Sunday, September 21, 2008

Value For Money When Dining Out

When dining out, trying to determine if something is value for money is so hard. It's such a subject thing as one person's criteria for what is value is different to another. I will use two recent dining examples of mine to demonstrate.

The first dining experience is what I would call value for money. Before going to see Wicked, my friend and I dropped by Horoki for dinner. I love that restaurant and have written about it here, here, and here. The price for our dinner was $70, which is $35 each, although to be fair, my friend said she was quite full already and didn't eat one of the dishes. So lets say the meal for just myself would have cost $45.

So what did we get to eat for that price. Well, I got a beer while she got a juice. We then had my favourite daikon sashimi salad that contained beautiful cuts of fish combined with a tangy dressing that enveloped the finely shredded daikon with fish roe bursting at every bite while the seaweed and fried noodle crisps crunched away. We also got a Korean pancake that was cooked to perfection with no hint of floury taste and soft pieces of squid. We also got plump seared scallops with a thin gelatinous rice skin overlapping dressed with oil, capers and diced tomato. We also got a cod roe butter that smoothly covered some noodles with a sprinkling of paprika. Finally, to finish it all off, I got a velvety smooth creme brulee while my friend got an equally smooth panna cotta with berry sauce. Now to me, that meal was utterly delicious and great value for money.

Now fast forward a couple of days and let's contrast it to another meal that some may think is value for money, but for me was utter rubbish. That meal was eaten at Sofias Burwood. The meal cost $40 each when the bill was split with two other friends. Since one friend only had a salad and soup, my meal probably cost near $50. So this is what I got. Again, I got a beer. I got about 5 oysters natural that were not fresh at all and had no flavour. I also got a steak medium rare that was extremely chewy and absolutely flavourless. It was such a huge chunk of steak that I couldn't finish it. Sitting next to the steak was some vegetables that had been boiled to death and was so lifeless. To top it off, there was a mushroom sauce that tasted worse than the packet stuff from the supermarket and it drenched my plate so that everything was swimming in it. Then I got dessert, which I thought they couldn't possibly get wrong. How can you mess up crepes with bananas. Well, I got a huge huge plate (see photo below, my hand is there for aspect) of two crepes, with a tub of cream, bananas soaked in banana syrup and sprinkled with dessicated coconut and half a tub of "vanilla" ice cream. Let me start with the crepes. They tasted like they hadn't been cooked yet and was all stretchy. It tasted foul and I couldn't eat more than a couple of bites. The whipped cream from a can was also foul. The bananas, which you can't go wrong with right, were boiled to a mush and drenched in this awful synthetic flavoured banana syrup. Even the dessicated coconut taseted funny. And finally, that huge chunk of vanilla ice cream had absolutely no flavour. If you didn't tell me it was vanilla ice cream, I would have guessed it was lard.

So as you can see, some people may think the sofia's dinner was value for money. I got three courses which on paper sounded great. But in excution, was atrocious. I looked around at the other tables and the patrons looked quite happy, or at least not upset. Many were even happy to be able to take away a huge container full of pasta that was the remains of their meals. The pasta dishes were so huge I really thought all three of us could eat just one plate. If you think I'm kidding, look at the dessert plate above.

I don't think I'm a food snob, as I like eating things like Hungry Jack's burgers or at my local Chinese Vietnamese restaurants that serve $10 meals and be equally happy. But Sofia's, and other similar restaurants, are not value for money. I have been there three times, not of my choosing, and it has been equally horrendous each time. These types of restaurants should really change their style so that they serve smaller servings of better quality rather than this sloppy fare. Our meals arrived so fast (our steaks arrived in about 5 minutes, desserts in about 8 minutes) that they must all just be pre cooked and sitting there. It's worse than fast food, where even they claim they cook your burger when you order it now.

So to summarise, for me, value for money is eating well food that uses good (doesn't have to be experience) quality ingredients and excuted well. I would rather have the Horoki experience where I ate some exciting dishes and was full enough rather than have so much food at Sofias that I couldn't walk (if I ate it all, which I didn't) for the next three days but was terribly slopped together that even an ingredient like a banana could be ruined. Even if they did nothing with the banana and just sliced it and placed it next the "crepe", it would have tasted good.

