Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Korean (K)omeback


TO THE VETERANS of Riyadh, everybody knows Korean Palace like we know Batha. It's one of the oldest restaurant establishments that I can remember as a child and also one of the most patronized. Their restaurant was once long-situated along Fahad Road, a prominent position that you wouldn't miss. But a year or two ago, the signs went off and there was no ha? or ho? (or in this case, an An-yong-ha-se-yo) to be heard about the place. Rumor went around that the place was undergoing renovation, which patrons like my family, were happy to hear (since the place was old and in obvious need of a re-do). But after months and months of gazing over that side of the road to see if they've re-opened, our hearts always sank with wonder. Where did our beloved Korean Palace go?

Alas, one day while driving through the city, my uncle said that he had spotted a huge sign with the words "Korean Palace" by Takhasoussi Rd (along Euromarche) and wondered if it was the same place we used to go to. We followed his directions and sought the place out ourselves and even though it didn't seem open just yet, we persisted to ask around one of the guys who seem to be working on the area and he said that they would be opening next week. Sweet! 

Since then, me and my entire family have been flocking to "KP" - mostly because of their super famous and super delicious, eat-all-you-can buffet which usually happens every Thursday after the 6pm prayer time.

BUT, before I bombard you with the buffet photos, let me feature to you first to some of their best meals. Just the other night, my mom and I couldn't resist going over there to have their food even though it wasn't a "Buffet-Thursday". 

Let's start with...

Drumroll please...

APPETIZERS+SIDE DISHES

What I utterly love about Korean food (apart from the spicy-ness of it all) are their vegetable servings and their attention to side dishes. There's a vast selection of side dishes, ALL the time. I mean, you can start munching on them and slowly get full even though the main course hasn't arrived yet. Here are some favorites:

You can't say you've eaten Korean food if you haven't had Kimchi.

Pickled cucumbers.

Bean sprouts with garlic and chilli

Steamed squash with sesame seeds.

There's fresh lettuce too, which you dip in the red sauce on the left.

If you're a vegetable lover like me, you will enjoy these little plates of goodness. There are fresh ones like the lettuce but I did find the dip for it too salty for my taste (it tasted a little close to what bagoong is for Filipinos). The kimchi will be a delight to spicy food lovers and the squash and bean sprouts would be the safe choice for those a less adventurous taste buds. 

SOUPS+STARTERS

Jjampong Noodle Soup, good for four.



Spring Rolls (Meat)

Jjampong is a popular Korean noodle soup made with stock, seafood, and noodles, which can be made spicy or non-spicy. What is special about KP's Jjampong is the noodles - which are made in-house and can't be purchased commercially (at least that's what the waiter told me). But I did believe him after tasting it because it surely didn't remind me of those packed noodles we usually get in the grocery. If you do order this, take note that it's a lot and it's good for at most, 4 people. It has clams, shrimps, squid, mushrooms, bell pepper, carrots, zucchini and spring onions. As for the spring rolls, they were okay (nothing really special there), but I do suggest better presentation of the dish. 

MAIN COURSE


Korean Barbeque Chops
 

Assorted Sushi (special request for tuna+salmon only)

Fried rice

Minty iced tea!


I have nothing but praise for their Korean Barbeque lamb which was the supreme opposite of how I expect to taste lamb. For me, it was sooo well-marinated and well-cooked that I could have easily mistaken it to be beef or pork. It was thin enough to be tasty and tender enough to almost melt in your mouth. It's was the kind of grilled meat that wouldn't leave you too heavy or full and I would highly recommend that dish! 

Then there's their Assorted Sushi, which we had customized to only have salmon and tuna. The glory in this one would be in their rice preparation because it was sweet and soft enough to taste like "suman" in Filipino food. Coupled with the slice of fresh fish and wasabi, mm-mm-MHMM is all I can say.

The Fried Rice would be, in my opinion, a little bit of a fail. First of all, they happened to serve it late (while the main course was already served) and I found it too packed with peas and carrots and ham and eggs and spring onions that I hardly identified the rice in my mouth. Maybe for next time, I'll stick to the plain rice instead.

AND TO TOP IT OFF:


Kiat Kiat

We were so full after the main course that we didn't bother ordering dessert anymore. They did however served us this little, tiny, cutesy orange called "Kiat Kiat", which they say will clean our palate of all the spicy food we ate.


There were three of us that night and for the entire meal+drinks that we had was at around 295SR - not bad for an intended dinner night out. We still had a lot to take home too, so that only goes to show that their servings are generous.:)

--

Now, onto their Thursday buffet....

The following photos were from the first buffet they had after they had opened. They charge 130SR per plate (drinks not included) and you can fill yourself up til you surrender. I believe they have a special rates for kids too. Oh, and btw, leftovers are not allowed.

Feast your eyes on these! 

Crab and Corn and Hot and Sour Soup

Pickled veggies up for the picking!

Who wants to join a Kimchi-eating contest with me? :D

Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

Sushi Selection

Sashimi Selection

Maki Rolls

Beef Bihon Noodles

Grilled beef strips in oyster sauce

Chopsuey

There are many more dishes that you can find during Buffet Thursdays. If you do have any questions, ring the resto up and trust that the Korean Manager will gladly answer your questions. Here's the info:





So judging from the pics, aren't we glad Korean Palace is back? I know I am. For the uninitiated, give it a try...it is Thursday tomorrow anyway. Other than that, my only advice is this: wear loose pants. ;)


Happy weekend everyone!



xoxo,
Eyecandy

6 had something to say:

Anonymous said...

How much? is it worth the money? do they have buffet?

Anonymous said...

The food in general remains good. However, after a recent regulation that disallow restaurants from charging 15% service charge, they almost doubled their prices now. The last we ate there (May 2012) I was shocked to find in our bill that the Korean glass noodles now cost SR60 per order (from SR40 before, or a 50% increase!). Also, service now has gone down, with waiting time for your order almost reaching an hour. We had to cancel some of our orders (and I overhead other tables beside us cancelling their orders as well)because we already waited almost an hour and they didn't serve them yet. We're not going back there anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

The food in general remains good. However, after a recent regulation that disallow restaurants from charging 15% service charge, they almost doubled their prices now. The last we ate there (May 2012) I was shocked to find in our bill that the Korean glass noodles now cost SR60 per order (from SR40 before, or a 50% increase!). Also, service now has gone down, with waiting time for your order almost reaching an hour. We had to cancel some of our orders (and I overhead other tables beside us cancelling their orders as well)because we already waited almost an hour and they didn't serve them yet. We're not going back there anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I always follow your posts on food and you hit the palate big time with Korean Palace. Me and my 4 friends went there for a dinner and the food was simply superb. It's our first time to go to a Korean restaurant and it added a new dimension to our food experience. Thank you to your blog. Korean Palace deserves many comebacks.

The Pink Tarha said...

^Anonymous: We're glad you enjoyed your food in Korean Palace. We're happier that you follow our food entries. Thank you very much! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi there! This month I want to celebrate my birthday in Korean Palace Restaurant. Is there family section has curtain that can handle 10 persons which we can comfortably remove our abayas? Thanks!

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