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Showing posts with label Korean Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Korean Food. Show all posts

Friday, December 12, 2014

Melbourne: Palatial Wagyu @ Guhng, McKillop St.

Whilst my blog have promoted Melbourne for it phenomenal brunch fare, there is also another side to this global city.  During my trip, I had a very good Korean meal at Guhng, a Korean barbecue place hidden on the charming McKillop St. Walking in I was impressed by this multi-level establishment fitted with a Korean themed interior that was neither modern or traditional but rather, a combination  of both with a calm mood lighting through the venue. On every table, an adjustable vent is fitted to ensure their patrons do not walk out smelling like the barbecue they had.
But looks are only as good as its taste.  We scanned the menu and quickly found a few things we were really keen to try.  

First up was Andrew’s request for something “authentic” the seafood tteokbokki (rice cake).
Taste wise it was decent and the seafood content was generous.  Nonetheless, coming thousands of kilometres from home, I was not the most impressed by the “authentic” rice cake dish :P!  

Korean Barbecue tend to be quite generic.  You would usually have a few marinated choices, some pork belly slices, chicken tight and such.  The menu at Guhng was no different.  But we set our eyes on the Wagyu which was a handsome $39 for 200 grams.  We ordered one serve at first but ultimately ended with two.
The wagyu at Guhng had no marbling grade whatsoever but it melted in our mouths like butter.  No way this was healthy but the mental joy was absolute.  My Korean BBQ ways were groomed by my mom since I was younger.  It would be a large leafy lettuce, some garlic slices, chill bean paste and that lovely slab of meat.  The mild spiciness paired with the pungent garlic sure kicked ass when eaten together with this yummy beef. With 200 grams in each serve, it was nowhere near enough but with some lettuce leaf followed with another serve, it was a good really feed.

Trying to be a little fancier, we ordered scallops to be barbecued.  Sadly, it as an utter waste.
This was cooked a little over, its presentation was a little lacklustre but more disappointingly, Guhng lacked that special finish for the sea’s best protein.  Wasabi and soy was their best condiment but it did not complement the scallops at all!  Not recommended!  Got extra dough?  Definitely a 3rd round of Wagyu haha!   


Our last meat was the pork belly without any marinade.  It was a classic but rather typical to the extent that there was definitely nothing to shout about.  But nothing wrong either.  Looking back, the post from top to bottom might sound a little sad because the only dish I had portrayed to enjoy was the Wagyu.  But do not be fooled.  The meal here was tonight was nice. This is probably the best upmarket Korean I have been to to-date and deservingly so.   To add to the delight, Guhng also serves various rice wine concoctions that were absolutely sensational.  We ordered a jug of berry delight.  Each sip contains creamy yoghurt and bits of berries berries with the slightest hint of alcohol.  This was an easy beverage for non-drinkers like myself.  As a whole, Guhng was easily a place I will return for my Korean fare anytime but do not expect it to be that superb value for money place like Chick-In :P!

Guhng on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bites: Gaya at Applecross–revisited.

After leaving this restaurant last year with a huge 70% discount thanks to the bloggers promotion by owner Leo, I was still every bit compelled to be honest.  I told Leo that if I were to pay full price, I was not really sure whether I would be as happy as I was with a 70% discount.  His food was great and in terms of Korean, it was almost on the edge of contemporary.  I am receptive to new ideas and this was a cuisine I enjoyed.  But perhaps a promotion like a fix priced 3 course menu to add value to the dollar will help his business break the ice to the market.  To my delight, 3 months later Leo has put my advice to action and his restaurant Gaya now serves 3 course meals for a very decent $50.  That includes a complementary appetizer, an assortment of kimchee, followed by your choice of appetizer, main and dessert.


That night, the complementary appetizer was a pancake drizzled with chili mayo.  It was much simpler than the rice win cake served in my previous visit.  But I liked it better.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whilst I did not have a photo of their new trio of kimchee, I felt that Gaya has taken one step back from being contemporary to stick to its more traditional roots. In other words, to suit a layman’s liking.  Definitely the way the public wanted it.


