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Hwa Rang-Jung.....

Bulgogi & Kim-Chi

The Korean Barbecue is an unique thing. Always cooked on the table, but cooked on something that almost looks like an inverted hubcap! Underneath is a gas flame, and the pre-marinated meat is spread out across the top. Those nasty animal fats run down to the gutter around the outer rim, and almost make you think you are cholesterol safe!!

Most meats are pre-marinated in soy and/or a chilli mix. Korean food and chilli seem to go hand in glove. Not as eloquently as in Thai food, although with Korean food you can also eat many things that are chilli-free.

Chung Gi-Wa, just off the bypass at Blanjong, Sanur and it?fs sister restaurant, Hwa Rang-Jung in the Swiss Bel-Hotel at Nus Dua, are traditional Korean restaurants. As with most Asian food, it is usually best experienced with a small crowd. Four would be an ideal minimum. Anything less and it is difficult to get enough variation into what you are going to taste. One meat barbecue, a stir or deep-fried seafood and a vegetarian would be an ideal mix for a table of four persons.

At Chung Gi-Wa there are very pleasant outdoor table settings at the garden entrance to the building, either seated at chairs or on a traditional raised dais. Inside you share long communal tables, although you would always have your own table unless the place was very busy.

The most common, and popular, Korean Barbecue is Bulgogi [surprisingly shown as Bul Koki on the menu], thinly sliced, reasonably tender but full of taste, beef that has been pre-marinated in a soy solution. It is cooked at the table, by the waitress, and is preceded by a bowl of broth [tofu and vegies], a small steel dish of boiled rice, and six side dishes and a serve of chilli paste. The side dishes are led by the famous Kim-Chi [cabbage leaves soaked in chilli?c?cnice and fiery!] and a half hot green beans in chilli, plus non-hot vegie patties, julienne of potato, green beans and tofu, and Indonesian Bayam. The side dishes are all partaken with the barbecued meat that you lift off, when cooked, with your pair of unusual thin steel chopsticks!

Other table-cooked barbecues you could order include Dengsim Kui [strips of beef sirloin], Samkepsal [slabs of pork back bacon], or Kalbi Kui [beef ribs, small pieces of]. Surprisingly there is no chicken barbecue, normally one of my favourites [the sweetness of chicken is a perfect foil for chilli], and I would have thought a special for Bali!

There are only a few seafood dishes but they are very good. Whole fish, Sengsun Kui, is grilled or deep fried as in Thailand, with the skin finishing all crunchy and then covered with a julienne of vegetables, peppers, and chilli. The other seafood dish is Ojingeh Bokem, fried squid and vegetables in a hot spicy sauce.

One of the most interesting dishes to share is Modeumjeon. This is a mixture of sticky rice and shredded vegetables coated in egg to form a flat round shape. It is cut into small sections and is dipped in a soy-based sauce. It is usually served almost cold. Sometimes referred to, even though a very poor translation, as Korean Pizza. More like a Korean Omelette for me!

There are other dishes to try, some of which may even be suitable for lone dining. These include Chab Che [fried noodles with either vegetables or beef], Naengmion [cold buckwheat vermicelli noodles], or Yukae Jang [a soup of hot shredded beef]. Samgyetang is a refreshing soup made from young chicken, with ginseng and fruits added whilst Kogkea Tang is a sea crab broth, and Hemul Tang is one with mixed seafood, or Bibimbap [boiled rice mixed with beef and vegetables in a spicy red pepper paste].

If going in a large group, say eight or more, there is also available [by pre-ordering] real Suckling Pig. Normally at a cost of Rp. 300,000, the flesh is as tender as you would imagine, but nothing compares with the way the Spanish do it!

The drink list is very basic, but here you have come to eat!

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QUICK REVIEW
Hwa Rang-Jung
Address:
Swiss Bel-hotel Bali Aga,
Nusa Dua.
Phone:
776.688 ext. 275
Open:
Lunch & dinner.
Bookings:
Advisable
Parking:
Secure, in hotel grounds.
Price:
Rp. 120,000 for 2 [+ drinks]
Credit Cards:
- Amex
- BCA
- JCB
- MC
- Visa
Food:
Korean, including traditional barbecue.
Wine:
Very limited.
Service:
Efficient
Atmosphere:
Small room.
Overall:
An interesting experience!
Last Reviewed:
April, 2001.
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