30th December 2012

Hangari Kimchi

19 Woolley St, Dickson, Canberra ACT

In a street full of Asian restaurants, why not try something a little unusual? Although Korean food hasn’t made a big splash in the West, this small restaurant makes a good case for it. The centre of our meal was the Dubu-Beosoet-Jeongo, a hot-pot of tofu, several kinds of mushrooms (large, small and floppy), vermicelli, carrots, white onions, shallots and greens in a spicy stock with plenty of pepper that is cooked on a little stove on your table. It’s a wonderfully hearty stew that would be very warming on a cold day and is welcome on a hot one. We also enjoyed the Maewun-Jabchae, a dark stir-fry of noodles made from sweet potatoes and veggies that is a bit hard to divide into shares, the only cutlery on the table being chopsticks and long spoons. The entrees include Yachae-Jjinmandu, a dish of steamed vegetables and tofu, and Ddeokkochi, fried rice cakes served like kebabs on skewers that come with sweet chilli sauce. Four condiments, ranging from extremely spicy to bland, are placed on the table: kimchi, the alleged super-food of cabbage fermented with red chilli after which the restaurant is named, flat green beans, sprouts and strands of potato, not cooked to the extent they would be in the West. This is a most interesting and enjoyable cuisine that we should all know better.

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