One Restaurant, Two Menus

You are seated to a large round pink clothed table. Your nine friends and yourself are handed menus. You start to browse the menu while sipping on some Jasmine tea. As you are ready to order, a waiter walks past you and the wafting smell of something exotic whips past you. You crane your neck to look at the adjoining table. Curiously, the dish of Abalone with Sea Cucumber in Claypot that they have just been presented doesn’t seem to be on menu. Upon closer inspection, quite a number of other dishes they are eating doesn’t seem to be on the menu. You grab your friends menu to check that your menu isn’t missing a page. Nope, same thing. You start to think that maybe these are regular customers and the chef has made a special effort to cook something for them that isn’t on the menu. But as you scan across the restaurant, you see others are having the same dish.

Confused? Well, this is what happened to a friend when he dined at Imperial Kingdom with 9 of his friends. This friend of mine is a white Caucasian male, and his friends also happened to be Anglo Saxon too. In case you haven’t already worked it out yet, they were subjected to the anti-racism that occurs for Anglo Saxon customers at many fine, and not so fine, Chinese restaurants around Melbourne.

Some Chinese restaurants have two menus, one in Chinese which they give to Asian looking customers, regardless of whether they can read Chinese or not. The other “sanitised” menu is given to Anglo Saxon customers, who they think will not want to eat the other types of food and who they can probably rip off more easily. It seems a strange practise given that Australian’s gastronomic vocabulary has improved so much that they shouldn’t give people a choice in the matter.

Many a times I have been to Imperial Kingdom and seen other tables order the banquet and be presented with spring rolls, corn soup, dim sims, lemon chicken, seafood bird’s nest etc and thought to myself that a)no Asian would ever eat any of those things at a Chinese restaurant, and b)they could be trying so much more authentic and more delicious food. I’m not picking on Imperial Kingdom, just merely using it as an example as this was a real situation that occurred. When my friend was telling me about his weekend dining experience at Imperial Kingdom, before he even finished talking, I asked him if he ordered the banquet. When he said yes as that was the easiest thing to do, I started to rattle off the list of food items and he said that was what they had. The killer for me was when I said lemon chicken and plum pork. Uuugh, how many Asians ever eat lemon chicken anywhere. And plum pork is so hard to make taste right. Unless you use real pickled plums so that the dish has both a sour and sweet component, it just tastes so wrong. All restaurants use these generic ultra gluggy plum sauce that only gets served to the “gwei low” (Anglo Saxons).

It’s funny how so many Chinese restaurants are still getting away with having two menus. I guess maybe I may be overestimating the palette of most Australians. Maybe a lot of people are happy with spring rolls and dim sims, but why not give everyone a choice. Some might still go for the dim sims, but others may want to try that delicious Abalone.

Han Palace - Yum Cha

I caught up with some friends for Yum Cha. Kidman had organised it for Han Palace. None of us had gone back there for ages. It was chosen as that was the most central location for everyone. From when I was last there at least one and a half to two years ago, it was rather quiet. The food was ok with the main attraction being that it was cheap.

How things I have changed. We were all shocked when there was a huge crowd waiting to get in at the change of seating time of 1pm. Luckily, Kidman had booked beforehand so we were ushered in and seated while others jockeyed to get tables. A crowded restaurant usually means two things. The food is good since there is a constant rotation of fresh stuff, and you tend to have to wait as the trolleys take a while to come to you. We didn't mind the waiting part we were there to talk anyway.

As usual, I got everyone to pose for photos and took them when they weren't ready. Here is Jaslene and Kidman.

Jacky and I weren't entirely ready either when Kevin took the photo.

And a shot of Kevin eating away.

I have to say, the new management have really revamped the food. It actually tastes good now. Staples like "har cheung" (prawn wrapped in rice noodle, left), "woo tow gok" (mince wrapped in taro and crispy pastry, middle) and "char siu guen" (roast pork rolls, right) were actually good.

