Friday, January 24, 2014

CLOSED/korean: I recommend MAJOR K

MAJOR K 主修韓坊
No. 116, AnHe Road, Sec. 2
(02) 2736-3737

MRT: LiuZhangLi


hours: 11:30AM- 2:30PM; 6PM - 10PM


Kid friendliness: high chairs available, room for strollers; lots of kid friendly items

Visit reviewed: 12/14/2013

Is it just me or have a ton of exciting new restaurants opened up in Taipei in the last year- gastropubs, wine bars, salad cafes, sourdough chowder bowls and lobster rolls... Major K brings modern, trendy Korean to Taipei with a menu of both classic and dishes that have a new take on the familiar. The interior is sleek with black and wood accents with a bar in the center for soju and shots.

Major K's menu is full of soups and stews, along with some appetizers, meats and rice/noodle dishes ranging from NT$280-NT$1300. Major K worked with CJ Group, Korea's largest food conglomerate (Founder of Bibigo which some of you might have seen in LA or Bejing), to help train their chefs in Korea and advise on the menu, so you know the menu and food's foundation is legit.

The Major K Sweet and Spicy Rice Cake (NT$320) was one of my favorite dishes and one I would recommend as a must order. Instead of the typical slices of fish cake you usually get mixed in with the rice cakes, there are long strips of sweet potato. Both have a caramelized outside from being grilled and is coated with a honey and chili sauce that is addictive. It's carb heavy to order as a main dish, but perfect for sharing.

SO good!

Another must order dish is the Mandoo Soup (NT$380) which comes with a robust, eggy chicken broth with accents of scallions and seaweed. I loved the broth as much as I did the dumplings which were large and plentiful. While I haven't been a fan of the mandoo dumplings I've had in the past in LA/OC which came with more watered down broths, but this I would order again and again.

The Ginseng chicken soup (NT$780) was also a hit at the table with the therapuetic broth and fork tender chicken.

Royal Glass Noodles (NT$280) aka japchae comes topped with lots of bell peppers and spinach.

Fried White Chicken NT$260

The assorted pancake delicacies (NT$580) comes with 9 small pancakes that are seafood, kimchi and fishcake (?) flavored. I wouldn't order this again despite liking the kimchi pancakes because the pancakes are so small for the the price- almost US$3 each if you do the math.

Instead you could try the regular seafood pancake (NT$400) which offers up eight thick shrimp and squid filled pieces for less.

Hot Stone Bimbimbap (NT$430) with fresh cucumbers, soy beans, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, egg and beef to mix together with the rice and gojuchang sauce I asked for on the side. The rice didn't get very crispy in the bowl, but the veggies were bright and fresh.

I didn't get to try any of the meats as we already had a table full of food, but I definitely want to try some next time. There's a lot to choose from- from braised bbq short ribs and kimchi pork to bulgogi, grilled LA galbi and ribeye. Meats are grilled in the kitchen rather than on the table so those looking for Kbbq will still have to look elsewhere.  

Some dishes also took awhile to come out of the kitchen, as we went during the soft opening, so the kitchen was still figuring itself out. But Major K feels and tastes different than any other Korean restaurant in Taipei (which are mostly soondubu tofu stew or korean bbq or local takes on Korean), so it's worth a try, but be sure to make sure to order one of my must order dishes. 

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