My choice of appetizer was the asparagus, with cream cheese and enoki mushrooms wrapped by a thin slice of beef.  Seared just to color, and drizzled with a teriyaki style sauce.  Good flavors but I tend to like cheeses with flavor and cream cheese is not one of it unfortunately.    Yet this dish was delicious in its own way although the enoki tends to get stuck between your tooth!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


XL went straight to one of Gaya’s new starters to seek refuge for her hungry tummy.  The cheesy pancake. It was a fusion between a pizza and a kimchee pancake.  I will be honest that it was a shocking find to a restaurant seeking contemporary status.  But in terms of flavors, it was hard to bash.   In every slice were the joys of the stringy cheese crossed with the excitement of the kimchee.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


With our main’s,  XL chose the bulgolgi stew.  We had it at the border of North Korea and she orders this at almost every Korean place she steps into.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHer comments were positive on this one.  It was generous, tasty and really hearty when you are starving.  But was it the best she had?  She digress and said it could be less sweet.  It was for me a little on the sweet side too.


My main was a noodle dish served in a rich prawn bisque.  A clever mixture of green and yellow noodles with various textures from the deep fried battered root vegetables and shaved salad.  It had good flavor but the intensity of the prawns made the end of the plate an impossible journey.  For me, I tend to like my dishes served hot or cold.  In this one though, the shaved salad was cold bringing the whole dish to room temperature.  In my opinion it felt neither here nor there but that was just a matter of preference over the chef’s intension.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


As for the dessert, I stuck to my favourite Hott-teok and Gaya’s signature dessert, the Red Misu. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeedless to say, after a 2 week long street food journey in Seoul last year, nothing was more nostalgic than these little pancakes filled with piping hot cinnamon syrup.  I loved every bit of it.  In fact, Leo decided to put more sugar in mine this time.  It was yums!  Perhaps a little burnt but still every bit delicious.


With the Red Misu, see my previous post on it here WenY Wonder’s Why: The Gaya @ Applecross.My verdict?  PA310413 Like mentioned before, the food the Gaya prepares is Korean with a modern twist.  Improvement and changes are definitely a possibility; but in the capable hands of Leo it is not too far away.  Tonight’s dinner was a bit of a hit and a miss.  But like with all experiments, there are good and bad outcomes.   Nonetheless, it is these experiments that keeps us foodie tongues surprised and keen to try.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bites: Gaya Restaurant @ Applecross

Open just two months ago is Gaya Restaurant opposite Il Ciao in Applecross.  The brain behind this modern Korean-Western fusion establishment is South Korean native, Leo.  Since embarking on his culinary quest 13 years ago, he had always dreamed of bringing the best of South Korean flavors to table with a modern twist.  Seeing his passion reminds me of several other places in town such as Midori who’s Korean chef puts a spin to your everyday Japanese fare while Mr. Muneki of Nine Fine Food, another South Korean, makes fantastic Japanese food with his sidekick chef.  So what does Leo bring to the Korean food scene in Perth with his restaurant Gaya?  To that, I will have to judge the food we ordered that day.


















Our meal started with a complementary steamed rice wine cake with honey.  Sweetish and fragrant with a mild bitterness thanks to the rice wine, it was hardly my favourite starter.  In fact, one might easily mistake it for bicarbonate soda which was what my friends and I felt.  Yet, this might still appeal to some.  With the appetizers, we ordered favorites like Korean Fried Chicken drizzled in a tangy sauce along with some sticky yet crisp rice cakes.  It was my dad’s favourite of the lot.


The next appetizer we had was the Arancini. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADefinitely not your typical Arborio rice stuff with smoky prosciutto.  Here it was filled with a basil pesto, topped with pan-fried kimchee and dollops of berry sauce on the side.  Fried to perfection, these arancinis were different from what I usually have.  It was a nice take on the classic, but was it a good rendition?  I liked the fragrant basil pesto and the mild acidity and heat from the kimchee but I was not too sure about it all.  In the end it was OK.


A more traditional Korean dish arrived after the Arancini.  Here, we had the Vegetable Jijimi or a term I am more familiar with, Vegetable Pajeon or simply just Vegetable Pancake.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe reviews around the table for this was a little mixed. But that was no surprise as the cooking turned out to be very uneven for this lovely pancake.  On the outside, the pancake was very thin and crispy making each bite heavenly while the middle was quite soft and most of us would have liked it to be cooked longer.  On the other hand, having a side of chili mayo and balsamic soy instead of plain soy sauce showed ways that Leo tried to bring different flavors to the traditional Korean ones.  That bit I must insist I liked as it comes to terms with modern day dining cultures though chili mayonnaise tend to be overused quite a fair bit!


