Mankwonwhabap @ Cheras Leisure Mall

April 23, 2018

By EDKL Writer A.A.

Straight out of Busan, barbecue specialist Mankwonwhabap has been brought into KL by a Korean family, setting up its first Malaysian outpost in Cheras Leisure Mall. The focus is on wholesome Korean food prepared through meticulous techniques, relying on premium meat roasted over kiln-baked charcoal, harmonised with deep-flavoured fermented sauces made in Korea.

The Kim family is passionate about these offerings, hoping that wider numbers of Malaysians will come to enjoy the essence of Korean cooking. The cornerstone of the menu is Whabap, a balanced meal in a bowl, featuring rice topped with meat and vegetables. There's also Ramyeon, Toppokki and Rappokki, available in a la carte orders or in sets with a lively Sutbull Chicken Breast Salad, umami-rich Udongdashi Soup and nutrition-loaded Buckwheat Tea. You can also add on rice, cheese or fried kimchi to these sets.

The meat is cooked in a visible kitchen for a dazzling display of fire, coaxing out the natural flavours of the protein while imbuing an aromatic smokiness to each slice. Pork and chicken are sourced from local farms, while quality beef is imported from the United States, chosen for its juiciness and purer taste.

Mankwonwhabap's Whabap showcases brown rice with a choice of three sauces - soy sauce, gochujang (red pepper paste), or bull sauce (extra spicy barbecue sauce) - layered with your pick of meat: Sutbull (charcoal-cooked) Chicken Bap (A La Carte RM 19.90/Set RM 29.90), Sutbull Bulgogi Bap (RM 26.90/Set RM 34.90), or Sutbull Samgyeop Bap (RM 19.90/Set RM 29.90).

The flavours of the meat prove mighty enjoyable, remaining juicy in every bite, well-infused with sultriness from the charcoal. It's a can't-fail combination, made completely satisfying with the rice and fresh vegetables.

Don't wait too long to bite into the Korean noodles, as the Ramyeon line is best eaten immediately on serving: Here we have two versions of the Sutbull Samgyeop Ramyeon, soupy noodles with tender pork belly (RM 18.90/Set RM 28.90). What differentiates the two is the broth - one a mild, clear-tasting vegetable soup, the other a spicy-sharp, red-hot soup.

If you are in the mood for something punchier and unmistakably Korean, try the range of Toppokki, which includes the Original of stir-fried rice cakes mixed with fish cakes, boiled egg in creamy gochujang-based sauce (RM 13.90/Set RM 24.90).

And finally, the Rappokki series combines both noodles and rice cakes. Cheese enthusiasts will want to check out the Cheese Rappokki, which is irresistibly stretchy, infusing an extra dimension of flavour and texture to the recipe (RM 21.80/Set RM 30.90).

All in all, Mankwonwhabap is a brand that we hope to see in more Malaysian malls in the years ahead. Many thanks to the team here for having us.

L1 46 &47, Cheras Leisure Mall, Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 10am-10pm. Tel: 017-613-3531

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