Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kimchi Grandma

125 Koornang Road
Carnagie 3163, VIC
Ph: (03) 9569 2399

Kimchi Grandma in Box Hill used to be quite a regular restaurant that I visited. It was probably my first introduction to Korean food and I thought it was really good. When our office moved location, I found that there was a Kimchi Grandma in Carnegie as well. I went there for lunches with my work mates quite often. It was quite good and was one of our favoured lunch options. However, Kimchi Grandmas started to slowly drop in standards, with the Box Hill one closing, and the Carnegie one not being very good at lunch time. The lunch crowd there started to dwindle and the food tasted quite foul the last few times I went at lunch. The prices were also much higher than other options.

So I wasn't exactly jumping for joy when Kevin decided to organise a dinner there for Jacky's birthday. There's the birthday boy on the left, with Cello next to him. Krystal and Ling are also happily waiting for their food.

We got a variety of dishes to share between us. Entrees of takoyaki, agedashi tofu, seafood pancake and gyozas were ordered. I'm not sure how Korean takoyaki, agedashi tofu and gyozas are? Someone with more knowledge can let me know. To my surprise, all items were ok, nothing special but not terrible.

Mains of the usual Beef Bulgogi, Spicy Chicken, Fried Chicken and Jap Chae were eaten. Again, to my utter relief and surprise, the food was much fresher than the stuff they serve at lunch and was quite good. Nothing really stood out to me and tasted quite run of the mill.

Although I thought the food was only ok, the place was packed out on a Saturday night, and it's quite a large restaurant. The wooden floors and open floor space means that it can get quite loud, but I like that type of vibe. People looked to be enjoying themselves, so that's always a good sign. The service was efficient enough and friendly.

The overall feel of the restaurant, was that things were adequate but not really standing out. There wasn't any food item at all that stuck out to me. I'm glad that the dinner items are fresher and tastier than lunch, but I don't think I would be rushing to go back. The food is just not good enough for me, especially when there are so many other options that are in the same price range and way more delicious. My favourite cheap suburban Korean restaurant is most definitely Kimchi Hut in Glen Waverley. I would definitely recommend you go there instead of Kimchi Grandma.

Overall Rating: 11/20, The food is ok, but definitely many other better options for Korean food.

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.

Kimchi Grandma on Urbanspoon


  1. I haven't had enough Korean food. Shall have to do something about that!

  2. Oh, I love Kimchi Grandma especially their rice cake! And the galbi there is really good too.

    But the last time I actually dine there was in Sept '09, maybe their standard has dropped over the year.

  3. Not been and I will stick to Hwaro or Hallah... nearer to me...

    But I've heard good things about it though?

  4. Oh oh.. Ga Mi has shut down and has been replaced by M Kitchen (across Grandma) and another one open up near the train tracks... Silk Road.. quite okay.. but not the usual Korean...

  5. Well, i forgot to buy them, wish I had as I know it'd be even better. We did use flat rice noodles instead of egg and really liked that. We even used the sriracha sauce and it was wonderful, but you are right it's VERY hot.

  6. Have you tried Han Guuk Guan before? It's on Victoria street. So far I think that's the best Korean restaurant in Melbourne. Well, I'm quite new here. :P

  7. Michele, you must do something about that. Start with Kimchi Hut in Glen Waverley as I think their Korean food is really good.

    Michelle, I think the standard has dropped since then, as I used to think they were better last year too.

    Penny, Hwaro is definitely one place that I love too. Never heard of Hallah before, must look that up. I would give Kimchi Grandma a pass for other better places.

    I-Hua, I was looking for Ga Mi after you told me but now it's M Kitchen. I didn't know about Silk Road. Why is it not the usual Korean? Is it like modern Korean or something?

    Sadie, thanks for your totally unrelated comment and a link to a SPAM site.

    RnR, thanks for that tip. That gives me another option for Korean when I'm in the city.

  8. Actually, I just went back from Han Guuk Guan. I'll put a review abt it in a few days time. Please visit my blog. Thx :D

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. I'm sorry to bother you again. I want to apologize for the post earlier as there is some problem with the link that I gave you.

    Here is the correct one:

    I'll be very happy if you want to visit my blog. :D
    Sorry for causing you trouble.

  11. Thanks RnR, Han Guuk Guan does look to have some tasty food.

  12. Do you have to cook your own food there?

    Or can they cook it for you?

    Your photos really make me want to go, but I want to eat it knowing it's cooked WELL, so i prefer not to cook my own

  13. Anonymous, they cook the food there for you so no need to worry.