Sunday, 5 August 2007

Oriental Spoon

You could be forgiven for not venturing to the quieter end of Latrobe St, insinuating this was Chinese cuisine from the name, bracing for the snobby arrogant service similar to that of some Sydney CBD establishments, thinking it had just opened three days ago and that Christmas had arrived. Not that time of the year, they’ve just left a decorative piece hanging. It’s Korean fare here, BBQ tables border the brightly lit dining area, a polite waiter escorts you to an expensive solid wood table that looks like it’s just been unwrapped. So clean is this place I reckon they could have thrown the kimchi on the floor and gone TA-DA, dinner is served.

You could also be mistaken that this place would be relatively cheap and mispronouncing certain options as a computer image format (bitmap). Value, it is not, bibimbab is pricey but it’s good. Fresh julienne slices of carrot, onion, mushroom, bok choi, beanshoots and your choice of beef or chicken rest on top of the charring white rice below. I wish they just cracked the raw egg on top instead of frying it because I like that slight moistness and runny yolk throughout. Stirring thoroughly, the sesame oil prevents anything from sticking to the hotpot, adding chilli til the rice becomes a Manchester red energises the bibimbab. Duk Bul Bab (pardon my Korean) – paper thin slices of salmon arranged to resemble flower petals on steamed rice, dab of sesame oil with assorted thinly shredded assorted lettuce and matchstick carrot and cucumber fail to ignite my food hole in what was a rather uneventful dish. Bubbling Pork and KimChi JiGae looks like it could put a hole through your stomach but it’s mild so there’s no need to sign up for a St John’s ambo membership. They’ve evolved the usual firey Korean chilli to cater for a Western palate, but being an extreme carnivore, I'll write to Santa for more meat.

2.5 / 5 yums!


Where? 254 Latrobe St, Melbourne

What? Average main : $15

Left to Right : Bibimbab Chicken, Pork and KimChi JiGae, KimChi, Bibimbab Beef, Duk Bul Bab

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