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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kimchi Grandma Korean Restaurant

This is an old post from my other blog More Thanh Words which I have decided to group here as it is about food.

Kimchi Grandma has a few stores scattered around the place but the particular one I'm reviewing is the one located on Whitehorse Road in Box Hill. The small glassed store front leads into a very long and large restaurant inside, with a small side ajoining room that looks out on the pavement. Its a bit dark in there for my liking but when the ceiling is like 10 metres high, it is pretty hard to light the place adequately.

Dennis, Paul and I ordered quite a lot of food since we were all extremely hungry. For entrees we got the Seafood Pancake, with one slice still left on the left photo below. I was so hungry I forgot to take photos of everything until after we had nearly finished eating. The Pancake is a nice chewy texture with pieces of seafood and when dipped into the slightly sweet soy sauce, works quite well. Accompanying the entree was the assortment of side dishes that Korean food is famous for. They vary from time to time depending on what they have. My all time favourite side dish tasted a bit like abalone, but I doubt they would give that since its so expensive. It was probably squid marinated in some way. Anyway this time, we got six side dishes consisting of pickled white radish, kimchi (pickled cabbage, my other favourite), jelly in soy sauce, marinated eggplant, egg rolls and pickled bean sprouts. You can see all the empty little dishes in the left photo.



For mains we had the good old Beef Bulgogi (left dish on right photo), which is thinly sliced beef in a garlic, soy and sweet bbq like sauce served on a hot plate with various vegetables. Kimichi Grandma's Beef Bulgogi is quite good and I've tried quite a few Beef Bulgogi at different Korean restaurants. We also got another hot plate dish in the Beef Ribs (left dish in left photo). It is also a sweet bbq type flavour and the beef ribs has its own distinct flavour. The last dish we got was the Seafood Hot Pot (right dish in right photo). It is a spicy soup mix with lots of different seafood such as mussels, clams, calamari, prawns, tiny octopus and vegetables such as mushroom, radish and various types of Asian green leaf type vegetables.

The service at Kimchi Grandma was good. We were seated quickly and brought tea immediately. We were also asked what drinks we like first. The orders were taken and confirmed, also checking whether we wanted entrees first or everything at once.

The atmosphere at Kimchi Grandma depends on the night. On crowded nights, such as Friday when we were there, the noise level is quite high and there is a general buzz around the place typical of many Asian restaurants. Its make for a happy mood even if you have to shout a bit to be heard.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Food and service good and not too expensive.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

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