Eat Drink KL: MyeongDong Topokki @ Paradigm Mall

Monday, July 4, 2016

MyeongDong Topokki @ Paradigm Mall

Offering customers the opportunity to 'eat like a Korean,' MyeongDong Toppoki - which takes its name from one of Seoul's most bustling shopping enclaves - promises a confident introduction to the vibrant, vivid flavours of Korean street fare, with convenient locations in Paradigm Mall, 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid & Sunway Putra Mall, a precursor to more mall branches (& even a roving Korean food truck!) poised to launch across the Klang Valley later this year.

As its name suggests, MyeongDong Topokki's speciality is topokki, the medley of rice cakes & fish cakes served steaming-hot in gochujang sauce. MDT's Malaysian founders, Vincent & Chloe, became passionate about Korean cuisine following their travels there, & they've enlisted an experienced Korean chef & ensured careful sourcing of top-flight produce, including superior rice cakes that furnish a firm, pleasurable bite. This is potentially the most enjoyable topokki we've had in KL; even the indulgently thick sauce, with MDT's own complex recipe of ingredients, tastes more well-balanced in flavours than the local norm. The signature topokki (choose from regular steamed cakes or fried ones with a subtle crisp) costs RM6.80 for a small serving that's sufficient for a light lunch or RM10.80 for a large, all available in three variations - spicy, sweet soy or kimchi.

To celebrate Aidilfitri, MDT is ushering in a promotional topokki throughout this month that expertly blends Korean flavours to best suit the Malaysian palate - this honey soy chicken topokki (RM16.80) comes with plenty of battered meat in a sauce that's rich with the sweet-savoury dimensions of honey, soy & garlic; it's a treat especially for the many fans of Korean fried chicken.

To our surprise, MDT's menu extends far beyond topokki - expect complete hot meals with the essential side dishes at reasonable prices, with traditional Korean staples like kimchi jjigae, the soul-warming, robustly seasoned stew that's laden with a choice of chicken, beef or seafood with vegetables (RM16.80-RM20.80; all set meal prices include a serving of green tea).

Whether you're a worshipper of rice or an enthusiast for noodles, there's a temptation for you at MDT - the recommended deopbap is the quintessential rice bowl that's comfortingly blanketed with possibilities like tender bulgogi beef, 'hangul' fried chicken or stir-fried squid (RM16.80-RM18.80).

We found ourselves lapping up every spoonful of the ramyun, addictive as instant noodles should be, in lightly spicy soup, available with accompaniments that range from hangul chicken to topokki to sizable prawns & squid (RM16.80-RM20.80).

 Customisation is possible, ensuring that regular patrons won't run out of fresh choices to explore. You can order a basic plate of japchae (RM16.80), the sticky sweet potato noodles fried in sesame oil, or enhance it with layers of cheese (RM2.50) or a creamy fried egg (RM1.50) to boost your gratification levels.

Since street food is widely about snacks, MDT showcases a substantial selection of nibbles - the best bet might be the kimali (RM9.50), crunchy fried glass noodle rolls that convey a moderate brininess of seaweed; feel free to dunk the rolls in the topokki sauce (which comes in options of original & extra-spicy). Other tidbits that we'll probably try next time include chicken 'mandu' dumplings, tempura eggs & kimchi rice balls (RM3.50-RM9) - each one sounds excellent for a pit stop while shopping.

 The initials MDT may allude to MyeongDong Topokki, but they now also refer to My Drinks Today, a distinctive new set of beverages unveiled this month. Relying on Korean-made tea mixes, these refreshing drinks are sold in easy-to-carry bags, cutely & colourfully labelled (collect them all, some might say!). Chilled & mildly fizzy, four flavours are offered - Honey Citron, Honey Jujube, Honey Apple & Honey Vera, costing a very fair RM5.80 each. All in all, we had a pretty pleasant experience at MyeongDong Topokki, even though we're typically not major fans of Korean cuisine; many thanks to MDT for having us.

MyeongDong Topokki
LG22 @ Paradigm Mall
LG312B @ 1Utama (New Wing)
F1. AV. 148 @ Asian Avenue, Sunway Pyramid 
Level 4, Lot 4-46 @ Sunway Putra Mall
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