Despite the mild flaws in the fried chicken, arancini, and pancake, they were all very good appetizers.  However, it was the Japchae that pleased the crowd.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJapchae is already a staple street food in Seoul.  At Gaya,it is brought to a whole new level.  With the noodles cooked to perfection, it is then wrapped and pan fried.  For me, the Japchae itself was really nice but to wrap it and pan fry it once more was rather unusual.  It became a little oilier but being Asian, my tolerance was rather high.  However, to present it on a bed of wasabi mayonnaise? Hmmm! I think it did not add much flavor to it.  Perhaps one little line across the plate would have suffice.  Nevertheless, the crisp skin gave the Japchae a change from its usual texture which was soft and chewy.  Something that was very much enjoyed across the table.


For the mains, I ordered the the braised short ribs.  The ribs were simply succulent with its meat cooked just right to the point before the meat would have fallen off the bone!  The sauce itself was superb with a good sweet flavor but felt overly reduced.  I expected it to be a little soupy rather than a thick sauce which I got.  This led to the dish being salty.  But this was not the end for the dish,as all it took to bridge hell and heaven in my mouth was a bowl of rice. While most of the faults were something I could live with, one bit which I did not enjoy was the parsnip chips which were overly soft.  I believe it was because the chef was waiting to serve 7 mains at one go, thus the chips were soggy when served. For $30, it was something I would definitely order again.  Absolutely moreish although fishman who also ordered this main found that it felt very un-Korean as the flavors of the dates did not really shine through.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABraised short ribs, parsnip and red dates.


Yv on the other hand ordered the 36 Pork.  If you have not guessed it yet, this was cooked for 36 hours sous vide before being crisped on the skin.  Things we loved about the dish was its presentation. It looked beautiful and the pork was really nice in a way that it was not too fatty yet extremely tender.  Its skin was good but we would have loved the skin a notch crispier.  Here it was crisp just nice but not really enough.  Its accompaniment of apples and sweet potato puree was interesting as it evolved to the classic roast pork and apples meal.  But for some odd reason, the sweet potato puree and apples did not quite live up to my expectations as it sweetness was insufficient.  This made the pork feel rather 1 dimensional.  Still good but definitely have space for improvement.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA36 hour pork.   Pork belly, sweet potato puree, chive salad, glazed apple, soybean.


Bullgolgi Ginseng Bibimbap was what my sister and XL ordered.  Again, this was another dish that emphasizes on Leo’s impeccable attention to detail while bringing quality Korean flavors to the dining table.  Despite being an eye candy, was it a mouth pleaser too?  I have not tasted a phenomenal bibimbap before and there was little differences that separated this and the ones I had in Seoul.  Essentially, it was a beautified Korean classic.  Lovely textures, flavors and colors.  But one thing which did not stand out was the ginseng.  I was hoping for a taste of Korea’s highly regarded ginseng but the flavors were absent.  Which made me wondered, where did it go? Hmmmm…   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABibimbap, assorted vegetables, ginseng chili paste sauce.

As my parents were not a fan of beef, they ordered a seafood stew and a spicy chicken.  I have to say, while the dishes my friends and I ordered were a mix of above averages and good, the same cannot be said for the seafood stew and spicy chicken.  The chicken for starters felt like a soupy version of Jeayuk Bokkum which is a spicy pork bulgolgi, this time with the addition of glass noodles and instead of pork, chicken was used.  Its taste was OK, but I definitely found that the quality of this dish felt underwhelming, it needed a lot more to impress.  With the seafood stew, it looked OK, but my parents were not sold by its taste.  It left them wanting for something more than what was served.


Then comes the sweet ending.  If you have read my post on South Korea’s street food in Winter, one of my raves was the Hott-teok.  A divine disc shapped Roti/Prata filled with a delicious sugary cinnamon syrup.  Only available in winter, it is simply a must have when one goes to Seoul.  At Gaya, Leo makes it every day.  AND IT IS ONLY 8 BUCKS.  Are we Perth-ians spoilt or what?   But how did it fare compared to my Korean experience?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPresentation, once again received full marks without questions.  Now comes to most important bit, the taste.  Its pastry?  Flawless.  For us, it was fluffy and the consistency of the pastry when bitten into was spot on.  Also the flavors of cinnamon was apparent.  However, I questioned the amount of syrup that dripped when I bit into the Hott-teok.  I can immediately tell that this was a trade-off between presentation and taste.  But as I am a die hard believer in “taste before looks”, I would rather have an ugly piece of pastry filled with a large amount of syrup rather than these petite ones.  Nonetheless, I really loved this dessert.  I could have more for sure.  Perhaps a little change to the slightly charred caramel shards.


