Someone recently asked me if I liked Korean food. I had to really rack my brain and try to think about what Korean food I’d actually eaten before. I could recall thoroughly enjoying Nene chicken wings last year, but that was about it and also a visit to Arirang Korean BBQ many, many years before, but that was about it. So I was excited by an invitation to Gangnam Restaurant Perth at the Waterford Plaza in Karawara because Korean is a cuisine I’m really keen to learn about.
Arriving with GG on a Saturday at 1pm, there were a few tables filled, but within about 15 minutes of arriving it was buzzing and all the tables occupied by eager diners.
I’d looked over the menu and also asked for guidance from a knowledgeable friend, so we decided to go with two of their signature dishes as our welcome to Korean food! I thought it was a good idea to ease on in with the classics.
While waiting, the friendly staff also kindly brought us our drinks, a blue lemonade and a lemon, lime and bitters, which were as pretty as they were refreshing.
Then it was go time for the food, really didn’t take too long at all, which was a plus because after a morning of gymming I was more than a little peckish. I’d go so far as to say famished.
Up first was the Cheese Bul Dak. Marinated tender chicken breast pieces on top of a bed of fried onion, which has then been topped with a generous amount of mozzarella and a sprinkle of spice. My friend warned me that there is the potential for this dish to be quite punchy with the chilli paste, so I asked for low level spice and I think they definitely dialled it back for us. Perhaps on another visit I will be slightly bolder and ask for a bit more chilli. It was a nice dish though, obviously quite indulgent given the abundance of cheese. The chicken was lovely and I was so pleased to see that they only use free range Lilydale Chicken, which is a Buy West Eat Best brand. Always makes me really happy to see restaurants supporting local brands in their dishes. As our first taste of Gangnam food it made a very good impression.
After a small gas hot plate had been delivered to our table, the bulgogi dish then arrived. Wow! An absolute mountain! An artistic arrangement of thinly sliced beef, julienned carrot, greenery from spring onions, a good stack of sweet potato noodles, a generous variety of mushrooms including classic buttons and giant king oysters, all bathed in a rich beef stock, which had a wonderful depth of flavour.
So after a brief opportunity to take some ‘before’ photos our friendly waitress came back and armed with scissors and tongs she got the dish ready.
The larger mushrooms and noodles are all cut into smaller pieces, the heat on the hot plate turned up and all the ingredients are stirred into the hot stock to cook.
It only took perhaps five minutes, with a few visits from the waitress to move things around, and then ready! We were also given small dishes with sliced egg and the classic Korean dish of kimchi, which we could add as toppings to the bulgogi dish.
We served up some of the meat, noodles and vegies, added a little of the toppings and then launched in. The meat was beautifully tender, just melted in the mouth and you had the option to dunk it in some sauce they had also provided. The Bulgogi was a rich, flavoursome beefy soup and I love soup, so I was very much on board.
We did a very respectable job of putting a decent dent in both the dishes and left feeling very well fed. As much as I had really wanted to order some of their fried chicken, because it looked delicious as it was delivered to numerous tables around us, it would have to wait for another time, because the two we ordered were an ideal amount.
This visit definitely reminded me that it can be good to colour outside the lines and look to try a few different things and be adventurous with cuisines you don’t normally try. Both GG and I are keen to head back and further expand our Korean food horizons in the future.
Thanks for having us Gangam and for the very tasty lunch!