Walking into the restaurant we invited ourselves to our seat whilst our Korea hosts stood by the counter busy chatting. If was only after awhile that we were brought our menu. Not exactly the hospitality that I was looking for. Soon, I started getting annoyed by the fact that there was also a foul smell was floating in the area making me quite uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I quickly scanned the menu and found what I would have for dinner that night. It did not take long before everyone made their minds up!
While waiting for the food, I saw the picture of the ddeokbokki served in the restaurant and seeing them put eggs, and fishcakes in reminded me of the good times I had in Seoul. It was awesome! Definitely had my expectations a little high.
First dish up was the kimchee pancake! This is customary dining at all my Korean restaurants in Perth. Fortunately, this was pretty good with all the delicious bit of kimchee goodness except for the fact that it was pretty miserable in size for the price we paid. In fact, it would only be half of Tookbekgi’s pancake’s size. Conversely, the slightly crisp top bit still made this every bit delectable.
The darling called the bibimbap which was pretty much Korean mixed rice. It look magnificent on arrival with all the simple yet tasty garnish on there. However, as soon as it was all mixed together, it was clear that the restaurant was really stingy. The important sauce used for mixing had to be double at the very least. In fact, I think there was a little too much rice and not enough condiments!
Sister’s and Yvonne’s order were the kimchee stew and a tofu stew. I had a little bit of both and found that they tasted the same except that the kimchee stew had a fair bit more sourness to it. Surprisingly at this stage, I was not too sure why has this place got such a negative review. The food is actually quite OK. Not it was not the standard of food which I got in South Korea but comparing it to “KOREAN” places like Poppo or Ninikujip in Perth, haha this was at least on par or better. I still remember the horribly soggy kimchee fried rice from Ninikujip. Something which we swore never to go back for again. Jeez!
Mine was the bulgolgi stew which is an all time favourite anywhere. Beef pieces cooked with tofu, mushrooms, vermicelli and other vegetables in a soy base soup is often a pleasant bite. It was pretty yums this one. Especially considering they got the taste right. It had the sweetness of the beef in the broth along with that really pleasant flavors of the vegetable and that bit of glass noodle to slurp it with.
But would I call this divine? I believe not. Nevertheless, I have never once complimented a Bulgolgi stew to be divine. Never. But would I order this again or in fact come to this restaurant again? I would. Yes I know the service sucks and the over all setting felt cheap and to a certain extent that stench was horrible. But hey, I realized that my bill in this place was actually a tad cheaper compared to other places. In Tookbekgi which is a favourite of mine, a beef stew is $20 compared to $16.50 here.
Yay or Nay? I would say a YAY. Not great but the food was hard to fault with. Just that I did not walk away feeling pleasant. Perhaps next time. In fact when I was there a Korean guy was eating alone. He had complained to the waitress a few times presumably because the food felt lacking in some manner plus their service was questionable!