Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Myeong-Ga Madang. Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

I read an interesting comment the other day, that Korean was set to be the next 'it' cuisine in Melbourne.  I know that with Melbourne's winter upon us I am certainly eating a lot more of it than I used to, although its mainly been at the cheaper student end of the spectrum, bibimbap and bulgogi with rice.  But Benny's brief return gave us the opportunity to head somewhere a little more upmarket, Myeong-Ga Madang.

You wouldn't pick it from street level though.  It's kind of hidden away up a dodgy looking set of stairs and not very inviting looking for passing trade.  Go to the top of the stairs and turn right and you are in for a nice surprise, a mixture of the industrial and the opulent that is both upmarket and very Melbourne.

The menu is fairly extensive as well as being a little unfamiliar so ordering took a while.  There were two things I particularly wanted to try, the KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and the seafood Pancake.  We eventually settled on the Beef Bulgogi and Bossam for the other two dishes, which proved a more than ample amount of food for the four of us.

First to arrive was the Bossam, a steamed sliced pork served with a spicy raddish and apple salad.  I was a little apprehensive about this, as while I love roast pork other ways of preparing it sometimes leave me a little cold.  This was very nice, great meaty flavours and textures complimented by a bit of a kick from the accompanying salad.

My favourite though was the seafood pancake.  This is the one thing I always try to order when visiting a Korean restaurant and a bit of a barometer as to whether I like it or not.  This was undoubtedly the best I have had, crispy and generously full of fresh tasting seafood.  Prawns and octopus and squid, no seafood extender here.  Strangely Benny wasn't such a fan, guess it just goes to remind us that everyone's tastes are just a little different.

The other two dishes I thought were good but didn't impress me as much.  The beef bulgogi had that typical slightly chewy texture but I found it a bit sweet.  I did like the condiments served with it though, including kim chi, bean sprouts and a great little noodle salad we struggled to identify.

I am probably being a little unfair on the fried chicken, but given I'd heard so much about Korean style fried chicken I think I was expecting some sort of poultry epiphany.  And there is no doubt it was good fried chicken, crispy on the outside, moist in the middle and not a hint of a drop of grease or oil.  Where we all thought it could have been improved was a few spices being added to the batter, although this could have been related to us not ordering the spicy version - there can't be too many places that offer multiple versions of fried chicken.

Service was friendly if a little slow, particularly in terms of how long it took our rice to arrive.  I don't think any of us were too worried though, as it have us more of a chance to catch up with Benny and Ms N and our booth was such a nice place to sit.  Definitely somewhere to return for another lunchtime visit, especially given it's just a couple of minutes walk from work.

Food - 8
Ambience - 8
Service - 7
Price - 7

1/258 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 09663 1112

 Myeong-Ga Madang on Urbanspoon

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