The quaint comfortable terrace setting of Soo Ra Sang on Wind Tunnel Road Photographer: Sahar Adil
Situated away from the hustle bustle of the city, in a quiet part of Wind Tunnel Road or Murugeshpalya; overlooking not just green foliage but also the runway to the erstwhile Bangalore Airport; on the 4th floor, SOO RA SANG is a quaint, clean, comfortable restaurant offering healthy authentic Korean food.
The name SOO RA SANG comes from the Korean phrase ‘Food fit for a King’, and it is indeed true to its name. A wide spread meal, that has a startling variety, with good portions and is also very well priced. Run by the YONG family, the matriarch Yong, cooks the meals herself, with emphasis on simplicity and attention to detail in the food preparation.
Jeong or rice and vegetable pancake served as a complimentary appetizer Photograph: Sahar Adil
The interesting part of Korean cuisine is that there is no real concept of appetizers, main course etc. At first when you order, you’re served a complimentary pancake or the Jeong that is accompanied with your main order. When you order one specific dish (per person), it comes with 10 – 12 small side dishes! These are mostly vegetarian side dishes that are more like accompaniments to the main meal. Comprising of pickled radish, and pickled lettuce, which is typically Korean; the pickled condiments are called ‘Kimchi’ or more traditionally ‘Kak Tugi’.
The relish or side dishes that are about 12 dishes served with every order Photograph: Sahar Adil
Other side dishes include 2-3 different kinds of sea weed, one boiled, the other spiced and deep-fried. Then there are greens, potatoes, bean sprouts, and soya beans, radish leaves, mixed tomatoes with macaroni, French beans and eggplant. They are well prepared in different ways, sautéed with spices, or boiled with seasoning and sesame seeds.Our meal consisted of a soup and three main dishes, which was already a big order for two people. We ordered ‘Dak Kas’ or Kimchi soup, this was a very typical Korean soup, and made from the Kimchi pickled Lettuce. The soup was clear, spicy and sour. Served hot, it was delicious but could be spicy for people not used to pungent flavours.
Then our main dishes were Bul Kalbee – a beef fillet and Dak Kalbee, a chicken breast fillet, both pre-marinated in soya, garlic and pepper. The appealing thing about these dishes was that, it was cooked right in front of us at our table. Placed on a hot plate grill, the fillets were cooked with thinly slices of potatoes and whole garlic cloves.
Dak Kas or Kimchi Soup very strong but flavourful Photograph: Sahar Adil
The fillets had their own distinct flavours, the beef was tender, and chicken too was not too dry. This was accompanied by a big bowl of salad and a sauce as dip. The dip was a pleasant mix of chilli, soya, french onions and onions leaves.
These two dishes are made basically in essence of a typical Korean style of barbecue. Healthy and very wholesome, these two dishes paired with our unlimited side dishes made the meal complete.
Next up, was the Chicken cutlets served with sticky rice and vegetables. The chicken breast was deep-fried with breadcrumbs, was not too oily and crisped to perfection. The dip that came for the chicken breast cutlets was a very good sweet sauce made from tomatoes, butter, and carrots.
Bul Kalbee – a beef fillet & Dak Kalbee, a chicken breast fillet, pre-marinated in soya, garlic and pepper. grilled at our table Photograph: Sahar Adil
Soo Ra Sang’s other specialties that are highly recommended are the ‘Bull Gogi’ – a spicy marinated beef fry and the ‘Dol Soth Bee Bim Bob’- a stone pot rice that’s comes stewed in vegetable and chicken mince.
Famous also for its pork dishes, the Je Yuk Bokkum (Red Chili Pork) and the Deji Bull Gogi (Green Chili and Soya Pork) are popular with the expat clientele, especially the Japanese.
Although the restaurant serves mostly non-vegetarian food, the owner Yong, is very particular about her vegetarian clientèle. She especially makes sure to keep the spoons, cutting boards, and cooking vessels separate for the vegetarians. The place is also a treat for vegetarians who want to experiment, with a range of vegetables in different forms, flavors and textures.
The restaurant overall has great food, but we would also recommend this place for a well priced, healthy meal. The head chef/ owner Yong, painstakingly imports directly from Korea for products required in the dishes that are unavailable here.
Keeping up with one surprise after the other with the food, we also learnt that the restaurant on the rooftop is housed above serviced apartments that are owned by the same family running the restaurant.
The facility includes 17 rooms, ranging from single rooms to double and deluxe suites. Complete with fridge, microwave, T.V and Internet - the rooms looked clean and very comfortable. Prices from Rs 1500 onwards. Amusingly, there is also a private karaoke room rented out for private parties, although open until 10pm only in lieu of the residents of the premises.
If you are looking for a organic, or good home style Korean meal, Soo ra Sang would be the ultimate stop! Go ahead and indulge.
The price for a meal starts at Rs.380/- inclusive of all the side dishes.