They also had the more Asian specialties such as Chicken Feet, Tripe and Tendons. All three had good flavours.

Other staples like "har gow" (prawn dumplings), "bao" (buns) and various other dumplings were all good. The desserts that we tried of Green Tea Cakes with Red Bean, Gluttonous Rice Cakes and Mango Pudding were godo too. Only the Tapioca and Mango dessert was a bit disappointing due to the mango being totally frozen. We joked that they must have accidentally left it all in the fridge or the cold tub they were serving it from had a hidden freezer inside.

Anyway, the place was noisy as any good yum cha place should be. The service was good as far as yum cha goes. Our tea pot was refilled constantly and the staff fulfilled every request we had such as rearranging the tables and orders for food.

Price wise, it's still good value there. The meal only cost us $17 each, not bad since everyone was full and we ordered a lot of prawn dishes. Now that I know this place is quite good, I have to join the throng of people and visit here more often on weekends for yum cha.

Overall Rating: 14/20, The food is good and the prices is very fair.

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.

Punch Lane

After flicking through my 2009 copy of The Age Good Food Guide, I deicded on Punch Lane as the choice of dining locations as my friends left it to me to choose. The description in the Good Food Guide sounded really interesting and turned out to be quite accurate.

Punch Lane is located on the very crowded Spring street end of Little Bourke. You walk into a dark lit restaurant that is separted into two areas. The main bar is situated in the large more brightly lit room housing large chalk boards with specials and wines and numerous wooden tables. We were seated in the more intimate adjoining area where there was only 5-6 tables.

The waitress asked us for drinks and what type of water we wanted. As I don't believe in paying for any type of water, I asked for tap water. While we browsed the drinks menu, the waitress informed us about the night's specials in a knowledgeable fashion. The service throughout the night was efficient and friendly without being atrusive. The timing of the dishes is possibly a bit slow, but I guess some people like to take longer for their meals.

We started with a Tasting Plate, which contained some very interesting and tantalising array of flavours. There was empanadas, chicken liver parfait, Manchago cheese with Quince paste, Grilled Eggplant, Prosciutto and my favourite of the lot, Red Peppers stuffed with Goat's Cheese and topped with a White Anchovy.

Initially, we all wanted to have the Steak. But after some discussion, we decided to go with a larger variety of mains and share it. The mains we choose were obviously the Steak which was paired with a Parsnip Puree and Roasted Bone Marrow. A Confit of Duck with paired with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple. Finally, the Seared Scallops had a Artichoke Mash, Lemon and Caper Butter.

The Steak was very tender but surprisingly, the fillet cut lacked a bit of flavour. I loved the bone marrow and sucked out all of it in one big whoosh. Why don't more restaurants serve bone marrow, it's so unctuous (shout outs to Towser and Agnes, did I use this word correctly?) but addictive.

The Seared Scallops contained large plump scallops that were so full of flavour. The fresh tasting scallops really made this dish. The capers helped to provide a bit of kick to the dish, but the scallops could have been served by themselves and would still be a great dish.

Finally, the Duck Confit surprised me. The duck was not overly dry and the dish was balance of sweet, sour and salty. The apples were a great addition I thought.

For desserts, we got the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Poached Quince and the Rice Pudding with Rhubarb Compote. The pudding was a bit coying and we all just had a few spoons because the Panna Cotta was so unbelievably good that everyone was fighting for that. This was one of the smoothest Panna Cotta's I've tried and the Vanilla bean specks throughout the panna cotta could be tasted clearly. Paired with the fragrant quince, it was a perfect dessert.

The food was surprisingly better than I expected. What sounded on paper like dishes that were served at numerous other restaurants was excuted with skill and good ingredients, giving rise to some excellent flavours.

Service, as mentioned early was both efficient and unobtrusive. The atmosphere in the section of the room we were in was a bit more muted, but not overly so that you dare not speak at all. The lighting was a touch dark for my liking but otherwise it was quite comfortable.

Overall Rating: 15/20, Good food with some good service to match.

