K-Food @ Elit Avenue, Penang

I went to another somewhat new eatery in Elit Avenue today. I probably would never have thought of coming here. I mean, (honestly) the shopfront looked kind of like a dodgy eatery to me every time I drove pass it. But then the other day, I heard a friend said of this eatery: “Eh, you know ah, the XXXXX in this restaurant, it tastes exactly like the one we had in Korea!

So today, I came. I am talking about K-Food. Yes, this is yet another Korean cuisine restaurant that has opened for business relatively recent in Penang. Although to be honest, when I first saw their signage, I actually thought, “Why such a name for a restaurant? What the heck is K-Food? Karaoke-Food?

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Anyway, so we went inside. First thing I noticed is that they have proper decoration, and proper tables and chairs. You might think this is trivial, but trust me, more often than not, new eateries in Penang would fail the proper tables and chairs test. So it is good.

I also noticed that none of the floor staff are Nepalese/Burmese workers. They’re all Malaysian Chinese. This is somewhat good (not to sound racist or anything) because it means we won’t have communication issues. But I think the boss is also a Malaysian Chinese. So this restaurant probably has no real Korean credentials to boast of.

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No matter, let’s order some food. A quick glance at the menu shows that this is not a typical Korean BBQ restaurant. K-Food don’t do BBQ. They serve non-BBQ Korean dishes, those soup and stew and stir fry dishes. It was good to note that they also serve Korean beverages and ice creams, imported from Korea.

As we were scrutinizing the menu, I spotted a Korean customer, an oppa, seated at a nearby table. He seemed to enjoy his Korean curry rice very much. So now we have a Korean restaurant operated by Malaysians, but gets the approval of at least one Korean customer. That’s kind of reassuring.

There was one major problem though. You see, I mentioned my friend said the XXXXX of this restaurant is legit. But I could not remember what exactly XXXXX is. I spent 20 seconds trying really hard to remember the dish name that she mentioned, but failed. So what I had today has not been validated as legit by my friend who has eaten it in Korea before. Man that sucks

So, anyway, we placed our orders, and in no time, the banchan (side dishes) was served. Three dishes of them.

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Kimchi, sausage and broccoli

We waited for the waitress to bring out more side dishes. We waited for 2 minutes, but we waited in vain. They only serve three side dishes here. If you have read about my recent blog post about that other new Korean restaurant, you can probably understand why I felt underwhelmed here.

The kimchi was, well… kimchi. Nothing different compared to other places’. The broccoli and sausage though, they were a bit of a confusion to us. You see, I always thought banchan is supposed to be served cold. Is that thought correct? Someone please correct me if I am wrong. The broccoli and sausage, they were piping hot when served to us. Like they were freshly stir fried from the pan or something. I’m not saying these two side dishes tasted awful, because they tasted okay, it’s just that they caught us by surprise. That’s all…

Our food arrived after a 10 minutes wait…

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Sundubu (Spicy tofu stew) – RM 18
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Japchae (Stir fried glass noodles) – RM 15

The food was… alright. They were quite tasty to be honest, maybe a tad too tasty. And the soup made me quite thirsty after drinking it. I suppose you know what I mean. I can’t help but think, taste wise the food is alright, but then the way they achieve that taste, it doesn’t quite reflect the spirit of Korean cuisine, does it? I mean, I am under the impression that Korean cuisine is a somewhat healthier dining option.

The price is good though. I think it is on the low side as far as Korean food is concerned. And they don’t charge GST and service tax. What you see in the menu is what you pay. That’s pretty nice…

So, what do I think of this K-Food?

Pros: Relatively cheap price (for Korean food), no communication issue, rather tasty food, NO GST.
Cons: Need more banchan, food could make you thirsty.

I don’t think this restaurant is bad by any means. It is just that I went to the one in Krystal Point first, and unfortunately for them, K-Food did not dislodge that one as my new favorite place to grab Korean food in Penang.

Will I come again? I would say, I am not against the idea of coming again. Actually, I think I probably would come agian. But it would probably not be a frequent affair. If I come here again, it would probably be more because this place is more convenient for me location wise and the food is alright. It would not be because I prefer the food here more than the one in Krystal Point.

But then, I might find out what that XXXXX is and come again to try it. Maybe it would overturn my perception…

Website: K-Food Restaurant Penang
Address and contact: refer to the website


  1. To be honest I guess is because we all different generation, last time we sing k, the k means karaoke, now the k means more to korea, k-pop, k-dance….and of now is k-food

  2. the japchae looks nice and authentic, haha! anyway this kinda small eateries couldn’t last long, like those in my neighbourhood, mostly closed after 2-3 years and replaced by another.

  3. You are always game to try new places unlike me who need to hear reviews ahead or see the crowd eating happily. Good Korean food is not easy to find in KL, even when the premise could be operated by real Koreans. I have been deceived once and take extra effort to be sure that I get really delicious cooking. This is the first time I hear about hot side dishes! Even the winter trip I had to Seoul, we were served like over 10 cold side dishes. Next week I will blog about a new Korean franchise in KL.

    • Well I did hear one good review from a friend, that counts right? An honest comment from a friend is better than a potentially paid blog post any day. It is just too bad that I forgot her recommended dish LOL!

  4. Don’t sound too good this one. Some of these so-called Korean restaurants are just wannabes 🙁 There are more choices in KL especially in Ampang.

    • Yeah, this is more like a low cost alternative to the usual expensive Korean restaurants. Food quality wise, not exactly the best.

  5. Well, at least they got the odd number of banchans right…hee..hee! 😀 I don’t think I’ve ever eaten hot banchans before as most are served cold or at room temperature.

  6. Ah, a restaurant review post from you. How come you did not call your friend and ask her what is the XXXX she recommended? I don’t like to eat Korean food because for every dish there is an underlying sweetness which I don’t like and for salty and spicy food like kimchi, they are too spicy and too salty for my liking so I seldom go and eat Korean food unless my makan kakis want to go and I just tag along.

    • I Whatsapp-ed her, but she did not reply, and I couldn’t wait. 😐

      Well, I do have some friends who dislike Korean food for the same reasons as you, so I can understand. 🙂

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