February 10, 2019
Subverting expectations, Super Boring Club resists living up to its humorous name; this is KL''s most exciting new eatery for fans of East Asian fare, combining a Korean barbecue with a Japanese izakaya, enhanced with contemporary flourishes that make the experience even more distinctive. Founded partly by two Malaysian chef-restaurateurs who have enlivened the local F&B landscape throughout the past decade, SBC could be three initials to remember.
Step into this Mesui shop-house to find a space transformed, with vibrant vibes that complement SBC's boundary-busting inclinations, fusing the vitality of Seoul with the verve of Tokyo, a Malaysian heritage charm with Melburnian laneway grunge.
True to that spirit, the menu bursts with playful flourishes - deep-fried lamb comes packed in a box that reveals savoury slices of moreish meat, buoyed by house-made garlic sauce, spicy bean sauce and kimchi, perfect for wrapping in green lettuce for a lip-smackingly balanced snack (RM26.80+). For folks who favour punchy Japanese-inspired starters, try SBC's takes on tori karaage, with crunchy-fried chicken powered by mustard garlic sauce (RM16.80+), and nasa dengaku, tenderly grilled stuffed eggplant spiked with the SBC kitchen's own miso sauce (RM16.80+), showcasing this region's umami-rich equivalent of tapas.
Korean BBQ with a difference: With zesty, robust marinades that elevate each protein, SBC's meat and seafood are a cut above; while the restaurant is pork-free, it serves char-siew-inspired lamb with a rich Hong Kong sweetness, as well as more conventional Korean-style lamb with a spicy kick.
The BBQ (available only in the evening) comprises something for everyone, from chicken with the uplift of ginger onion sauce to smoked duck with a depth of carnivorous flavour, the bovine succulence of Australian wagyu striploin to flank-steak and tongue selections, the ocean's bounty of baby octopus, prawns and whole squid to the earth's harvest of enoki mushrooms.
Each dish can be ordered on its own or on a combo platter (platters with a variety of proteins begin from RM58+). Hovering over the grills, suction vents work in special dual functions to keep the meal as smoke-free as possible. SBC's thoughtfulness extends to the choice of dips, carefully matched with each meat, from sesame oil to an apple-tinged yakiniku sauce, to even the juicy, mellow-mannered kimchi, which is exclusively prepared for SBC by a KL-based Korean matriarch in her eighties.
Even without the barbecue, SBC promises sufficient temptations for a complete lunch or dinner. We'll always order oden when we spy it on the menu, a soothing, steaming-hot taste of Japanese tradition with egg, konnyaku, tofu, radish and chikuwa fish cakes (RM22.80); if you prefer a cooler perk-me-up, the zaru-soba - cold buckwheat noodles with egg and dashi shoya soup (RM18.80) - is satisfying but still relatively light and simple to slurp up, reinforcing SBC's mission to offer 'fun dining.'
Soul-warming creations abound, from spicy Korean kimchi or bean-paste hotpots brimming with soups of squid, clams, prawns and tofu (RM22.80+) to baby octopus in a fiery lime dressing, brightened up by watermelon and mushrooms for an experimental-minded ensemble (RM16.80+). Douse the blaze with inventive ice cream furnished by local purveyor Forty Licks.
Cocktail devotees should check out SBC's repertoire too, reliant on Suntory whisky, Japanese sake and Korean shochu for its bases. From elegant potions embellished with edible flowers to young-at-heart concoctions that evoke root beer floats, umeshu with soda to sake with tangy yuzu, lychee or asam boi, these beautifully reviving beverages are designed for maximum delight.
Many thanks to Super Boring Club for this peek into its pleasures.
Super Boring Club
15, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2110-4919
Open Tues-Fri, 12pm-230pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat, 12pm-11pm; Sun, 12pm-10pm.
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