Dropped in last night on 815 [Paliro], a two-week-old Mod-Korean spot on Victoria Street. Fronted by two friendly Korean guys, Yun Keo Saeng & Ki Hyuk, the eatery specialised in a range of Ddungcaron, a Korean take on French macarons: less sweet, but with very thick, creamy filling:
Typical of casual Mod-Korean eateries here, the savoury dishes are mainly fusion Korean-Western concoctions: I ordered the Buldak Pasta, pasta with sliced chicken ham and mushrooms, dressed in a combination of very spicy buldak sauce, tempered by creamy carbonara sauce. Even as my brain scrambled to decipher the odd deliciousness assailing my tongue, the dish was strangely addictive, and one just couldn’t stop eating it.
Anyone who’d trawled Seoul or Busan for their street food would know the fiery tteokbokki. Now, imagine replacing the fat garaetteok rice cakes with Italian pasta. Add carbonara sauce to the mix for its creamy richness, then spike up the whole thing again with gochugaru red chili flakes, spicy gochujang chili paste, sesame oil and other condiments and, finally, top it all off with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano & dried basil flakes. That is Buldak Pasta for you. It’s like Mario Batali meets Hellboy.
My friend ordered the Eggdrop sandwich - which was a pillowy-soft brioche French toast, stuffed with a fluffy, buttery egg omelette, melted cheddar cheese & thin slices chicken ham.
We also ordered a platter of gimbap to share. Gimbap is essentially Korea’s answer to Japanese norimaki rolls, though the Korean rolls tend to be meatier (sometimes with marinated, grilled beef filling, unthinkable to the Japanese for their sushi), and where the rice is flavoured with sesame oil, instead of vinegar, as for Japanese sushi rice.
The odd name of the cafe, 815 [Paliro], is actually the date of Korea’s Independence Day, Aug 15:
‘Pal’ = 8
‘Ir’ = 1
‘O’ = 5
214, Lebuh Victoria (Victoria Street)
10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Opening hours: 11am-8pm daily