Obsession can be a bad thing.
Noodlies, Sydney food blog hits a different side of Strathfield for Korean. How’s the food away from the main strip?
Tonight, we head away from the Korean food strip of The Boulevard. Instead of turning left out of the station, we head right for Albert road. At the end, where Bassim once was, is Hangang BBQ Korean restaurant.
The elegant long exhaust tubes still suspend in Dr Who fashion. Though the rest of the restaurant is standard BBQ Korean restaurant surrounds; simple furniture, tables with round covered centres for flaming bbq coal, the metal cutlery sit in round containers, you get the idea…
Our banchan is fairly standard fare, too. Kim chi is aged and coloured to my liking. Sometimes you get kim chi that is too young, and other times, too pungent. Here, you also get cold pancake triangles, not rare, but you don’t get that at too many places.
What’s not so usual is the pork rib hang over soup. The distinctive fragrance of perilla leaves hits the nostrils before the dish appears. Unlike spicy kim chi chi ke, the murky broth is sweet though on the plain side. You don’t get much meat off those bones, but the mild taste builds to something more-ish, while the perilla helps clear the head. Maybe that’s why they call it hang over soup?
At every Korean restaurant, I search out du bu kim chi like a heat seeking missile. This is one of the most attractive Korean dishes in my books. Usually presented as a circle of square tofu framing crimson stir fried pork and kim chi. Here, the presentation is less striking. The thick cut tofu is a highlight; impossibly silky – one of the best I’ve tasted in a long, long time. The stir-fried spicy centre tastes a flatter than it looks.
As a fanatical acolyte of Korean pancake, each order is a nerve racking wait. My head goes into anticipation over-drive: Will it be too powdery? It tastes weird if it’s too eggy! I hope the onions are well cooked so I don’t get a raw onion rush and the associated onion breath. I pray it’s on the thicker side…
As a fanatical acolyte of Korean pancake, each order is a nerve racking wait.
Obsessing over something so much can be a curse. This pancake reminds me of the other pet peeve – too much seafood, particularly too many crunchy octopus bits. I like some seafood flavour, as long as it’s not a seafood basket experience. And the pancake here is on the powdery and thin side.
I have just enough self awareness to realise I sound like spoilt whinger. Please forgive my sad obsession. In reality, this execution isn’t that bad. I just have a very specific, exacting and unhealthy expectation when it comes to Korean pancake.
Hangang BBQ Korean is worth checking out. In addition to Korean BBQ, there’s a decent range of a-la-carte options. Being at the far end of the Albert Road commercial strip, you’re more likely to get a table when The Boulevard gets too busy.
You’ll enjoy it more if you’re less obsessive. I should know.
Hangang Korean BBQ
Shop 252, 20-34 Albert Road, Strathfield
(02) 8756 5689