Despite the Hott-teok setting high standards, Gaya produced another stellar dessert that night; the Red-misu.  Another sensational $8 dollar dessert presented as if I was eating in a fine dining establishment.PA310413Just look at it.  Little chocolates resembling stones in a garden with a baby basil stalk as its plant.  On its surface was a chocolate sand that complimented the mild sponge fingers layered carefully with the mascarpone. And why was it called Red-misu?  It is because there were  bits of red beans in this which in many ways resembles little seed/stone found in soil.  Simply perfect.  It is not the most generous in mascarpone like other places and neither is it strong in alcohol but this was, in my terms, a delicious tiramisu.  One which shouts childishness instead of the deep liquor laced ones.  It was safe to say that at $8 bucks each, the desserts at Gaya Restaurant were a steal.



How does Gaya Restaurant fare as a whole?  Speaking to Leo earlier on, his motivation was clear; good Korean flavors with a modern twist.  Commenting on foods having a modern twist probably requires one to discern between gimmicks and techniques.  With the many different cuisines around, it was hardly a modern twist.  However, it was definitely enough to differentiate itself from ALL the other Korean places in town.  Then comes the harder bit which is widely contested around town;  good Korean flavors.  I felt that it was.  My housemates reckon Leo felt more like a man doing what he does best.  He cooks and he puts love into what he does.   The food here is different and in some ways did many things which were beyond the Korean food I have tasted in Perth.  The pork, and the short ribs were clear examples.  They were modern and significantly different.  Maybe contemporary? I do not know.  Essentially I liked it.  Then comes the bad bits like the spicy chicken, and seafood stew.  If I had one word, it was underwhelming.  But fortunately, regardless of what came out for the mains, the appetizers and desserts were lovely.  Additionally, I felt that the interior could do with a makeover to reflect the cuisine which was more contemporary than usual.  Lastly, the price is always a deciding factor when it comes to eating out.  For just over $50 dollars, it was a complete 3-course meal in the expensive suburb of Applecross.  For me, this was a place worthy of calling good.  Returning for seconds? Definitely!



The Gaya on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 26, 2013

SK: Ulsan Bawi @ Seorak National Park

One of the best parts of my South Korea trip was Mount Seorak.  Just 3 hours from Seoul, the Seorak national park is just beautiful when covered in snow.  To get there, I got on a taxi from the airport to bring us to Dong Seoul Bus Station where we got on a bus to Seorak.  This was followed by a 20 minute taxi ride.  All in all, it cost around $100 for two people.  A night’s stay at the national park motel was a modest $80 and the room had a beautiful view.  The only thing was that it did not have a lift and we stayed 3 floors up.  As we had our luggage bags full from shopping in HK, it was a pain in the ass!


Anyways, our plan for the day was simple, hike Heundeul – bawi and Ulsan – bawi.  A total hike of around 6km each way.  Not much in terms of distance except its verticality. The only problem was that it was a  –27 degrees afternoon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrossing the bridge


Still yet to reach Heundeul – bawi  but Ulsan – bawi was already in sight.  Or so we thought =.=!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter an hour of walk, we settled around 2kms to Heundeul – bawi but it was rather insignificant. Just a big rock :(! So we set forth to Ulsan – bawi!


On the way up!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome of the better parts of the trail with guides to hold on to.  Little did we know that it would save our lives as we climbed up!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter another hour, we were really rushing against time. The sun was really against us and we quicken our pace.  Challenging really! It was so slippery and we had no shoes so we stopped by a small hut and bought some spikey attachments!  $5 each but really handy in providing grip ;)!


After almost 2 hours, we were at the base of the Ulsan – bawi.  Feeling rather happy, we thought that it was really near.  It was actually, just 1km more...  vertically.  And that was another 30 minutes up…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Ulsan – bawi base!


As we were ascending the steps, we almost got blown off.  So I sat down. Keep calm, take a picture.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe clearly caught up to the sun. There was heaps more sun at the top.   The view here is truly magnificent during winter. Not sure about other seasons though!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Nothing much. Just a stair.  One of the many stairs….


