Korean food is not exactly what springs to mind when you conjure up a list of foods you’d like to have for sungkai. It’s still quite foreign and exotic as compared to other more familiar ones like Japanese, Indian or Italian which we have practically adopted as one of our own.
What do I know about Korean food? I know kimchi, most definitely, and the barbecued meats, and the banchans or the side dishes. Well that’s pretty much it. What I do know is that the Korean ladies eat all this food and they have great skin! Since I very much believe in the philosophy of “we are what we eat”, here I am, in the nice woody interior of Pines Restaurant, hoping to get a taste of what makes Korean ladies all silky smooth.
Our first course was the tama roll kimbap, which is basically egg, with avocado, cucumber and grilled fish, possibly nigiri, inside. This was served with a variety of banchans, which I quite enjoy.
Badly captured kim chi
And some yummy leafy greens. I love the sesame-garlic-ginger dressing!
Yuri, the restaurant’s owner, approached us after we’ve settled in and introduced herself. Pretty lady in a cute little tudong, and a great smile. She is half Korean herself and as she spoke to us, she silently confirmed all suspicions I might have had about Koreans and pores. They have none. Skin is exactly like it is shown on TV.
As more food came from the cute trolley, Yuri patiently explained to us newbies what each dish was. As I went around my bites, I quickly understood that the banchans are supposed to be eaten together. I had the dumplings above, which tasted a bit bland, with the spicy sour kimchi. I had the delicious salad and dressing and added the anchovies in for a slightly salty tang. It’s all about mixing and matching different flavours together.
I love these crispy fried chicken wings! They were sweetish like honey glazed and tasted amaaazing! Definitely a recommended item at Pines.
These crispy seafood noodles are not exactly Korean, as Yuri explained. She tries to take in a mixture of cuisines as people are still trying to get into the groove of Korean food. I thought the noodles were quite lovely. But after eating the fried chicken, I surrendered the metal chopsticks and asked for a fork! Hehehe, they’re pretty hard to navigate with oily fingers!
The noodles were served with the above razor clams and giant mussels! Both tasted very nice. 😀 I love shellfish, of course!
Next course was a very interesting rice and stew dish. The soup in particular was extremely interesting. Now, I’m not a fan of kim chi but when it was very cold and raining outside, and the day was dark and gloomy approaching Maghrib, this steaming hot and sour soup felt very comforting! The stew had little chunks of kim chi and soft tofu pieces that went very well with the sticky rice. I quite enjoy this dish.
Barbecued meats! 😀 I love my meats, and these make me very happy!!! What you do is take a piece of lettuce, the stuff it in with either some short ribs, some bulgogi, or some lamb pieces. Then have some sauce and wrap all that yummy goodness inside the lettuce. CHOMP! Very delicious! The portion is quite generous and can be shared between two people all for the price of $4! The meats were extremely tender and just went floof! underneath your fork. I love love this. It also went very well with the kim chi stew.
Caramelized bananas and vanilla ice cream. Need I say more??????
Rice cake and dessicated coconut. Yummy! Reminds me of kuih koci.
Overall, this has been a pleasantly though surprisingly successful meal. 😀 Was quite scared of kim chi when I came in, but after this, I think it might just grow on me. Hmm…
Sungkai Buffet @ $14.99 (adult) & $3.99 (child) every Saturdays and Sundays
Call 242 5461/ 8996251