Korean barbecue restaurant Jang Won in Chennai just introduced a new seafood section
You haven’t truly enjoyed a barbecue until you try the Korean experience. The meats are more varied — think octopus to ox tongue. The cuts are juicier. The sauces are saltier. And if you’re lucky, like we were, you’ll even spot K-pop stars on a screen nearby — a fun distraction while the plumpest slice of pork belly we ever did see, crackles away on the grill. We’re at Jang Won in Kotturpuram. The 82-seater Korean barbecue specialty restaurant which opened last year, recently launched an elaborate seafood section on their menu, post-lockdown.
This includes a total of 16 options to choose from including scallops, smelt fish, crab sticks and generous, thick slabs of salmon. Owner A Vaseem, who is also the man behind Japanese spot, Hokkaido, at Alwarpet tells us that these are imported from as far as the US, Belgium, China and of course, Korea.
Quite the opposite of what our masala-loving South Indian taste buds are used to, there is no prior marination. Expect subtle but distinct flavours with a choice of three dips — spicy chilli, a blend of soya, green chilli, garlic and lemon and finally, Korean chilli paste.
Our favourites of the afternoon turn out to be the beef-wrapped asparagus and the delectable half shell scallops. The latter served with dollops on butter on the shell are finished in a single slurp and are hard to stop at one! Off the barbecue list, give the Yang Yum chicken a try. When it arrives at our table, it looks sort of like the East Asian version of American crumb-fried chicken. We dig into deep-fried chicken tossed in a sweet and and spicy chilli sauce. And it is finger-licking addictive.
If the rain is coming down outside, we recommend you opt for one of their warming noodle soup bowls. Our recommends are a toss-up between the Dak-galbi (with shredded chicken, potatoes, cabbage and a spicy chilli sauce) and Kimchi Jiggae (kimchi stew with tofu, veggies and rice). Since there is no dessert, we finish off instead with an impromptu karaoke session and end up belting out A Whole New World from the Aladdin soundtrack. A fitting song, given the carpet-sized spread of meats on display for us to barbecue. We would go so far as to call it ‘a magic carpet ride’.
Meal for two at INR 1,500 approx.