At the top, the view was phenomenal.  Here is a picture of me in my unsuitable clothing and Ulsan-baw in the backdrop!  Almost died there! Still managed to fake a smile hahaha.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A mad combination of howling wind and darkness forced us to descend quicker than we had wished.  Better safe than sorry we thought, only to meet wolves/wild boars hunting along the river.  Glad we were on the other side! But after a mad 5 hour hike up and down, we were so hungry we quickly ate nearby in a local café.  The town is 10 minutes by taxi but we were too tired to move.


A winter staple. Dried Pollock soup!  Really delicious in this weather :)!  The Pollock is dried by the chilling winter air and used to make soups and other food stuff.  Absolutely odorless which made me like it.  ]At best, it was slightly salty with a rough texture, and felt somewhat like bacon =.=!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


The little darling’s favourite BibimbapOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeal in a bowl!


The obligatory side dishes of kimchee.  Cabbage kimchee and radish kimchee along with seasoned cucumber, seaweed, mushrooms and more vegetables.  Damn! Koreans are really healthy!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe slept at 7pm that night.  Definitely needed a good rest as we had just flown in from Jeju to Seoul 6am that morning before taking a bus to Mount Seorak!  But still, this was a winning trip! 


We got to snoop around the area the next day before it become overly populated.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABuddha statue


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMount Seorak was really photogenic!!


After Mount Seorak it was back to Seoul for our NYE count down ;)!  More to come but I am just so lazy at the moment haha.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bites: Namoo Korean Barbecue @ Perth

Korean Barbecue.  It is simple, effortless and to any meat eater, almost heavenly.  A new place in town wants to bring that to a whole new level.  Did they?  With an interesting menu and pretty good value set meals, I was there last Thursday for dinner.  After putting in my name and almost 30 minutes of waiting, we were in.  If you see other reviews around, this place looks superb.  Its interiors were stylish and for most parts, very modern.  But I was here for the food as I have been craving for Korean Barbecue for ages now.  When the barbecue hot plate was put on the stove. I was STOKED.  It was the beautiful slanting plate which I will explain further below.  Also, see my trip to Jeju Island where I first saw the concept. 

Jeju Island Part 2

The famous meat here is the rainbow pork which has 8 flavors.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATheir flavors include Ginseng, Original, Wine, Herb, Garlic, Curry, Miso, and Hot.

Unfortunately, the transition from kitchen to table was bugged.  And I mean VERY VERY troubled.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASlant plate barbecue.  Its concept? Simple.  U put the pork belly in the middle and let it sizzle away.  As it crisps, the lard melts downwards to the bean sprouts and kimchee making it extremely fragrant and palatable to eat.  Here at Namoo, the service was SO BAD, that the kimchee and beansprouts were put too early that it burnt even before the meat arrived.  And soon it became too bitter to eat. I was gutted.  How long does it take raw meat to reach the table? =/  I asked the manager and he asked us to keep stirring it around.  Obviously it did not work…

In addition to the pork, we also had a kimchee stew that came with the set meal.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was utterly disappointing.  It felt as if they were not prepared to serve anything else except the seafood stew that was a set meal standard.  It just did not meet our expectation and added to our already mediocre experience.

A few things which pissed me off that night:

1) There were no lettuce to wrap the meat, and there was only just half a teaspoon of sauce to go with the meat.  I asked 2 different people and NONE even bothered after 30 minutes. 

2) We ordered the rainbow pork, kimchee pancake and a marinated beef cube roll.  After 1 hour of eating, we only had the rainbow pork.  Nothing else arrived.  Thank you waitress for not taking our orders on a paper.  And also a big thanks to the manager with a CBF attitude. 

3) Despite the modern interior of the place, there was absolutely no ventilation to get the smoke out.  We were literally choking towards the end of our meal. It definitely could have been better.

But putting all my unhappiness aside with the service and the stew, I was actually very delighted with the pork.  The flavors were very well thought of and it simply worked.  The ginseng and wine pork belly for example had a beautiful fragrance while the curry one simply sizzled with spices.  Garlic and herbs also complemented the pork belly well.  These were the simple joys which would have us extremely elated if it was not for the patchy – sub-quality service we had that night.  While I would typically give more established places a STERN “avoid” reputation, I accept the fact the Namoo Korean Barbecue is no more mature than an embryo.   But I definitely hope to see improvements the next time I come in.


