Having gone to Madtongsan on a regular basis, a friend suggested we go have dinner at Seoul Bistro on Turton Street last week, as a bit of a change.
We were lucky to have booked in advance, as the restaurant was all full up. I noted that a significant portion of the customers were enjoying the fried chicken wing buffet, but we settled for a la carte that night.
The menu was quite simple, despite being split over two sheets of A3 papers.
Between the three of us, we ordered a set meal and an extra Kimchi Fried Rice
The set meal began with a portion of takoyaki. There were four balls between the three of us. It was covered with bonito flakes and shallots. The takoyaki at Seoul Bistro were crispy, but didn't have as much octopus content as I would have liked.
Our second dish was the Yangynam Chicken, which is the signature dish of Seoul Bistro. It had a very very thick batter, and was very sweet. It was undeniably crunchy, but I think that it covered way too much of the chicken flavour.
Next up we had one of the grilled dishes to share. It looked absolutely amazing! We picked the Dak Bulgogi, which was a sweet soy chicken, served with rice cake and vegetables. It was served with two bowls of rice. We were advised that the chicken and veges were not fully cooked yet, so we took the time to stir fry it on the platter and appreciate it sizzle away. Once stirred through, the dish seemed a lot smaller than initially thought, perhaps it was very thinly spread over the metal plate when served. I found the the dish looked a lot better than it tasted. The sauce was exceptionally sweet. So sweet, that it completely overwhelmed any soy flavour and any freshness the ingredients would have had. My personal preference is also against cabbage (I much prefer lettuce), as it is very thick and hard. There were copious amounts of cabbage in the dish, additionally, the rice cakes (which I was really looking forward to) were super dry and hard to the palate, which was very disappointing.
Our side dishes arrived a bit later, it consisted of kimchi and some freshly preserved vinegar cabbage. The kimchi was very very spicy, whilst the vinegar cabbage was also exceptionally sour.
Given how spicy the kimchi was, you would expect that the kimchi fried rice would be very spicy. In fact it was not. It was actually very very bland. Actually, as you can see in the picture, it was really wet and mushy. Whilst I enjoy sauce on top of my fried rice, it's still good practice to serve it with the rice grains reasonably dry. The salad on the side was quite refreshing
Considering the amount of positive reviews of Seoul Bistro, I was really quite surprised to be disappointed as I was that evening. I note that we probably ordered the wrong dishes, as our neighbours meals did look far more appetising.
Price Range: $10 - $20 per person