[Non-halal] You don’t need to take a train to Busan to enjoy 물냉면 Mul Naengmyeon. Lee Ga Korean Noodles Restaurant in Hartamas serves refreshing noodles in cold broth – a local specialty in Busan.
Apart from the cold noodles, Lee Ga also serves 국밥 Gukbap (cooked rice in hot soup) and 수육 Suyuk (boiled pork or beef).
And they are delicious! Read on to find out more.
Lee Ga Korean Noodles Restaurant
Sri Hartamas in KL is a haven filled with Korean restaurants thanks to a large Korean community living in the area.
In an area of plentiful K-BBQ joints, Lee Ga 함흥냉면 stands out as it specialises in Naengmyeon, Suyuk, and Gukbap – Korean dishes that are not commonly found in KL.
We arrived at 6 pm on a Sunday evening to find most of the tables occupied (spotted some Korean families too) – which bears testament to its authenticity.
Lee Ga offers cold noodles in different broths
We found the menu here to be limited and quite specialised.
Lee Ga’s handmade cold noodles can be enjoyed in a number of cold broths such as Bibim Naengmyeon (spicy soup), Mul Naengmyeon (soup made with radish kimchi and beef stock), and Hoe Naengmyeon (cold noodles served with raw stingray).
Besides the traditional Naengmyeon noodles made with potato/sweet potato starch, Lee Ga also offers buckwheat noodles (popular in Pyongyang, it seems) and udon.
Mul Naengmyeon is refreshing
As it was our first time trying the dish – we opted for the most traditional and basic cold noodles dish – 물냉면 Mul Naengmyeon (RM22).
This dish comprises noodles served with sliced cucumber, radish and half a boiled egg in a radish kimchi and beef stock.
First, let’s talk noodles.
Made using potato/sweet potato starch, the noodles had a nice bouncy and chewy texture. It is similar to glass noodles, but chewier and starchier.
The noodles were perfect for the cold broth – which Ming enjoyed as it had a nice combination of tangy, savoury and sweetness. The cucumber slices were wonderfully crisp too. Max, on the other hand, found the broth a little too tangy for his liking.
Among the rice in soup dishes, we opted for the 소고기국밥Sogogi Gukbap (RM28) – which is beef and vegetables in soup.
Irrespective of the cuisine, any rice in a hot soup dish is bound to be comfort food. And this is no exception.
Served in the traditional Korean earthen pot, we find the soup to be mildly spicy and savoury, thanks to the gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) and gukganjang (soup soy sauce) as the base.
It reminded us a bit of Sundubu-jjigae, but less spicy and salty.
The dish is served with a side of 새우젓 Sau-Jeot – a fermented shrimp condiment that is similar to the Peranakan cincalok.
We found that the briny saltiness of the Sau-jeot really accentuated the flavours of the soup even though we only added a tiny spoonful in.
The chunky beef brisket in the soup was also surprisingly tender and flavourful.
We like that the rice is served separately. To enjoy the dish, simply stir the sau-jeot into the soup and dunk in the rice.
We ordered our Naengmyeon with 돼지 수육 Dwaeji Suyuk as a set (RM42).
Suyuk is literally pork belly (yuk) boiled in hot water (su) – which might sound incredibly boring, but it tasted better than it looks.
Our plate of Dwaeji Suyuk comprises sliced pork belly, and offals such as pig maw and ears.
On its own, we found the pork to be lightly seasoned as they are usually cooked in a form of broth to remove any smelly, porky taste.
Hence, we found the meat to be fresh-tasting. However, the best way to enjoy the dish is to pair it with kimchi or sau-jeot.
Overall, we really enjoyed these unique Korean dishes as an alternative to the usual Korean stew dishes and K-BBQ fare.
Do note that prices for these dishes are a little on the high side compared to say, having a bowl of beef doenjang-jjigae at a typical Korean restaurant with the free flow of side dishes that come with it.
We would like to return to try their Bibim Naengmyeon (spicy cold noodles), Beef Suyuk, and homemade Mandu (Korean dumplings) which were sold out that day.
Our meal came with complimentary cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi, which were great accompaniments to our main dishes.
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Lee Ga Korean Noodles Restaurant (함흥냉면)
Address: 34G, Jalan 27/70a, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 9.30am-3pm, 5pm-9pm Daily (Closed on Tuesdays)
Phone: 03-2856 2041