Zen Korean BBQ is situated just 8km East of KLCC in Ampang, well known to both locals and expats alike with many residential areas and some small shopping malls such as Great Eastern Mall, Ampang Point and City Square. Ampang has a large Korean population, the very reason why there are many Korean restaurants like Zen Korean BBQ. The area is especially well known to expats since Kuala Lumpur’s embassies, including the British, French, American and Thai embassies are found here as well.
We found Zen Korean BBQ and asked the Korean owners if we could review it for our members, they accepted! Probably one of the cheapest, all you can eat Korean BBQ buffet’s in town at only RM28+ per person, without sacrificing on quality, freshness or authenticity. The only two rules to remember are the 90 minute time limit and minimum of 2 persons dining. You can check out the menu here for full details of their unlimited buffet deal. They also have a selection of both non alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, including Tiger beer.
Situated on the first floor, and up a flight of stairs from the ground floor entrance leads you to this delightful, air conditioned restaurant. Nicely furnished, typically Korean style with a friendly, homely atmosphere. Thankfully, there is plenty of street parking very nearby too. It was very busy when we arrived, clearly Zen Korean BBQ has an excellent following of already satisfied customers, and we are about to learn why!
Our Dining Experience
We arrived around 6.30pm for dinner and there were just 3 of us dining today. We noticed that there were also some larger groups dining. Zen Korean is suitable for groups of all sizes with larger tables available for larger groups of diners.
Once seated at our table we could clearly see the easy to follow instructions of how to cook and prepare the ingredients of the buffet in the form of a paper place mat in front of each of us.
Of course there is also at least one hot grill plate on each table for cooking the raw ingredients. You can actually cook and prepare yourself if you wish, but we asked for the expertise of one of their friendly waiters to do the cooking for us.
As you will see from the menu there are a number of “add-ons” you can also order at an extra cost that of course come already prepared. We ordered just the one add-on called Dak Gangeong (RM 20), which is sweet and sour chicken and costs just RM 20 providing you are partaking in the unlimited BBQ buffet deal.
As you will also see from the menu you can “Spice it Up!” a little as we did and ordered the 6 different spicy sauces for only an extra RM 1 per person. Galbi, Spicy, Wasabi Mayo, Garlic, Korean Style Fish and Real Chili Sauces were served chilled on an elongated wooden platter.
Now let’s tell you what comes as part of your Unlimited Buffet (RM28+ per pax) all of which came out almost all at the same time which was perfect. First was the 6 Kinds Of Side Dishes with plenty of large, fresh and crispy lettuce leaves for preparing your own style of “Ssam”.
For those of you that don’t know, Ssam means “wrapped” in English and refers to a dish in Korean cuisine in which, usually large leaves of lettuce are used to wrap a piece of meat, in this case pork, along with other fillings and sauces of your choice. Delicious!
Arriving next at the table was a small plate of lean and deliciously looking raw pork neck and pork belly ready for cooking on the grill plate. Don’t worry, you can order more when you run out and that goes for all of the other dishes that form part of this unlimited buffet deal.
As I mentioned earlier we had the help of one of the waiters for cooking and cutting our meats. So whilst all the other dishes were still arriving and we were busy sampling the 6 kinds of sides, it was time for him to start the Barbeque!
Next to arrive was the rice or “Self Jumok Bab” which comes with disposable plastic gloves so you can enjoy mixing and rolling by hand as many of your own rice balls as you wish. In fact that’s what you can see us doing in the background of the video above. The rice was cooked to perfection and full of flavour.
Next was the Kimchi Pancake and Kimchi Ramyeon, a few things Kimchi you might be thinking, very fitting and to be expected in any good Korean restaurant! The Kimchi Ramyeon was my favourite dish of the evening, so much so in fact, that we ordered 3 helpings! Slightly spicy and absolutely bursting with flavour.
So now after the swift arrival of all the dishes it was time to tuck in and enjoy this mouth watering array of Korean delights while the waiter was busy cooking the 3 plates of pork neck and pork belly. We were also busy preparing our own style of Ssambaps, spoilt for choice with so many fillings and sauces to choose from, making each one completely different.
We had a really great evening with some really delightfully authentic Korean cuisine. The service was excellent with an abundance of friendly and really quite humorous waiters, smartly dressed in their typically Korean style hats which definitely helped make for a superb atmosphere.
Judging by the amount of already satisfied customers that we saw dining it certainly seems like Zen Korean BBQ have mastered their unlimited BBQ buffet, not only on price but quality and authenticity too!
A big thank you to the Korean owner, John and all his staff for making this evening memorable! We will definitely be going back, next time with more friends!
Zen Korean BBQ
14-L2, Persiaran Putra Sulaiman
Taman Putra Sulaiman
68000 Ampang, Selangor
Tel: +60 3-4287 6077
Monday – Thursday 11.30am until 10.30pm
Friday – Sunday 11.30am until 11pm