A taste of Korean at Teumsae

When I accepted the invite to dine at Teumsae, I was not only curious about the cuisine they serve but also keen to know the right way to pronounce this name.

Facade of Teumsae at Sunway Citrine
I often shop and dine at Sunway Citrine Hub, so it was an excellent opportunity for me to discover more about this family-run Korean restaurant here.

As our group settled at the table and looked through the menu, I was glad that it was designed with photographs and captioned with a brief description of the items in the English language.

For diners unfamiliar with Korean cuisine, brief descriptions in English with photos will go a long way to help them decide on what dishes to order.

Spicy Seafood Ramen
While I was still studying the menu, a staff member came over to take our orders and she also recommended the must-try dishes here.

I soon realized that this staff member, who also welcomed us into the restaurant, was Lina Kim, the Kim family’s daughter who was also the restaurant’s Executive Director.

“Ah!” I thought to myself, “She is the right person to answer my burning question…”

And when I asked Lina about how to pronounce the name, Teumsae, she smiled sweetly and replied, “chim-say,” and I observed that the “T” remained silent.

A serving of Beef Gimbap with half a portion
of Yang Nyeom fried chicken in the background
A brief history of this brand is recorded in Korean language, framed on a poster with photos, and displayed in the restaurant so Lina shared a summary with us.

The name Teumsae simply means “niche” and the brand started in Seoul in 1981 with a cosy restaurant of only four tables to serve its signature Spicy Ramen Noodles.

As dishes were quickly served to our table, one after the other, I turned my attention to the food.

As we tucked into the Spicy Seafood Ramen, topped with a variety of seafood, vegetables, and rice cake, Lina explained that her father, an interior design professional for 20 years, enjoyed cooking for the family at home.

Close-up view of a thinly sliced
 piece of Beef Gimbap
While he was working in Shanghai, a friend offered him the franchise for the brand, Teumsae, and after he and his wife had given it much consideration, they decided to open a restaurant in the city suburb.

Over the next ten years they worked together in the kitchen and it was no surprise when Mr & Mrs Kim turned their restaurant into a huge success.

Then in 2018, the Kim family moved to Malaysia.

Armed with the confidence gained from their experience, in early 2019 they decided to open Teumsae in Sunway Citrine to serve a menu of popular Korean dishes.

Hot Stone Pot Beef Bibimbap with a side of soup
 and a jar of Gohchujang sauce
These included a range of Ramen, Gimbap rice rolls, Bibimbap, Hot Soups brewed with beef or pork, and of course, the all-time favourite of Korean fried chicken.

When the Beef Gimbap was served, I had a closer look at the rice rolls that were stuffed chockful with minced beef, egg, pickled radish, cucumber, carrots and burdock, and garnished with toasted sesame seeds.

I liked how the rice rolls were thinly sliced – just right to fit into my mouth – and yet its colourful ingredients remained firmly intact within the sheet of seaweed roll. 

Another attractive serving came in the Hot Stone Pot Beef Bibimbap, topped with sliced beef, vegetables and a whole egg, served with a side of clear soup and jar of Gohchujang sauce.

Drizzling Gohchuchang sauce onto the 
Hot Stone Pot of Bibimbap 
Aware that Gohchujang is a Korean chilli-red paste, I drizzled it sparingly over the bibimbap, ready to add more only if there was not too much zing in its flavour.

After mixing the Gohchujang sauce thoroughly into the rice and ingredients, I had my first taste and was pleased that I could add more sauce because it was not sharply spicy but rather quite agreeable.

The steaming hot Beef Rib Soup was served with a bowl of white steamed rice and a jar of seasoned salt for diners to add to their own taste.

I was glad that the rib had a generous chunk of meat on it and through the clear broth, I saw generous sprinkles of sliced scallion, enoki mushrooms and strings of glass noodles.

Beef Rib Soup served with a side of
steamed rice and a jar of salt to season
As I savoured each comforting spoonful of soup, I could understand why Teumsae is where homesick Koreans come for the comfort of family-style, homecooked favourites.

Then it was time to roll up my sleeves and dig into the fried chicken.

We had ordered just half a portion of Korean fried chicken in Yang Nyeom flavour, a Korean Sweet Red sauce, and the serving came with a box of hand gloves.

No, the gloves were not for eating but for diners to wear when they picked up the chicken pieces with their fingers…

Refreshing drinks: Rice Drink
[Right] and Pear Drink [Left]
After tasting dishes that were so full of flavour, Lina suggested that we refresh our palates with Korean specialty drinks like Rice Drink and Pear Juice.

As I enjoyed my icy drink, I was already thinking about other dishes on the menu like Bulgogi and Dumpling Soup, and the other flavours of fried chicken, that I must try on my next visit.

Teumsae, a Non-Halal Korean restaurant, is situated at Lot 1-15, First Floor of Sunway Citrine in Sunway Iskandar, Persiaran Medini 3, Bandar Medini Iskandar, 79250 Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

Open daily from 10.30am to 9pm.

For reservations, Takeaway or Delivery orders, please call Tel: +607 585 7566.

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