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Archive for the ‘Korean’ Category

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 ? :)

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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.

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 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).

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 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

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I remember the first time I went to Seoul Ria back in 2007, I was dragged almost unwillingly by my then-boyfriend into a tiny, cramped elevator which smelt oddly like human pee.

Even though the official address is on George St, to actually find Seoul Ria you have to turn into Goulburn St, go past the Baskin Robbins and walk through a pair of dirty glass doors where a lone elevator awaits. (Rape alert, much ?!)

Despite its dodgy entrance, it was a pretty happenin’ place back then (lol), and it still is a pretty happenin’ place now. ;) …and by “happenin'”, I just mean that there’s always a lot of people waiting to eat, contrary to any premature assumptions !

Over 2 years, the complimentary side dishes (banchan) at Seoul Ria haven’t changed much – and if anything, they’re as generous as ever ! :)

2007
various Korean dishes I’m not even going to try and name

 

2009
macaroni pasta, kimchi, seaweed, potato, mung bean jelly (nok du muk, I believe it is called!) lol

I’ve always loved the potato, and alwaysss feeel a little greedy asking for seconds – but I find the waiters at any Korean restaurant always willingly comply with the extra food demands :) (although I must say I’m guilty of getting someone else to ask for me 99% of the timee :x)

 

Jjajang Myeon
Korean version of zha jiang mian, this is black bean paste noodle, Korean style, with diced meat and vegetables :) Always a favourite that I’ll order if I can’t think of anything else to get

The occasion this time round was a girl’s birthday (Juliet!), while waiting for friends to come to the city.

 

Bulgogi – $15

marinated beef scotch fillet . Although the photo makes it look a little dry, it was still as good as ever :)

If anyone can help me out with what the rest of this is, it would be greatly appreciated ! :)

 

Nooo idea what this was ..any takers?

I tried taking this photo at least five times, and EVERY time the photo turned out as some ..overexposed, flashy saucy dish =\.  you can even see the steam !!

 

Seafood noodle soup ?

IMO doesn’t look thaaat appetising, but whoever ate this (Jeff and Sunny, I think?) said it was pretty good ! :)

 

Pork chop ..and salad

I have a photo of this from 2 years ago, and the size of the meat seems to have been chopped in half !! Salad portion is still that sizeable amount, though.

In case you couldn’t tell, the selection of Korean (fusion) dishes at Seoul Ria is wide and varied. Can’t say much re: taste this time, though, considering this was the day after my mysterious lethargy, and food was still my dearest frenemy.

BUTT from previous times, I’d say potato noodle and the Korean seafood pancake is also another of my favourites ! :) (especiallyyyy the noodle, though the pancake, from memory, is kinda oily). This time, we were going to get the dessert, but for some reason they’d run out :( . But if you’re ever in the city and looking for a good Korean feed, this would definitely be near the top of my list ! (Either here, or Dae Jang Kum ..because their raw beef is really good!)

 

Seoul Ria 서울리아 (visited 23/05/09)
Level 2, 605-609 George St
Haymarket, Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9269 0222

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Apologies I haven’t updated in a few days – resulting in an epic backlog of at least 8 places I still need to blog about! T_T I’ve just been lazyyy andddd I began my final exams today (had French exam for uni which was epiiiiiic fail! :( ), which SHOULD be a legitimate excuse, but really isn’t. For the rest of you sitting exams/about to sit exams, I wish you luck also! :D And for those of you who have nothing ..welllllllll, enjoy it while it lasts ! =b

 An impromptu dinner saw the three of us spending fifteen minutes on a cold autumn night deliberating where to eat – “I don’t want Chinese!”, “I’ve already eaten Thai today!” “Fast food sucks!” etc etc – which doesn’t really leave you much choice when you’re stuck in the city on a Tuesday night.

Anyways, the winner was Dae Jang Kum Korean BBQ, a neon-light-flashing Korean restaurant just off George St, Haymarket.

The tacky neon lights on the exterior of DJK definitely clash with the oh-so-sophisticated Korean interior. And like most fobby restaurants, Korean MVs and TV shows can be heard blaring from flat screen TVs upholstered on the walls! ..but unlike most fobby restaurants, elaborate Korean characters decorated the walls, and the name ‘Dae Jang Kum’ was carved in the backs of all the seats.

 


As soon as we’rd ordered, we were promptly served with those complimentary Korean side dishes – kimchi, potato, beansprouts, white radish kimchi, and crabstick! Nothing like your atypical dishes to get your juices flowing ;)

 

Steamed spicy pork ribs – $15

…with a copy of our embarrassing learners’ licences in the background. -_-”
This tasted pretty much like stringy pork stew (as has a lot of the meat I’ve been eating has tasted like recently!), but was really nice! If you’ve ever had the meat that comes with the entree soup you get in Chinese restaurants (and you actually like it), then I’d recommend this for sure!

 

Sliced pork ..and other things – $30

No idea what this was exactly, ‘cos every time I asked, Iris told me it was pig feet! Anyway, for $30 I’d say it was well worth it – you get thinly sliced, cold pieces of pork, slippery wet oysters that slide between your chopsticks, a bed of chilli and greens, all with a side of mysterious white radish.

Even though the radish looks like that yummy salty pickled radish that you can find hidden away in California sushi rolls (the yellow version), it definitely wasn’ttt! I’d steer clear of this one – a subtle cinnamon flavour, with alcoholic undertones. =O (an eccentric taste that I wouldn’t go for again :s)

 

Complimentary Yukhae (steamed raw beef)

If you couldn’t tell, it’s RAW! Just as we were about to up and leave, they come out with this dish! Seasoned with sesame oil, salt and pepper – Even though it looks like somebody stole it from the abbatoir unawares and then slapped it on a dish, it, like the rest of the food here (bar the radish), ’twas a taste sensaaaation! ;)

Even if you’re not a fan of garlic, raw egg, OR raw beef,  cast aside your hesitance and try to your heart’s (mal)content! x] It didn’t taste like raw meat at all! …but it’d probably be a bit of an issue trying to suss out this dish’s name when talking to the fobby Korean waiters. =S

 

You use your chopsticks to mash up the raw egg and garlic, and awayyy you go XD

 

Then again, they probably only gave us the free beef because of the copious amounts of soju and Korean beer we consumed. x.x yuck
Take heed: If ever you take soju shots, make sure you keep count (duhhh)!

 

Dae Jang Kum Korean BBQ (大長今) (visited 19/05/09)
35 – 37 Goulburn St
Haymarket, Chinatown
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9211 0890

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