Several weeks ago, Beaker and I were running an errand and needed a quick, hot lunch. The place we went to was one of Beaker's new foodie find - Let's Bab Cafeteria.
Beaker had mentioned this place before to me. Situated opposite Holmesglen TAFE, it's usually busy during the week and packed with students and nearby office workers. On this blustery cold and rainy weekend, I expected the place to be quieter. However, I was quite wrong. It was packed with students and families all enjoying the tummy-warming Korean food.
One of the things that Beaker likes about the place is the very generous serving size. She had often boasted that she and Bubba Chuck only needed to order one main dish for the two of them to be completely full (this is some claim, given that both Beaker and Bubba Chuck can wolf down large amounts of food.... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it seems).
After perusing the varied menu, I settled on unagi don.....[interlude starts....at the Apple Biscuit cafe, where the smiles are free, don't you know, Sven Inqvist studied the menu, and finally he ordered the same thing he has every day....interlude ends].
A big bowl of rice with a nice fillet of unagi, which was topped with seaweed and spring onions - a nice touch. It came with rather generous side dishes - macaroni salad, deep fried tofu, cabbage coleslaw and miso soup. For about $11, this was generous. I can't think of any other cheap and cheerful (or even mid-range) Korean places that can match LBC's generous serves with side dishes. The only thing that comes close to a negative for me was the miso soup - it was a tad salty. But for $11, I'm not complaining!
Beaker ordered her favourite dish - udon w tempura prawns. If I was impressed with the size of my dish, I was gobsmacked when her dish arrived.
Udon in the mist
A seriously, bubbling hot cast iron bowl that was filled with udon, veg and, fish cakes and some seafood extender. Three tempura prawns with a medley of tempura vegs. I liked that the tempura was served separately to the noodles. I never understand why some places put the tempura in the noodle soup... it totally defeats the purpose of tempura.
Props to the LBC for the incredibly hot cast iron bowl - it kept bubbling away for 15 minutes after it had arrived at our table. There was so much steam coming from it that it a while before I could actually take a decent photo of the dish.
Udon, after the mist had dissipated
We had also ordered an entree to share, but it came after the mains. We didn't mind, as I was impressed with the mains, so a little bit of disorganisation wasn't a big deal for us. Pan fried pork and veg gyozas. Lovely, crisp skin, with a appetising golden colour, and not at all oily. I'd definitely order these again.
I can definitely see why LBC is so popular. Cheap and cheerful. Generous and good. And if I haven't made this point enough, the serves are very generous. Despite being ravenous, the two of us couldn't finish the food. We got the rest of the food in a doggy bag. If you're in the area, I'd recommend you stop by for lunch - provided that you can get a table!
Food – 7.5
Ambience – 6
Service – 6.5
Price – 9
Let's Bab Cafeteria
623 Warrigal Rd
Telephone: 9569 9183