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Sae Ma Eul BBQ, Solaris Mont Kiara

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Korean BBQ craving

Most people, when asked about foods they crave can tell you a couple of items without hesitation. I’m like that. My list of comfort food include fried chicken, curry laksa, pasta carbonara and kimchi jjigae, and the cravings kick in when I’m anxious or highly stressed.

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Casual dining concept

I had incessant cravings for Korean food – particularly kimchi jjigae – the last two weeks and despite getting my fix at home, it still wasn’t enough. So that prompted rif to take me for a Korean meal at Sae Ma Eul in Solaris Mont Kiara. The restaurant occupies the corner lot on Jalan Solaris 4 and is packed with patrons tucking into slivers of barbequed meats.

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Dipping sauces

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Lettuce, green chillies and garlic

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Ban chan

Tables are placed a little too close for comfort; we were seated next to a group of girls whom I found boorish especially when one of them started comparing my false eyelashes to hers. Not that I gave a damn, since I was busy tucking into the yummy meats but still, manners ladies! 🙄

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BBQ Set: Pork belly, pork shoulder and baby octopus

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Baby octopus

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Spicy Rice Ball

We shared a BBQ set (RM55) which comprised pork belly, pork shoulder and marinated baby octopus, a spicy rice ball (RM20) and kimchi jjigae (RM13). Ideally, this would be good for 3 pax but we managed. I felt like a rice ball after the meal hahaha!

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Prepping the grill

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Meats on the grill

The concept is more casual compared to the many Korean restaurants I’ve visited in the past – you get to be more hands on (literally) with your food. The rice ball dish comes with a pair of gloves for you to mix and mould the rice. You grill your meats and the staff will assist whenever they can, or if they deem you incapable of manning the grill.

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It’s mostly DIY, but the staff will help you occasionally. Or when they notice you’re hopeless at grilling…

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Cut up and ready to eat

I enjoyed the experience. The pork belly and shoulder were tender, with tasty charred bits around the sides. This went well with the dipping sauces provided. Also good was the baby octopus, marinated with gochujang for a spicy-sweet flavour. Texture was amazingly tender – each bite was slightly crunchy because of the hot grill.

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Put on the gloves provided

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And mix it all up!

We loved the rice ball, mixed with seaweed, meat, chilli paste and chilli flakes. It was fun to make and good to eat, especially after grilling. The end result was a crisp, slightly charred crust and a piping hot centre.

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Shape the rice into small balls

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Then place it on the grill to give it a nice crust

I didn’t like the kimchi jjigae. It wasn’t spicy or sour enough and the kimchi wasn’t pungent. Not something you should come here for but it’s no harm ordering if you’re having your grilled meats. Our bill came up to RM88 for the above (payments via credit card will be charged an additional 6%). For the amount of food, it was decent value for money.

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Kimchi Jjigae

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Ambiance: 6/10
Price: 6.5/10
Food: 7.5/10 (non halal)
Verdict: Food is pretty good but expect to walk out smelling like grilled meats.

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Sae Ma Eul BBQ

Sae Ma Eul BBQ
No.1, GF 1-1, 1-2, 1-3,
Jalan Solaris 4,
Solaris Mont Kiara,
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 016-209 2100
Business hour: 3pm to 2am

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