes has been toned down for broader acceptance!
Initially, in the words of Lina who move to JB to assist her parents, the original recipes from Korea are preserved initially for the Korean community to reminisce the taste from home, but the real deal has proved to be too much for many locals to handle. After gathering feedback and tweaking the recipes for our Malaysian tastebuds, Teumsae now offers the best of both worlds, much to the natives Koreans and local community’s delight. The menu is pretty extensive, with 12 varieties of Gimbap and rice dishes alone, all served with different broths and toppings, Without further ado, we leave our food destiny in the good hands of Lina for a delightful culinary trip to Seoul and back!
MAGistrate 杂志大人 X Teumsae Korean Restaurant
It certainly takes some good…
It certainly takes some good culinary skills and great appetites for us to polish every plate that’s on the table here 🤣!
As is customary, we started our meal with a simple serving of banchan dishes comprising kimchi, pickled radish, black beans and braised potato, but we were given assurances by Lina that there would be more variety than the current four we just had for our next visit.
Ham Cheese Gimbap
We now start our meal proper with the Ham Cheese Gimbap (think sliced “Korean sushi”) with a generous filling of ham, cheese, egg, carrots, pickled radish, cucumber and burdock root which are well-seasoned and complementing the strong sesame oil flavour very well. While the fillings tend to be aggressively seasoned, so it doesn’t need to be dipped into anything, consider dipping these rice-rolls into the spicy sauce as the Koreans do for a more robust flavour. Next, We decided to get their two best-sellers.
Spicy Rice Cake & Spicy Seafood Ramen
On the occasion when we catch a Korean drama we would have salivated watching our favourite actors feast on tteokbokki, and now it’s our turn to tuck into some Spicy Rice Cake ourselves, culminating in a fiery burst of flavour with each bite. Even for someone who loves spicy food like us, we have to admit the Spicy Seafood Ramen still packs a punch. Brimming with seafood ingredients, the noodle was springy with a firm bite and paired well with the spicy broth that had a great depth of flavour. Fair warning though, our mouth won’t burn, and our eyes won’t water, but each spoonful of the broth was rich and hearty with an addictive slow burn.
Hot Stone Bibimbap
The all-too-familiar gochujang fragrance filled the air, making our mouths water, as we started mixing up our bowl of Hot Stone Bibimbap full of delicious ingredients such as sliced beef, mushrooms, carrots, seaweed, gochujang and a gooey egg. The egg yolk helped to hold the rice together, creating a delectable creamy texture, while the gentle spiciness allows us to taste the different ingredients in the dish. Good news for the non-meat eaters, the vegetarian version is also available upon request.
Our eyes instantly light up when we see Tonkatsu on the menu, and this Curry Tonkatsu was a joy. The curry is warm but yet not as heavy than their Japanese counterpart, while this breaded, deep-fried tonkatsu is also lighter than our average pork cutlet but still retains its crispy goodness, especially at the edges. What else can we say?
With the latest addition from Seoul adding more culinary flavours to the already diverse list of local and international restaurants, the 30-40 minutes drive to Sunway Citrine Hub is definitely worthwhile to try something new. So go on, try something hot and try to make it through some of the authentic spiciest Korean food you may ever eat. Good luck, you’re gonna need it. 😂
📍 1-15, First Floor, Citrine Hub, Persiaran Medini 3, Sunway Iskandar, 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor
📞 +607-585 7566
🕙 Daily from 11.00am – 8.30pm (Break: 2.30pm – 4.30pm)