A happy meal at Gurgaon’s Korean restaurant Miso

Let’s start by setting the record straight. Every website, except Google, and Delhi-based publication has incorrectly listed the restaurant as Di Miso.

The name of the restaurant is Miso which means smile in Korean. It has nothing to do with the popular Japanese soy-paste. Miso does not even serve Japanese, Chinese or Asian. It only serves Korean and rather good Korean too. The error in the name is a result of the restaurant’s font design: it makes the first half of the hangul characters for smile 미소 look like D I.

In all fairness, I didn’t think about the incongruity of the name till I sat down to write the script for my weekly food show on 94.3 Radio One Mumbai.

The partner-in-dine and I love Korean food. Since we have only one piss-poor Korean restaurant in Mumbai, it’s often on our agenda when we travel.  We were in Delhi a few weeks ago and since the capital has a number of good Korean restaurants, it was one of our choices. Only this time we were staying a stone’s throw away from Gurgaon, an area neither of us are very familiar with.

Our first choice was Gung The Palace, our favourite Korean restaurant in Delhi: we’d eaten at the Green Park one before but never the Gurgaon branch. Still, we were open to suggestions, and when my friend, the respected food critic, Marryam Reshi suggested Di Miso, I was intrigued. She warned that they might shoo us away because they were fed up of Indians who went there and expected to see Indian-Chinese and Punjabi on the menu. It sealed the deal.

Menu, Miso Korean restaurant, GurgaonThe restaurant is at the right at the back of a mostly unoccupied ground floor office building. We didn’t get any suspicious looks, and the smiling hostess led us to a private dining room. Korean restaurants are usually composed of a series of thinly partitioned dining rooms; the partitions help maintain some degree of privacy, but when your fellow diners have had a little too much soju the sounds easily filters in.

For the benefit of Indian customers, the names of all the dishes are accompanied by pictures. We quickly settled on a samgyeopsal, grilled slices of pork belly; dol sot bi bim bap, stir fried rice with beef and vegetables and haemul pajeon, a mixed seafood pancake.

The banchan comes almost immediately after we place our order; this is a somewhat unusual selection – I’ve never come across small fish or peanuts in banchan. It’s amongst the better spreads I’ve eaten, the kimchis are sour and tangy, there’s a lingering taste of garlic in some and the sweet earthiness of sesame oil in others.

It takes a while for the mains to arrive, but they all arrive together. We asked for the samyeopsal to be grilled in the kitchen so it’s served on a sizzler plate; it’s still juicy and tender, and very lightly flavoured. I was expecting a raw egg for the bi bim bap, but it came served with a fried egg, so while the rice was still warm I stirred in dollops of gochujang, the sweet-chilli paste, and sesame oil.

I was just a little disappointed with the haemul pajeon. I’m used to it being thick and fluffy like a farmer’s omelette but this was closer to a thin crust pizza. Still, it was packed with chopped squid and prawns and the spring onions were tender but crunchy. I think I finished more than half of it by myself.

Our bellies full, we left with a smile on our faces.

Miso Korean Restaurant
Unit 11-14, Ground Floor
Global Foyer Mall
Golf Course Road
Sec 43, Gurgaon

Tel: + 91 9910299367/ 9958867597/1244086130

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