Posted on Wednesday, 1st October 2008
What is it about Korean BBQ that always draws in the crowds? There is something about sizzling meat on the table in front of you that is so mouth-wateringly appealing. Korean BBQ is perhaps the most well known aspect of Korean cuisine, but travelling through South Korea a few years back opened my eyes to how expansive Korean food actually is, and it is not limited to barbequing meat. There is incredible variety, all tasty, and generally spicy with an abundance of garlic, ginger and red chilli paste. It’s also filled with lots of vegetables, so also extremely healthy. I loved my trip to South Korea, and for the most part it was due to the discovery of my love for Korean food. It’s interesting how memories of a holiday are often largely shaped and influenced by one’s memories of how much one may have enjoyed the food.
A fairly recent addition to the Sydney dining scene is the Korean restaurant, Live. Focusing mainly on barbeque, it also serves a range of different cooked Korean dishes. My favourite Korean dish is bibimbap, a dish with a rice base; it is topped with minced beef, finely chopped sautéed and seasoned vegetables, and a fried egg. When brought to the table, all the ingredients are then mixed through the rice. The rice is also flavoured with sesame oil which makes the dish quite fragrant. Wowed by the taste of bibimbap the first time I tried it in Seoul, I’ve never been able to resist ordering it at a Korean restaurant since.
This version was also wonderfully fragrant but I would have preferred a slightly runnier egg which, when mixed through the rice, would have provided the dish with a moister texture. We also sampled the jjambbong, seafood noodles in spicy sauce, and the soon du bu, a seafood and tofu hot pot also in spicy sauce. Both were incredibly hot, but tasty, and had me reaching for more despite the searing heat on my tongue. Our final dish, the Dukbaeki bulgoki, a dish of thinly sliced beef in sweet soya sauce and served in a hot ceramic pot was delicately sweet and fragrant with sesame oil.
There was also an outdoor seating area which no doubt will be well used on a crisp summer’s evening. However on this occasion, we sat indoors which was not for the faint hearted. With cheesy pop music thumping loudly in the background, it was enough to induce a few cringing groans in reaction and occasionally cause distraction from our dinner conversation. Despite this, I found the meal to be tasty and authentic. For four people, the meal came to $60 (about £27). With pricing such as this and a large extensive menu, Live proved to be sizzling good value.
Live Restaurant – Korean BBQ at:
537 -551 George Street
Phone: +61 (0)2 9261 0404
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