Hwaro Korean BBQ
562 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
(Ph) 9642 5696
Another optom catch up =D For some reason every time we catch up we go to Korean restaurants =P See Oriental Spoon 1 and 2 and Gami =P
L booked a table for 18 of us at 6pm - they do 2 sittings here, 6pm and 8pm. I arrived at 5.50pm and obviously was the first there. As I sat there waiting, many Westerners had walked in and had booked tables already - 50% of the customers here were Western! I was quite shocked I didn't think they would like Korean BBQ. But it was Derby day and many people were out in the city already so that might have made it more popular - still, Korean BBQ is so dirty and smelly and not really for ladies on dresses and fascinators =P
They initially sat me down at the normal tables, but then decided to move us to those tables where you're supposed to kneel on the floor, but have been redesigned for Westerners so we can put our legs underneath the table into the hole under the table. I initially took my shoes inside since there was only one pair of slippers at the edge, but then got told off for wearing shoes inside - woops, I didn't think they'd be so traditional in such a Western environment ^^;;
Most of my buddies didn't get there till 6-6.15ish so by the time we were all seated and caught up a bit, we had lost 30mins already. We initially wanted to share 5 bbq meats between 8 of us on our table but then realised there was a minimum 1 serving of BBQ meat per person rule here. I didn't order so don't remember exactly all the meats we got but some of them were Wine Pork Belly, Mild Thigh Fillet, Ox Tongue, Bul-gol-gi and Gal-bi. And we also got a Lots of Tofu and veggies in mild-spicy soup served with 2 bowls of rice.
They all said this Korean drink called ping ping / ping pong (or something? =P) was super tasty with bits of lychee in it so we ordered a jug of it.
Whatever it was - it was super tasty, it's more a juice with bits of lychee floating =)
What I like most about Korean restaurants are the free appetizer dishes - different every time you go =)
Kimchi and bean sprouts and a plate of onions etc
The best one was the sweet soybeans - I've never had this one before so it was a change from the spicy appetizers =P Apparently there's a sweet potato one which they normally have here but didn't have on this night =(
The waitresses helped us cook our meats initially. We thought they were gonna come and fully cook for us so we left our ox tongues there - got a tad too charred =(
So we did it ourselves - that's the fun of Korean BBQ!
The soup is very similar to the one we had at Oriental Spoon last time except it's just vegetables here.
Gives us a break from all the Korean bbq meats =P this soup wasn't too spicy so I didn't mind it - too bad they didn't have any enokitake in it =(
We were all pretty full by the end of it - on just meat and next to zero carbs =P Ended up $24 each. Not too bad but you can probably elsewhere for Korean bbq buffet for about the same price?
6/10 - was alright, have had better Korean BBQ and for the amount of money we paid probably could have gotten more food elsewhere
4/5 - the waitresses were very attentive to us, especially near 7.30pm when they were helping us cook so they could get us out in time for the next sitting =P They also have a bell you can ring when you want them but they were so attentive we didn't have to use it at all =)
2/5 - expect to be smelly when you step out of Korean bbq restaurants because the air is filled with smoke! they already have air vents taking out most of the smell out but it's still quite strong =P Quite a rowdy environment but that's what you'd expect at these kinda restaurants =)