Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oriental Spoon


I will admit that I am a total noob when it comes to Korean food or culture.  In fact, my Korea-related knowledge is limited to having watched Winter Sonata (but dubbed in Japanese - oh Yon-sama!) and My Sassy Girl, which made me cry like a baby!  As an erstwhile language student, I always found listening to Korean frustrating, but only because I always used to think it was Japanese at first... until I realised I didn't understand a single word!  D'oh!  I don't think I'll be able to pick up Korean any time soon, but I certainly want to learn more about the cuisine!  And I was very happy when the lovely Duncan suggested Oriental Spoon for a cheap-and-cheerful catch-up dinner.

Oriental Spoon
254 LaTrobe St
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9654-9930


Oriental Spoon is just opposite Melbourne Central, and I think it's been refurbished recently, hence the fancy looking interior above.  It was relatively quiet when we got there at about 6:30 on a Monday night, but it slowly got busier as the evening progressed.
Honey & Citron Tea - $3.70
Front: beanshoots, Back Right: Kim Chi, Back Left: Some sort of noodle/mayo thing
The above condiments are provided free on every table.  I'm still not a huge fan of kimchi - it's an acquired taste I haven't quite acquired yet - but I loved the beanshoots!  Tau Geh is one of my fave things to eat.  The bowl at the back on the left was some sort of cold noodle thing with a thick mayo sauce.  I didn't mind it, but I don't think anyone else on the table was too crazy about it.

Sandra had a spicy chicken bulgogi, which came in a huge portion!  It could have easily been shared between 2 people.  You can order it in a varying levels of chilli-intensity - I believe this was "hot". It wasn't mind-blowingly hot, but just a nice comfortable level of chilli.  (Although I do realise that chilli-heat is a subjective thing!)
Spicy Chicken Bulgogi - $16.90

Duncan and I each ordered the stone-bowl beef bim bim bap, which came with a bowl of soup.  I'm not quite sure what it was - it looked like miso, but didn't have that fishy dashi-broth taste to it.
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Beef Stone Bowl Bim Bim Bap - $16.90

I quite liked the bim bim bap, especially the combination of all the different veggies (and more of those fab bean shoots!)  Even though it was a huge serve, it didn't seem too heavy or rich.  However, whilst I did enjoy the dish, Duncan mentioned that it was missing the expected crunchy rice on the bottom of the stone bowl.

I think Oriental Spoon was a pretty good find - cheerful, reasonably efficient service and tasty food, all in a central location.  However, at $16.90 for individual dishes, I think it's quite expensive, and I'm sure there are cheaper (and probably better) options around.

So speaking of which... what are your favourite Korean restaurants in Melbourne? Do you have a favourite Korean dish?


Oriental Spoon on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

almostalwaysravenous said...

i never used to like tau geh... but i think its growing on me - steamed ones, pickled ones, raw even!
i LOVE bim bim bap, its so down to earth, its pretty much throw in anything you like add sauce and mix like crazy VoulA!
my parents love frequenting Yami Yami in boxhill (they love the chicken korean ginseng broth). Fully korean owned and high percentage of customers are in fact korean also.

Celeste @ Berrytravels said...

I like the BBQ place in Carnagie (also has a branch in Box Hill) I do believe they are just called Korean BBQ. Really really good bulgogi and spicy calamari.

Han Guk Guan in the city is awesome too and is my most recent haunt for korean food.

But korean food is also pretty easy to home make, so I eat it a lot at home too!

My Restaurants Melbourne said...

I love this place, i especially loved the service too, it means alot to a restaurant. how did you find it?

royalbuff said...

Bibim naeng myeon and jjol myeon are my favs and I have kimchi cravings! It was hard when I was breastfeeding to not be able to eat kimchi...

Michelle Chin said...

You should come down to KL if you have the opportunity. We got super cheap korean food in KL. There's this place known as "the Korean village" and there are about 20 Korean restaurants there. :D