Continuing with the celebrations of the Bureaucrat becoming a bureaucrat again, I took my family out to lunch at Melbourne Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ.
The first time I dined at MDJGKB was about three years ago - Ms W said it was a good place for Korean food.
I was a bit worried going there again, as (a) it's been quite a while since I've eaten there, and (b) the reviews of DJGKB has been mixed, especially with regard to their service.
MDJGKB is upstairs, located near the Target Centre. It's very big and spacious inside.
As I was in charge of ordering, for the five adults and one child, I ordered:
...egg rolls. Basically an omelette, with finely diced ham. It's served cold as a starter. Similar to Japanese omelettes, the egg rolls are sweetened with sugar.
...deep fried calamari. Big, crispy calamari rings. The batter was very light and the calamari was tender - perfect.
...chap chae, which is sweet potato starch noodles that is stir fried in sesame oil with various vegetables, and flavoured with soy sauce and a bit of sugar. I love this dish. This dish was served warm, which is the first time I've had it this way. Prior to that, I've only had it served at room temperature. I love the slight chewiness of the noodles, the crunchiness of the veggies and the flavours that were used to stir fry them. A very simple but tasty dish.
...chicken bibimbap. It was a reasonable bibimbap - not the best I've had, but still pretty good. It's always good fun to stir the egg and veggies around in the hot stone bowl.
...shabu shabu! For those who aren't familiar with this, it's basically a communal hot pot. There's a gas stove at your table, and the staff brings out a big pot of broth. I went for the beef and mushroom shabu shabu. So lots of chicken drumstick mushrooms and enoki (my favourite!).
It also comes with udon noodles, tofu, some veg and a big plate of thinly sliced beef. You're given cooking implements to cook the food at your leisure. You can ask for a top up of the broth when it starts to evapourate or you've drank too much of the broth.
Given the size and layout of the table, I suggest that two people are in charging of cooking and distrubiting the food around to the other diners.
Everyone liked having the broth with their rice. I tried a bit of the broth, but I didn't like having in my rice - I thought the broth had a smidge of MSG.
Although we were all loving the shabu shabu, I couldn't help feeling a bit envious of the other diners that went for the bbq hot plate - there were alot of very appetising sizzling sounds! But I have to say, as it was a cold day, it was great to have a warming hot pot.
Food - 8
Service - 7
Ambience - 8
Price - 8
The service is okay. Admittedly, the manager and some of the staff seemed a bit unattentive to the diners...and I thought it was a bit shabby that when we left the manager didn't even bat an eylid. However, our designated waitress was friendly and responsive.
The food is pretty good. I do like Korean food, but I'm no expert in it. The place was quite busy for a weekend lunch - lots of young families and big groups of uni students were getting stuck into the hot pots and sizzling bbq. However, the drinks and side dishes (eg rice) were quite pricey.
Melbourne Dae Jang Geun Korean BBQ
Level 1, 235 Little Bourke Street
Telephone: 9662 9445