The place looks interesting, and although they don't have the mat and low table where you sit on the floor and eat, the menu seems totally authentic, and the food looked yummy (and eventually, it turned out to be yummy as well). I started off with a Ginseng tea that was served along with a cup of honey.
A good start! The tea smelled great, and I later added a little honey to it as well, and although I didn't add enough to make it taste of only honey, this enhanced the taste of the tea. Couldn't ask for more.
We then ordered a couple of appetisers before the mains. A beef wan ja was ordered, and although the descriptions aren't there on the menus, like all authentic far eastern cuisine restaurants, there were pictures on the menu, and this seemed like patties of minced beef with some kind of sauce. Didn't care what was in it coz it tasted fabulous!
As a few more people came in, we then ordered a couple of chicken fritters, which is akin to the local chicken lollipop.
The other appetiser we ordered was some kind of an egg pizza crossed with pancake kind of dish having sea food in it, called a haemul pajeon (pronounced pa-jun). Pajeon is a combo of 'pa', meaning scallions, and 'jeon', referring to the battered ingredients in the dish. A seafood pajeon is called haemul pajeon.
That done, we moved on to the main course. I was interested in having the bulgogi, which is korean beef barbecued with soya sauce, but upon looking at the menu, I was transfixed by everything else. We ordered 3 'sets' (meat in a deep dish, along with sticky rice and 6 accompanying bowls with other stuff) - beef, chicken, and pork, along with some sort of rice mixture with eggs and a beef noodles. Each 'set' consists of 6 small bowls with sweet potatoes, radish, spinach, brinjal (egg plant), kimchi, and tofu.
Apart from the above, we also ordered a Korean noodles with beef (which also had some sea food in it). The noodles were a first for me - not the usual chow mien you have the Chinese restaurants, this was a lot thicker, and were almost cylindrical or something. And it was fun eating with chop sticks. The Korean chop sticks are flat, unlike the Chinese or Japanese chop sticks, which are cuboid, tapering down into a cylindrical shape.
All the 'sets' that we ordered were great - the beef was extremely soft and tasty, and the chicken and pork were yummy. I loved the pork the best, with beef and chicken tied at a close second.
The rice and egg thingy too was pretty good, and it was nice to finally have something from the far east that did not have MSG in it :)
Compared to the rest of the food, the soup that came along with the 'sets' that we ordered (or were they separate?) were a bit flat, as in, the other dishes had raised the bar so high, the kimchi-like soup was OK.
To wrap things up, the fruit salad bowl was the perfect ending to our meal.
Service - Prompt, helpful
Food - Fantastic
$$$ - Larger the group, lower you pay. The 9 of us paid 300 each including tips
Verdict - Certainly a place to visit
Extra Info - Finding parking on Castle may pose a problem, so try to park somewhere else
Hae Kum Gang, #20, Castle Street, Off Brigade Road, Ashok Nagar, Bangalore. Phone: 41127730, 41127732