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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Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Truffles

I was thinking of a cake to make for a friend's birthday. Since he really likes chocolate (and so do I, as I would get to eat the cake too), I decided to make a chocolate cake. I've many numerous and most are good but I still continue trying more chocolate cake recipes. I hope to one day find the perfect chocolate cake. The search continues. Anyway, I wanted to dress up the cake and make it even more interesting, so decided to make Chocolate Truffles. Jon's recipe was really easy to make and tasted decadently luscious. I tried various combinations of alcohol and non-alcohol truffles with various nuts and frostings. In the end, my favourite by far was the Grand Marnier truffles with almond frosting.

For the chocolate cake, I tried the Moist Chocolate Cake recipe from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. Note to Cindy (if you happen to read this), you may have noticed that my cook book collection has expanded. I now have added another 4 cook books to my collection, expanding by collection by 200% to a whopping 6 books hahaha.

I found this cake very good. It's somewhere between a dense mud cake and a light buttermilk cake. I think this cake worked well with the chocolate ganache as it wasn't overly heavy. The truffles really did lift the cake. Each time you bit into a truffle, you could taste the alcohol and I thought this made the cake another fold (that's an extra 100% for you non mathematicians out there) better. I can't actually quantify that finding as it's my own subjective measurement, so there is an error margin of +- 100%. Regardless, let's just say it was better with the truffles.

Moist Chocolate Cake
From Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2


300g dark couverture chocolate, chopped
250g butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup almond meal


1. Preheat over to 150C. Line base of 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.

2. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Set aside to cool.

2. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until pale and thick.

3. Sift flour and baking powder over egg mixture and gently fold through with the almond meal and chocolate mixture.

4. Pour mixture into tin and bake for 50 minutes until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool in tin.

Chocolate Ganache

100g good quality dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
120ml thick cream

1. To make ganache, combine chocolate and cream in heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir occasionally, till mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for around an hour, stirring occasionally till it has cooled and thickened to a spreadable consistency.

Chocolate Truffles

250g good quality dark Belgian chocolate
250g good quality milk Belgian chocolate
Approx 400ml Pure/ Double Cream (45% fat content)

1. Heat cream until it is boiling and add in broken up pieces of chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.

2. Add alcohol flavours if you wish and pour chocolate mixture into bowls and refigerate for two hours at least.

3. Use a melon baller or teaspoons and make small balls from the ganache. Roll the balls in nuts, dessicated coconut, cocoa powder or whatever you wish.

Vanilla Slice

There are some people out there who are vanilla slice connoisseurs and are searching for the perfect vanilla slice. Check out the Vanilla Slice Blog if you want to join the crusade. I am very partial to a good vanilla slice and will always get one when I see it. After always fearing that they are really hard to make, after seeing Maggie Beer make one on The Cook and The Chef, I decided to give one a go myself. The recipe I chose was the one that looked the simplest. It's from the Women's Weekly Bake book and I've adapted it slightly.

As it turns out, the vanilla slice is so easy to make. And the all important taste. Well, like I said, I'm not connoisseur but I loved it more than 95% of the vanilla slices I have bought. The exception is the vanilla slices from Sorrento. It could be due to the fact that the ones I make myself have not been sitting on a shelf for days, or it's just that I made them so I'm biased. Whatever the case, they're great and I've made them a few more times since. One batch of this recipe only makes a small amount. I recommend you make a triple batch as I do each time. This will fill up a large square brownie tin of about 25cm x 35cm. They disappear so quickly that I assure you they won't go stale sitting on the bench.

Vanilla Passionfruit Slice
Adapted from Women's Weekly Bake book

2 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp custard powder
1 1/4 cup milk (330ml)
30g butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Passionfruit Icing
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp passionfruit pulp
1 tsp water, approx


1. Preheat oven to 220C. Grease 8cm x 26cm bar cake pan. Line with foil extending over edges.

2. Place one sheet of pastry on a tray each and bake for 15 minutes or until puffed. Take out of oven and flatten pastry with a tea towel over them.

