I feel like I'm right at the heart of Seoul. There's a lot of clatter as staff follow the ringing of table bells. It's such a lively room. Hungry people join the queue every couple of minutes. I scan the room, and large majorities of the crowd appear to be Korean. Ah, perfect... an authentic Korean restaurant. Families, students, large groups and working couples all look content with their meals. Food really does soothe the soul.
Strathfield is where I go when I want something local, quick and fast. There are Korean restaurants across every main street. Today, we decided to revisit Hyang Won, which is popular for the hot pots or barbeques. I love the spicy octopus, marinated beef, tofu and vegetable hot pot. Priced at $35, it is more than enough to feed 2 people... served piping hot with typical Korean condiments (kimchi, fish cakes, seaweed salad and caramelised potatoes).
This is ultimately my favourite Korean restaurant! The service is excellent (I love how they cook the food for you), the staff are super friendly and they really care about their customers. I walked in on a Sunday afternoon after the lunch operating hours and they were more than happy to re-open for just a table of two! However, the best thing about this restaurant is it's price and authenticity.
It is hard to miss Stra Pocha- a smokey red building opposite the Strathfield railway station (on the quieter side). At 6.30pm, this Korean BBQ restaurant was packed with locals. When we ordered the 'special hot sauce BBQ chicken' the waitress whom had limited-english, warned us that it was very hot and we weren't allowed to make a complaint if it was unedible. This was enticing enough for us to order without hesitation. I love my food fiery hot.
Hanabi at Lidcombe is the sister restaurant to its city (cnr Pitt St & Liverpool St) establishment. While the condiments are quite enjoyable, I found that the hot pot was a great disappointment. Strangely it featured a mixture of ordinary sausages and fresh vegetables with instant ramen.