Ashoknagar Bangalore restaurant reviews

Hae Kum Gang

Monday, October 18, 2010Me! In words

I have this list of restaurants that I would like for us to visit. Hae Kum Gang, the Korean place has been on it for a very long time. But for some reason I always hesitated... I really don't know why... I have loved the food at Soo Ra Sang each time I have gone there and did not want for it to spoiled in any way. When we went to Jin's Hut, now rechristened Oriental Hut, I was satisfied enough considering it was a really tiny joint and did justice to its offerings. It was some silly mind block that kept me away from Hae Kum Gang. Till one day, Sudhakar decided for us and we just headed there. Good or bad, we were going to try out the place.

Hae Kum Gang is on Castle Street right above the new Plan B. Parking can be a bit difficult, but early on a Sunday afternoon it was not too difficult. Once in, the restaurant is pretty large with dividers separating seating areas. The seats are heavy wooden cushioned ornate kinds and the decor has a blue Oriental touch. The menu handed to us was huge and heavy. It had several dishes I hadn't seen on the Soo Ra Sang menu and more. Most of the dishes had photographs to go with it so you know what you are asking for. If the English descriptions are not enough for you, the staff know their menu enough to help you out.

Kids will love this element of decor 

We started off with tuna kimbab. Tuna, sticky rice wrapped in seaweed. I love it the best in Soo Ra Sang. In Oriental Hut I liked it the quantity, though the fact they used canned tuna did not go down so well. Here in Hae Kum Gang, they used fresh flakes of tuna. The size of each piece of decent, though popping these in my mouth was a little difficult. It was served with a soya-vinegar sauce on the side. 

Tuna Kimbab

As a another starter we had the Beef Wanja. These were patties made of ground beef and some typically oriental spices which I can't name. Despite beef being of a slightly rubbery nature, these were soft and tender and really tasty.

Beef Wanja

Sudhakar and I took a really long time to decide on our main courses. He wanted something in pork and I wanted to have something in pork or squid. After a lot of deliberation we ended up selecting two dishes from the same style - Chul Pan Gui - here the main course is tossed in its respective sauces and served on a round flat sizzler plate. Along with this, you get a bowl of sticky rice and a soup to go with it along with all the Banchan (side dishes). While we were deciding on this we shared an ice tea which was just about average. 

Ice tea

So Sudhakar had a Chul Pan Gui set called Je-Yuk or Pork. I had a dish called O-Sam which was a combination of both the things I felt like eating, pork and squid. First came the Banchan. There was kimchi, pickled radish, boiled spinach, spiced baby potatoes and boiled red kidney beans. This was followed by our respective dishes. Sudhakar felt his was a little dry in terms of preparation. It was slivers of pork tossed in spices and some spring onion. Mine on the other hand was a bit more juicy, came with some peppers. Both main courses were placed on a bed of cabbage.

The Banchan

Chul Pan Gui set - Je Yuk (Pork)

Chul Pan Gui set - O Sam (Pork and Squid)

The sticky rice and soup served with it

Both these meals are big and you need to come with a huge appetite. After we began we realized that we should have ordered one, shared it and then decided on something else if we were still hungry. Once we were done with these meals, we were served a dessert that comes as part of set. This was a pleasant cold fruit salad of papaya, watermelon and pineapple in a mix of their juices. 

Fruit Salad

And finally, to soothe our stuffed tummies we decided to have a Ginseng tea and a Jasmine tea. Though the menu mentioned that Jasmine tea was served by the pot, the staff were good enough to bring us a cup. The Ginseng tea is sweetened with a bowl of honey. The Jasmine tea you need to have as soon as it is served else, with the leaves at the bottom of the cup, it tends to turn bitter really soon. Both teas were really soothing. 

Jasmine tea loaded with leaves at the bottom

Ginseng tea with honey on the side

A meal at Hae Kum Gang is a pleasant experience. The staff are prompt and know their menu. This meal came to around Rs 1100. The loos are clean. Despite us going on a Sunday afternoon, the place was not crowded, but this in no way dampened the service. 

Address: 20, Paul Castle, Castle Street, Ashoknagar, Bangalore
Phone: 41127730
Cuisine: Korean
Cards Accepted: Yes 
Wallet factor: Rs 1100 for two
Parking: Nothing exclusive and weekends can be difficult

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