3. Combine sugar, cornflour and custar powder in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. When all the milk is stirred in, put over high heat and keep stirring until mixture thickens. When it has thickened, turn down heat to medium and stir for a further 3 minutes to remove the floury taste and continue thickening the custard.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, egg yolk and extract.

4. Place one piece of pastry into pan. Pour over hot custard and spread evenly. Place other piece of pastry over custard. cool to room temperature.

5. To make passionfruit icing, sift icing sugar into heatproof bowl. Stir in passionfruit pulp and enough water to make a paste. Stir over small saucepan of simmering water until icing is spreadable.

6. Spread icing over pastry. Set at room temperature and refrigerate 3 hours in fridge before cutting.

Japanese Cheesecake with Grand Marnier Mousseline

Previously, I had made this Japanese Cheesecake which was extremely light and delicated in flavour. I decided to make it again, but this time I wanted it to carry a bit more flavour. So I decided to team it up with the Grand Marnier Mousseline.

So I went about making both components of this cheesecake. I then assembled them but spreading a thin layer of the Grand Marnier Mousseline over the cheesecake and decorating with strawberries and rock melon.

I liked the pairing of the flavours, as the mousseline did not overpower the flavour of the cheesecake and helped enhanced it. It's not the perfect pairing as I would describe the Choux puffs with the mousseline, but it's still a nice flavour combo. I have to experiment with further frostings for the cheesecake. I'm sure there is a better flavour out there that can make that simple cheesecake even more spectacular.

Japanese Cheesecake


250g cream cheese
50g unsalted butter
100ml cream (35% milk fat)
60g cake flour
20g cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1tbp black sesame powder (omit if you want to spread with a frosting)
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
140g castor sugar
2-3 tbsp of fresh milk


1. Melt cream cheese and butter over a double boiler. Whisk to combine. Set aside to cool. Add the cream and whisk to combine.

2. Meanwhile, line and grease the base and side of a 8-inch spring form cake pan. Preheat oven to 160C (fan-forced)

3. Sift the cake flour and corn flour to the cheese mixture. Add in egg yolk, lemon juice, sesame powder and salt. Gently whisk to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. At this stage, if your mixture is a bit too stiff, add in 1-2 tbsp of milk. The mixture should be similar to your normal cake mixture.

4. Whisk egg white with cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon. Whisk until soft peak forms (don’t whip the egg white too stiff, the cake will be likely to crack).

5. Add 1/3 of the eggwhite to the cheese mixture to lighten it. Then, gently but thoroughly fold the eggwhite to the cheese mixture. Be careful not to destroy all the air bubbles in the eggwhite.

6. Gently pour into the prepared pan. Using foil, wrap the outside of the pan. Put the cake pan into a roasting pan. Add boiling water to half-way of the cake pan.

7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 min or until the cake is set.

8. Take out, leave in the pan to cool. Serve at room temperature.

Grand Marnier Mousseline

300ml milk
zest of one orange
3 egg yolks
120g sugar
25 g cornstarch
115 g butter, cut into small chunks
30ml Grand Marnier
1 tsp gelatin and 1 tbsp water
120ml heavy cream
1-2 cups of fresh strawberries, sliced

1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand until ready to incorporate into the pastry cream.

2. Bring the milk to a boil with the orange zest.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until pale. Slowly pour the milk over it. Add a small amount of milk to temper the eggs and make sure all your ingredients incorporate smoothly and them continue to add the rest of the milk.

4. Return the whole thing over medium heat and cook until thick for about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and the Grand Marnier.

5. In a microwave, dissolve the gelatin for 15 seconds. Quickly mix into the pastry cream. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (make it touch the cream so it does not let a skin form on top) and refrigerate until cold.

6. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and gently fold it in the pastry cream. Pour into a piping bag and divide among the choux. Arrange some strawberry slices over the cream and put the hats back on.

Hazelnut Scrolls

I saw these Hazelnut Scrolls at Smell & Taste Are My Memory. Jin said they are really tasty and easy to make, so I decided to give them a try as I was looking for something quick to make.

