Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goshen Korean BBQ - Birthday Dinner 2

After already having a birthday dinner with my work mates at Shira Nui, I was expecting to have another one this weekend. But then my friend Kevin rang me and to say Happy Birthday. Then he also said that we should get together to dinner. Never one to refuse dinner, espeically when its to celebrate my birthday, I said ok and left it to him to organise.

Before meeting up at Glen Waverley, Dennis rang and said to meet him a bit earlier to go and get some wines from his wine storage. I had romantic visions of an underground masonary cellar with racks and racks of wine bottles. Instead, it was a locker style cupboard as Kennards Storage. He showed me a lot of the wines he had, many of them extremely expensive. We picked a couple of bottle and went off to meet the others.

A very old looking bottle of Penfolds Grange Hermitage 1963.

We met up with Kevin and Patrick and were initially going to try out the new hot pot place in Glen Waverley since it was so cold and a perfect time for hot pot. However, that place was packed and so we went to Goshen Korean BBQ instead. This restaurant is on the main Kingsway stretch near the Village cinema. It used to be this Shanghai restaurant where I once had the most awful hot and sour soup I've ever tasted.

There was a couple of table free at Goshen and we chose to sit at the BBQ table, telling the waiter that we wanted BBQ. After sitting at the table for ages and asking for the menu once, we finally got up and got our own menus. We also waited for them to clear and clean the table. We had already told the first waitress that we wanted to drink our wines. Eventually, after asking again, we got some glasses. The waitress then proceed to block up the BBQ, which we all smiled at.

We finally ordered two Set B BBQ meals. This included two meats and one seafood variety to BBQ at the table. We got a dish of everything, chicken ribs, pork, beef ribs, beef, octopus and mixed seafood.

The entrees of fried dumplings and tofu salad arrived. However, we didn't have any bowls or chopsticks to eat them with. Again, we had to ask for them. The dumplings were actually quite good. They had a crispy skin and sat in a shallow puddle of soy. The fried tofu salad was very refreshing. The tofu was soft inside and crispy outside, and the mixed greens had a sharp soy dressing.

The vegetables arrived first and the waitress dumped them all onto the grill. The meats then arrived and she proceeded to dump all that onto the grill too. That meant that it took really long for things to cook as the grill wasn't very hot anymore. We were starving so kept tucking into the refillable salad and kimchi. Upon request, we finally got more refills.

Finally, the meat cooked and we started to eat it, but there was no rice. We asked for rice, to which a tiny shallow bowl of rice came. The waitress said that we could ask for more rice when we needed it. We joked to each other how there was a massive shortage in rice recently. We gulped down the two teaspoon of rice each very quickly. Again, we asked for more rice and again the same small bowl arrived. We asked for rice about 5 times that night, the same as kimchi. Finally, I just asked for a big bowl of kimchi.

The meat itself was quite good, though Patrick and Kevin wanted some BBQ type sauces to go with it. A sauce would have been good, but the marinated meat had good flavours by itself too. The ribs were soft, the beef had a good bulgogi marinate, the chicken ribs were my favourite and the prok wasn't bad too.

When we had started to finish the meats and were going to slowly place the seafood onto the plate, the waitress came by and just dumped all the seafood onto the grill. She then joked that none of us must cook at home. Hmmmmmm. I think it is she that doesn't cook. Again, dumping all the cold seafood onto the grill just meant the whole grill virtually stopped and the food took forever to cook. We were going to place small bits on at a time so they would cook as we ate. By the end, we were really full from the food and it was all good too.

I saw the massive dessert sets being taken to other tables so really had to try some. The dessert plate consisted of sesame ice cream, green tea ice cream, red bean ice cream, chocolate dumplings and a fried banana with honey. I really liked the red bean ice cream. There was a hint of red bean with a honey flavour mixed with it. The chocolate dumplings were really good too.

The atmosphere is quite good. The noise levels aren't too bad. I like the comfortable seats and the room looks quite pleasing with the motifs around the walls. The service wasn't quite as good. Maybe it's a case of being open only recently, but the service was shocking. We had to ask so many times for things as they kept forgetting. They also didn't have to initiative to do things that clearly needed to be done. Of course we need chopsticks to eat, what are we going to do, use our hands. Of course we want the rice now, not when we finish eating. Of course we want more rice as we had indicated right from when you brought the first small bowl.

I'll go back again as the food is good and not overly expensive. I'll see if service improves or it's just another one of those Asian restaurants where service is utterly terrible.

Overall Rating: 12/20, Food is good but service needs a lot of work.

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.


  1. Many happy returns Thanh... vida x

  2. Thank you Vida. I'm waiting for my birthday present in that jar of quince paste hehehe.