On a cold Friday night after work, what could be better than going out for a fabulous dinner somewhere warm. That is exactly what Tim and I did last night. The venue for our dinner was Guhng, a Korean barbecue restaurant just off Little Collins Street. I was kind of excited about it, because we had tried to go to Guhng once before on spec and couldn't get in. This time, I booked. They have two sittings on Friday nights - 6pm and 8pm. We chose the 6pm sitting as we were going straight after work.
On arrival at Guhng, I ordered a green tea, and Tim ordered a beer. We decide to choose one of their set menu banquets, which are great value. You can choose from set menus for 2, 4 or 6 people, and the prices vary from $30 per head, depending on the menu you choose. We chose the 2A menu ($30 per head), comprising 3 courses.
The table is set with metal chopsticks a metal spoon and condiments on arrival, and side dishes are served shortly thereafter. The condiments are, left to right, spicy soy bean sauce, sesame oil with salt and teryaki sauce. The side dishes are pickled onions, pickled turnips (which are a gorgeous hot pink colour), kimchi and coleslaw with pasta. There are also lettuce leaves provided to line your bowl.
For the first course, we had a choice of fish cakes or pan-fried Korean dumplings. Tim chose the dumplings, which came with a soy and sesame dipping sauce:
These were a nice starter, especially when dipped in the condiments, but did not have much of a flavour kick.
For mains, you are served with a bowl of black rice each, a selection of meats which are barbecued at your table, and your choice of a soybean hotpot or kimchi hotpot. After hearing so much about kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage), I wanted the kimchi hotpot. It didn't disappoint - it was just the right level of spicy, and contained an assortment of vegetables and meat:
Our beef was barbecued at our table by a very sweet Korean waitress with short hair, who was happy to answer my questions. There is a funnel over the smoking wood barbecue so that you don't breathe in the smoke:
Here is one of my plates of meat, sauce and condiments - it looks messy because I hadn't the faintest idea what I was doing, but it tasted delicious:
The sides are replenished as you want them - we had three top-ups in all.
For the third course, you can choose wine or dessert - sorry, no contest here, we chose dessert. Both Tim and I ordered the blackberry cheesecake:
It was a frozen cheesecake, and tasted like icecream. The icecreams themselves (which we didn't order) are served in a spectacular fashion on a rectangular plate encased in a chocolate swirling disc with a smear of chocolate on the plate. I liked the cheesecake, but wish I'd opted for the icecream!
Tim and I loved this place - for the money, it was terrific value. The food tasted fabulous, and the wait staff were attentive and friendly. There are three levels of seating in Guhng, but I recommend booking due to its popularity. I also noted that there were lots of Asian diners in Guhng - I think that is always a true indicator of whether an Asian restaurant is good. Verdict - definitely going back!
19 McKillop Street
Ph: 03 9041 2192