Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant In Koreatown, Sri Hatamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


“You don’t have to do any cooking here”, said Simon as I was preparing to place slices of marinated beef on the grill, “in Malaysia, they do it for you unlike Singapore where you’d be slumming it.”

Smack in the middle of Sri Hartamas is Malaysia’s Koreatown. And inside Koreatown, Daorae was one of the “must-go” places during our annual makan tour in Malaysia.

Owned by a Korean from Korea, Daorae is 3 whole floors of good BBQ eating. The service staff don’t speak much English as they are Nepalese, so you expect a level of service that is quite exceptional in terms of speed, efficiency and speed (two times because they are twice as fast). Ordering is a breeze because a) Jeff and Simon are regulars and b) the menu is well-suited to the point-and-order system popularized by Bruce Lee.

Do ask for recommendations. ๐Ÿ™‚


One of the more difficult Korean culinary arts to master is their version of chopsticks. These are flat pieces of metal which look like leftover shards of Narsil from the forging of Andรบril, only less dramatic and with the absence of elves. It was difficult to use, so much so that even veteran chopstick users can’t help but notice the service staff used BBQ tongs.

Chopstick control conundrums aside, dinner started with an array of Hanchan (starters) which included a deceptively mild-looking beef and cabbage soup that was spiced up with pickled green chilis which woke up the palate just in time for the Yuk Hei.

Yuk Hei (Raw Beef with Pear)

Yuk Hei is raw beef with pear. Well spiced, deliciously cold and sweet yet surprisingly light on the tongue, I’d take this over the heavy Beef Tartare any day.

Other non-BBQ, non-pickled items we ordered included the obligatory Bibimbap which I can’t remember if I liked but I do remember that the Pak Jyun, a sort of pancake filled with seafood, was crispy and amazingly delicious especially with the special soyu, chilli and bean paste. It was so good, we ordered it twice.

Pak Jyun (Korean seafood pancake)

And then there was the grilled meats. As a start, we decided not to waste time and proceeded to order everything from their “premium” beef range. Yes, we didn’t bother with other species too. After one (or was it two?) rounds, we did repeat orders of what we liked.

Actually I liked everything. Even the way to eat the meat where you place the beef in a piece of cabbage, top it with a clove of grilled garlic, wrap, dip into the delicious spicy bean sauce and munch away. But if I really have to give a suggestion, I would recommend the Short Ribs and the Wagyu.


There was one minor discomfort which I must confess: I am not used to people doing the grilling at a BBQ. This is because I like to cook and I really like grilling. So relinquishing grilling duties was a little difficult at first but I managed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterall, the service staff were experts at the grill and the meats came out tasty.


Feeling stuffed and very comfortable from the grill, we started flipping through the menu again. We weren’t quite hungry for dessert but somehow, we still felt a little peckish. This was when Jeff suggested we try the Nyang Mun.

This is basically a cold Soba with a pear salad in a light Vinagrette broth and hot mustard. It was outstandingly good. Al dente Soba refreshingly flavorful broth spiced up with a generous dab of Colman’s.

We left Daorae fully satisfied, sated and just right for a late-night Koreatown grocery shopping and a spot of bar-hopping.

Nyang Mun (Cold Soba & Pear Salad With A Light Vinagrette & Hot Mustard)

Daorae is a very popular restaurant where reservations are a must. In fact, it is one of Umami’s favorite places in KL, it was so popular that she went there twice in a week on one of her visits.

And no wonder because the food is good, plentiful and cheap. You can’t beat the friendly and speedy service. Very definitely a place to go back to.

Daorae is at No. 9, First Floor, Plaza Crysta Ville Center, Jalan 23/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas 50480, Koreatown, KL, Tel. +60 03-6203-2616.


Posted on 6th Nov 2009 in Food and Drink, Korean, Makankaki, Malaysia


There Are 2 Comments


xiix commented on November 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

Hi Ivan,

Is there an ‘opt out’ portion to this restaurant and cook for oneself?


ivan commented on November 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Hi! Yes, you can but after a while, it was easier to let them do the cooking since they are more familiar and do a good job.

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