As always, it’s been a pathetically long time since I last updated, and I must apologise for the quality of my mobile photos – next pics will be prettier, I promise !
So if you’ve ever been to Eastwood, you’ll know it’s a melting pot of Asian cultures – and by melting pot, I actually mean hot pot – and by hotpot, I mean that there’s approximately 2 sides to Eastwood: the Korean side and the Chinese side.
It was a Monday night and a craving for Japanese food quickly translated to Korean, thanks to reminiscing over a recent trip to Madang – hence the choice of Tudari BBQ Korean Restaurant.
Although I’ve been to this side of Eastwood (the Chinese side – or to be more politically correct, the library side) a gazillion times, I’d never actually ventured into Tudari BBQ – despite a window display plastered with pictures of food and a rather enticing display of the complimentary Korean side dishes on offer.
And let me just say …I have never been to a Korean restaurant that offers as many complimentary side dishes as this one:
Spinach, sweet & sour pork, creamed corn, pumpkin soup, apples & carrots, sardines, mushrooms, potato noodles, vegetable omelette, kimchi, radish, honey fried potato & potato
I must admit that there were second thoughts after every side dish under the sun had been whipped onto our table for two approximately 5 seconds after ordering our 3 mains …but food is food, and who can ever say no ? :)
Sizzling Stone Pot Bibimbap – $13
Within a few minutes, this steaming pot was placed in front of us. The rice was crunchy and warm and was decorated with beansprouts, mushrooms, spinach, egg and –wait, no meat ?
When we asked the Korean waiter where the meat was, he told us we couldn’t see the meat because it was in such small pieces — before he realised there actually wasn’t any meat…
…Only to return five minutes later, despite the kitchen already being closed, with a small, steaming dish of beef, and a bowing, profusely apologetic owner.
Set menu with Bulgogi on a Hot Iron Plate – $12
The beef bulgogi came nestled on a bed of lettuce and, despite being a bit soggy, was deliciously sweet. There was a subtle sesame flavour but it wasn’t drowned in soy sauce, the way some bulgogi recipes can be (like my own failed attempt ..hahah).
Steamed Dumplings – $12
I’m sure I’ve tried Korean-style dumplings (mandu) before, but this was a pleasant surprise because it was definitely not what I was expecting! Small pockets of dumpling skin stuffed with vegetables, pork, and what might have been a variant of thin rice noodle – and a soy sauce dipping sauce.
The dumplings itself were a tad dry but that might just have been because it took us so long to eat it !
All in all, the food was on par with typical Korean cuisine, not to mention the continuous humming of Korean music, which lent to the authenticity of the restaurant, despite being deceptively placed on the Eastwood Chinese side.
And as Monday nights go, the restaurant was quiet with few customers – which just means faster service & a real hidden gem ! – and the food in Eastwood is usually decent so I’ll definitely be coming back for more.
Not to mention – despite coming in at around 8.30pm (when the restaurant closes at 9pm – 9.30pm), the owner was extremely hospitable and sat at another table learning English, while we s l o w l y finished our meal (unlike other restaurants that give you the bill and try and kick you out).
The incredibly cheap bill – given at the very end upon polite request of the patron :)
Think one of the marks of a great restaurant is the service & the service here was definitely 5 star :)
Tudari BBQ Korean Restaurant (visited 08/08/11)
8 Hillview Rd
Eastwood NSW 2122