Saturday, October 03, 2015

A TASTE OF KOREA AT MIDO

'Mido' in Hangul means 'taste' and it's the true taste of Korea enterprising owner Joseph Lee aims to deliver when diners step into his restaurant. Mido's brick, mortar and timber fa├žade resembles that of a traditional hanok (Korean house). Step past the heavy set wooden doors and you'd find a charmingly rustic wood-clad interior -- a testament to Lee and his team's hard work and labour of love.




From the delicate paper lanterns and textured walls to faux windows and latticed partitions adorned with ‘tal’ or Korean masks, almost everything were designed and custom-built by hand for the restaurant.
Sturdy wooden bowls of Pumpkin Soup warmed us up while we perused the menu. The simple broth was thick without being gluey, its ethereal sweetness primed our palate for dishes with substance to come.
Apart from the customary Banchan (six types of Korean appetisers and side dishes), the conversation-stopper has to be Spicy Pork Skin (RM20) – a rare find comprising smooth, toothsome pork skin doused in a piquant gochujang sauce. The texture resembled that of brown sotong but acquired a distinctly different dimension when dipped into the side dish of roasted soya bean powder.
Regular K-food appetisers of Seafood Pancake (RM25) and Kimchi Pancake (RM25) are also available. The squid and prawn pancake made perfect pairing with Makkoli (RM28), traditional Korean rice wine. Somewhat zestier on the palate with a robust kick is the Kimchi Pancake, an agreeable combination of batter and fermented pickled cabbage. 
Fried twice and heavily seasoned, the Korean Fried Chicken Wings (RM25) in normal or spicy mode should hit the spot well as a crowd-pleasing opener. Each resto boasts its own marinades so it’s worth sampling the versions here just to ascertain if they can wing it with you.

Unlike other Korean barbecue restos which have protruding suction hoods hanging down from the ceiling, Mido has them tucked away underneath the dining tables. The modern contraption proved its prowess as smoke and cooking fumes were extracted silently from the table-top grills, ensuring by the time we departed the resto, none of us reeked like burnt barbecue!
The selection of meat is limited to five for the barbecue: Pork Collar (RM30 for 200gm), Marinated Chicken (RM28 for 200gm), Marinated Pork (RM33 for 200gm), Chili Paste Pork (RM33 for 200gm) and Marinated Beef Rib (RM65 for 280gm). According to Lee, the meats are aged in sealed, vacuum-packed bags to retain moisture, develop deeper flavour and ensure juicy tenderness upon hitting the grill.
Photo courtesy of Chasingfooddreams
Once you have decided on your choice of meat, staffers will grill everything up for you. But if you prefer a hands-on experience, that’s doable too. Derive better enjoyment of the meaty offerings by wrapping them up in fresh lettuce leaves smeared with Mido’s house dips: basil, sesame oil with salt, ssamjang, or peanut.
My fave dish at Mido has to be the sweetish Bulgogi Casserole (RM48), a popular speciality representative of K-cuisine. Laden with assorted vegetables, the thinly sliced beef in sweet soya sauce broth was utterly sublime.
On the tangy, zesty spectrum is Tofu Kimchi Casserole (RM45). While some of the ingredients may be similar to bulgogi, the broth is subtly perked up by the inclusion of pickled cabbage or kimchi. Thick slices of smooth beancurd tempered the equation. Personally, I hanker for a more assertive broth but others may find it up to par.
Seafood and fresh tofu combine to give the house Doenjang Soup (RM22) additional textural interest and umami-richness. Best suited for those who relish savouring boldly flavourful soup for the soul.
Clay kimchi storage urns, stone slabs and traditional woven slippers decorate the outside of Mido
For less than the cost of a LCC ticket, Mido is worth a visit for those wanting to temper their Hallyu fever.

Call tel: 03-7865-9779 for reservations at MIDO KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANT, 11-G, Jalan SS2/64, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

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