Namoo Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bites: Jayusigan @ Victoria Park

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!                                                                                                                      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis 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.                                                                       OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt 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.                                                    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASurprisingly 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!



Jayusigan on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 15, 2013

South Korea: Jeju Island Pt. 2

Waking up early the next day, we enjoyed complementary breakfast of eggs and toasts before setting out to meet our taxi driver for the day. Our first stop was the teddy bear museum which boasts to a huge collection of bears of various Themes. The little darling decided to become a bear too!  She was beary beary happy! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWedding Bear!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANaughty  X Terracotta Bear!

Did a little traveling and we stopped by another tourist site but I was not sold by the stone formations. I preferred eating more :)! So it was fish cakes and hot radish broth along with some sweet red bean filled cakes along the way ;)! 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADelicious fishcakes in radish broth are everywhere! And that includes some or most 7elevens too!
One of the catchy tourist spot I enjoyed most was the mysterious road. An optical illusion where cars roll uphill and water flows upwards. A  bloody amazing sight. Or at least much more impressive than stones xD. Views of the terrain also caught my sight. The driver explained that the bulge were actually graves caused by the effect of the volcanic ground. Other places were flat because live stocks roam freely, applying pressure and keeping the ground flat. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe graves were unaffected due to the rock perimeter preventing livestock from entering.

Next was a UNESCO heritage site. A waterfall site which looked good but fell way short of majestic. Nevertheless, the rock sculptures formed out of volcanic rocks in the area were really eye catching yet so symbolic of knowledge and bravery!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWaterfall!  Told you it was not much… :(

We then went on to the Sunrise Peak but not before a lunch of locally caught mackerel cooked in the simplest manner on the grill.
  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile the cooking was simple, it freshness was unbeatable!  But we got ripped off! Jeezus!

It was a gloomy day and it shows from this picture! But it was a good thing.  It was not really too hot or anything :)!
Sunrise peak!

But believe it or not, the amazing part of this place was the “lady divers”.  People who carry on the tradition of catching seafood by diving despite this horrible winter chill!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrue story!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, the ladies are pretty old! Even the youngest is about 60 years old.  Thus they joked the “between us, we share more than 300 years of experience!”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe and live octopus.  And only moments later….
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbalone and octopus sashimi.  ACHIEVMENT UNLOCKED.  Almost died there… @@!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the way down, I really enjoyed the views of this little town.  Despite this trip being more than 2 months old now, I feel a growing sense of attachment.  South Korea really is a beautiful place :)!  Oh btw, the tent was setup for the first sunrise of the year event.  An event celebrated every new year’s eve!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy last scenery shot before we headed back to the city area.   It was extremely pleasant!  Our taxi driver commented that n summer this place is full of chicks. NOTED.

And the most important part of the day, a delicious meal to end the night on a high!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother meal of fantastic barbecue.  This time, even the cabbage and bean sprout kimchi goes on!  Not the healthiest thing, but as the belly crisps, its oil cooked the kimchee even more, giving it an unforgettable aroma.  All then gets wrapped in a lettuce.  ENJOY!

When we were close to finishing, the owner came out and cooked the remaining pork belly and kimchee with rice.  Cheekily, he made a love shape out of the rice.   Hospitality in South Korea is unbelievable.  Everyone here is so helpful and caring right from the start till the end.   Even from the start, an old aunty has been keeping an eye on us making sure we were alright.  Consistently asking her helpers to bring more food to us.  What can I say?  It was lovely.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA<3! While I wish I know the name of the place in English, I do not :(! Nevertheless, the owner left us a card:
IMG_1742Took this with my iPhone ;)! Hope this helps anyone who needs a good barbecue place in Jeju Island!

After that the little darling and I walked a bit more before settling down to relax over warm drinks @ Tortini café.  Just the perfect way to end our last night in Jeju! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreen tea latte, hot chocolate and….

A delicious slice of moist baked cheese cake! :)!
  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABoth the drinks and the cake were yummy. I do not drink coffee at all and luckily for me, green tea latte has no coffee.  Just really delicious matcha stirred into frothed milk! Delicious! The hot chocolate that darling had was not any lesser too.  It was creamy, rich and sweetness just at the right amount.  The biggest surprise for the night was the baked cheese cake which was so yummy.  It put most cheesecakes in Perth to shame!

Next stop?  Mount Sorak!

More soon :)