Lunch @ Guhng

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My high school friends (H, M & N) and I decided to go for Korean BBQ for M’s birthday since it’s her favourite cuisine. I don’t know about the others, but I thought Guhng was the right choice. Unlike other Korean restaurants, Guhng grills top quality meat to medium rare, just the way I like it! Not only did the meat melt in my mouth, but my heart melted along with it. Not to mention the interior design was absolutely stunning with four (yes four!) restaurant levels, each with extravagant and refined decor. The waitresses were efficient and attentive at the start, but this slowly diminished as more patrons rolled in.

LUNCH BANQUET $35pp (also includes complimentary sides/banchan of kimchi, pickled radish & onions, as well as various dipping sauces)

Pan-fried dumplings (4 pieces per person) – filled w/ soybean curd, onion, garlic & ginger
Guhng’s pan-fried dumplings were different to ones I’ve tried in the past because of its soybean curd filling. It was a bit bland but had an enjoyable mushy texture which contrasted the crispiness of the dumpling wrappers.
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Fried crispy pork belly – marinated in soy sauce w/ vegetables (carrot, capsicum, onion)
The pork belly was nicely cooked. ‘Marinade’ was kind of like black bean sauce; a lovely blend of salty and sweet, tying the dish together nicely. If I was to be picky here… and I am, then I must say I was kind of disappointed that the crispiness wasn’t there. The dish was too saucy, making the pork belly skin soggy (everybody loves a crispy skin).
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Scotch fillet (100g per person) – grass-fed marbled beef fillet
At every Korean restaurant I’ve been to, the waiter/waitress has given me a beautiful piece of meat, failed to give it the attention it needs due to their focus on serving other customers, resulting in tough overcooked meat and me leaving with an uneasy heart (I love my meat). But not this restaurant! The scotch fillet was well cooked to medium rare. The meat was juicy, tender and was just perfect on its own. Guhng truly appreciated the meat and let it shone.
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Galbi (100g per person) – traditional Korean (galbi) sauce marinated beef ribs
The beef ribs had a sweet and sticky marinade which enhanced the flavour. Once again, the meat was exquisitely moist and tender. I was so moved by Guhng’s efforts :’)
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EXTRA SEAFOOD HOTPOT (+$29) – w/ fish, king prawns, baby octopus, squid, mussels, abalone, tofu, mushrooms & cabbage.
The waitress came up to our table and literally cut. up. everything. The mussels, abalone, octopus, even the prawn were in tiny little pieces. I would’ve preferred them kept whole because it retains the freshness of the seafood. I don’t usually like water-based food, particularly hotpot but the broth was comforting, with a little hint of spiciness and a great depth of flavour.IMG_3749

EXTRA STEAMED BLACK BEAN RICE (+$2 per bowl, sorry no photo!) – I’ve never tried black rice before, but I’m very glad we ordered it. Black bean rice has a crunchier and chewier texture than white rice, which all of us collectively enjoyed, although it can get a bit dry if you don’t have any liquids to accompany it.

T’s Verdict:
Highlights: top quality meat cooked to medium rare
Lowlights: sitting in close proximity to the huge charcoal grill & a failing ventilation system = our faces feeling terribly hot and smokey
Quality of the food – 8.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – sophisticated and refined (ground floor)
Overall experience – 8/10

Interested?
Guhng (Korean)
19 McKillop Street, Melbourne (CBD)
(03) 9041 2192
Lunch: Open Monday to Friday 12PM – 3PM,
Dinner: Open Monday to Thursday & Sunday 6PM – 11PM, Friday & Saturday 6PM – 12AM
http://www.guhngkorean.com/
Guhng on Urbanspoon

 

See ya next week!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

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