We entered a new (to us) area of KL – well Ampang really – looking for a particular Korean BBQ buffet restaurant. Unfortunately when we arrived it was full (of Koreans – a bus tour, by the looks of it, so maybe it is good or gives decent kickbacks). However, downstairs was another Korean place: Sweetree.
This is a halal restaurant, so no pork or alcohol, but there is fun tropical themed decor, crazy K-pop, and a huge menu. This includes ‘western’, Vietnamese, sushi and a halal version of just about every Korean dish I have ever seen. It doesn’t have an owner or manager on their business cards, instead going for ‘coordinator cum designer’.
It’s split into two sections, with one side being for kitchen cooked meals only, and the other for table cooked meals such as barbecue and dakgalbi. We went to the latter.
We had a bit of a battle with the staff to do us a vegetarian version of the dakgalbi – a mixture of noodles, carrots, leeks, cabbage, potato and onions fried on a hot plate in spicy fermented bean paste – with chicken served beside instead of on top, but eventually they brought a large plate of boiled chicken bits for my wife and started the burner.
We had the version with cheese around the outside, but you can have an egg mixture instead. The cheese mixture looked terrible but actually ended up cooking quite well. Overall the dish was ok but not quite as interesting as others we have had of this type.
The dakgalbi was served with clam soup, which was unexpected. Wife thought it had a peppery warming taste, even if the clam shells were nearly all empty!
It also came with non-refillable individual portions of side dishes, which were lightly pickled cucumber, pickled daikon (very nice), mildly spicy dry tofu (decent), and wrapping options of flatbread and lettuce, plus shared kimchi, more cucumber, and a salad.
Kimchi pancakes were ok, but not really worth it: little deep fried pastries stuffed with kimchi, or rather not so stuffed. Steamed egg with vegetables was alright as well. Not as fluffy as these can be.
For conservation reasons, they have ditched their washable reusable glasses of iced drinks with a plastic straw, and replaced them with non-recyclable plastic lined cardboard cups and a plastic lid which filters the ice and contains much more plastic than a straw. I think this initiative needs more thought. Calamansi drink was tasty though.
I liked the looks and style of Sweetree, but it isn’t as good a place as Mr Dakgalbi for halal Korean (or, in terms of food, many of the Korean places we have been to). However, it was good for a change and the huge menu means it could offer more interest in future.
Address: 13 L-1.2, Jalan Ampang Putra, Taman Putra Sulaiman, Ampang 68000 Selangor