Bangalore restaurant reviews Expensive


Monday, October 08, 2012Me! In words

Kamanahalli area has always been good to us in terms of food - Aioli BBQ and Grill House, The Naga Kitchen, Appam Corner and Rewind (unfortunately I lost these photos and never put up the review) and so the expectations were a little high for Arirang. After one failed attempt at finding the place we finally landed at their doorstep one afternoon, nice and hungry. We ended up being the only Indians there throughout our meal and this happened on our second visit as well but not once did we feel awkward in any way... 

The grill at the table instantly meant that we were going to order something to put together at our table. We decided on the Samgyeopsal moksal with deonjang jjigae or in three words, grilled pork belly and the deal here at Arirang is that anything on the grill has to be a minimum of two portions when ordered. The basic pork belly comes with a lettuce leaves, garlic, sliced onions and mushrooms and then comes the traditionally large selection of banchan or side dishes. 

The grill at the table being prepped

Samgyeopsal moksal with deonjang jjigae - grilled pork belly

We were told that we had to chop up the pork belly with the scissors, place them on the grill, throw in the mushrooms and the onions and place the bowl of garlic on the grill directly so that the juices from it don't drip around. When the pork gets nice and crisp, you pull it out, wrap it in the lettuce leaves with your choice of banchan and munch away. 

We also decided to have some tuna kimbap while we were grilling. More to scratch the sushi itch we always have. Its not the same deal, but something is better than nothing... And this plateful was really nice. In fact Anoushka too had some and loved it.

Tuna Kimbap

There were a lot of the banchan and many of them were completely new to me and different from our earlier Korean experiences at Soo Ra Sang and Hae Kum Gang.

Sesame leaves and pickled radish

I just loved the color on this green radish

Kimchi and slices of omelette tossed in Korean garnishing

This was an egg white scramble in a sizzler dish 
topped off with some shredded veggies

Another sizzler platter with sweet corn kernels
being the main ingredient

The first time round we ordered a squid dish, Ojingep deobap, that came with rice on the side for Anoushka. Its not as fiery as it looks and is loaded with veggies as well as squid in gochujang paste. Little one decided though that it would be just squid bits and plain rice for her and she loved the pork belly as well.

Ojingep deobap - squid and sticky rice

On our second visit, we were started off on cold pumpkin soup. This was literally a puree of pumpkin and in my opinion an acquired taste. I could not get through all of my portion since I don't like grainy feeling cold soups. But that's just me.

The banchan this time round were different with salads and variations of radish being included. There was also tempura and silken tofu, which made this second experience all the more different and interesting.

Banchan on the second visit

Veggie tempura

A fresh salad with a dressing I can't fathom,
but which was tangy

Sundubu - silken tofu - it is as creamy as it looks and rather bland which looking at the dressing you may not expect. Again for me it took two bites to actually start appreciating it but it does make a very interesting addition to the meal. 

Pa Jun was also one of the banchan - this thin pancake with shredded veggies in it. Anoushka used to make a meal out of this at Soo Ra Sang when she was much smaller. 

Nakji bokkeum or stir fried octopus

I had my eye on the Nakji bokkeum or stir fried octopus with gochujang paste and rice. And I thoroughly loved this one. This time round the spice was not toned down as it was done for the earlier squid dish that we got for Anoushka, so it packed quite a punch, but in a lovely way. The bites of octopus are plenty and very discernible. Its not really a traditional gravy kind of dish that you would expect and the rice can still be a bit dry when you eat it with the octopus, but you do need the rice to help tone the spice levels a bit.  

Beef bibimbap

Sudhakar was keen on the beef bibimbap and that is what he had. As with any bibimbap, this was a complete dish in itself, lots of crunch from the veggies and also a bowl that I stole from him, half way through my octopus. Every meal ends with a serving of cold cinnamon tea. You also get starch based water on the table though you can ask for regular. But when you are here you might as well go all the way.

Cinnamon tea

Both times the owners of the place were kind enough to take the trouble and explain the dishes and the way to eat them, despite not being very fluent with the language. Bowls are cleared and glasses are topped up constantly despite a full house (on both occasions). The first time round our bill came to around Rs 2000 and the second time a little lesser. But I felt we completely got our money's worth. The toilet is nice and clean.

Address: 3, NK Enclave Building, Near Chinappa Layout, Opp Himalaya Drug store, 4th Cross Kamanahalli, Bangalore. 
Phone: 41732581
Cuisine: Korean
Wallet factor: Rs 1300 for 2
Parking: Nothing exclusive . Can be a little tough

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