When I started to read through the recipe, I was starting to doubt how easy they were. They required rolling of dough and spreading hazelnut onto dough, which I didn't think would be easy to do as the dough might break. I needn't have worried. It turn out it was very easy to do and the results look and taste great. This recipe is so easy and cheap to make. Taste wise, I like it. I wouldn't say it's the most spectacular tasting biscuit, but my work mates really enjoyed them as they said it wasn't too sweet and they went well with coffee.

Hazelnut Scrolls


2 cups plain flour
½ cup dry dessicated coconut
100 g butter (cubed)
½ cup caster sugar
1 egg (lightly beaten)
2 tbsp iced water
chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
some extra dry dessicated coconut

1. Very lightly brown the 50 g dessicated coconut in a pan.

2. Place the dessicated coconut and flour in food processor bowl; add butter and sugar. Using the pulse action, press button for 30 seconds or until mixture is fine and crumbly. If you don't have a food processor, I melted the butter a bit more and used a electric hand whisk.

3. Add egg and 2 tbsp water; process a further 20 seconds until mixture forms a dough. Again, if you don't have a food processor, an electric hand whisk is fine, using your hands for the final stages to bring the dough together.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 30 seconds or until smooth.
Roll pastry out on a large sheet of baking paper, to a rectangle. Trim any uneven edges.

5. Spread dough with an even layer of hazelnut spread. Sprinkle dessicated coconut all over the hazelnut spread.

6. Using paper to lift dough, roll up from the long side in Swiss roll style. Wrap tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

7. Using a very sharp knife, cut dough into 1 cm slices. Place it on biscuit trays with baking paper.

8. Bake at 180°C (350°F - gas mark 4) for 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Kimchi Hut - Keiran's Farewell

It's been a while since my last blog post. A combination of being busy at work, going out a lot, taking up squash, watching the Olympics and just plain old lack of motivation has meant that I have a stock pile of food photos but have not got round to blogging them yet. Here's a start. This post is dedicated to KP, who will no doubt comment that I have yet done another review of a place that I have reviewed previously. No matter, this was Keiran's farewell dinner and I want to write about it.

After a number of years working at our current workplace, Keiran has decided that there are greener pastures (where they shout you beers, movie openings and horse racing marquees) to pursue. Hence, I organised a farewell dinner for him. Since he loves Korean BBQ, I suggested Kimchi Hut in Glen Waverley. I have previously reviewed Kimchi Hut when it first opened. I have since gone back at least 10 times and it's now definitely my favourite cheap Korean restaurant.

Service here has a personable level where the family run restaurant staff actually chat to you, make jokes, help explain things about the food, and even help you turn the gas down when you're BBQ meat is burning. The atmosphere is casual and very comfortable. There is soft music playing from whatever concert DVD that happens to be playing on the large LCD tv. One night you might be watching Justin Timberlake, the next a Korean concert, a Chinese concert, then the Bee Gees and even Lionel Ritchie gets a playing. The owners taste in music is definitely ecletic, much like my own as I like all those artists listed above.

We ordered an assortment of meats and seafood to be BBQ at the table. A nice beef broth provided some liquid to clean our palettes whilst an assortment of banchan provided some extra variety. The BBQ meats could be dipped into an assortment of sauces that included chili sauce, oil and some pepper mixture.

My favourite meat was surprisingly the pork. I'm not much a fan of pork but the marinated pork had a good spicy kick and it was slightly fatty pork, which has more flavour. The beef bulgogi is always a favourite and I also can't go past the calamari. The clear beef broth was simple and clean in its flavour. The raw egg dipping sauce soy with a touch of wasabi was a revelation as it really lifted the beef when dipped in it.

Keiran with his favourite Korean beer. To distinguish between Cass and Hite, remember this rhyme that Keiran uses. "Hite is shite". So always choose Cass beer.

The sizzling plate where all the food was cooked.

The beef broth soup. A very nice clean taste.

Finally, here we are freezing our buttocks off outside after having a very satisfying dinner.

Good luck to Keiran at his new job. It was great to have known you Tech. May we keep in touch and our paths cross in the future.

Overall Rating: 15/20, Food is very good and prices sensational.

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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