Friday, February 4, 2011

Arirang Korean

The other month I was walking around Gungahlin and noticed that there was no Chiang Rai Piri Piri anymore (a Thai/Portuguese fusion restaurant) and it had changed to a Korean restaurant. I was very excited about this. A few months ago we got a small but good Korean grocery store which I can now shop at to satisfy my kim chi and bulgolgi cravings and now a restaurant!

We tried going there a couple of weeks before this night, but it was packed and the service staff didn't even notice us standing there for about 5 minutes. So we headed off to somewhere else and vowed to come back after they had been open for a bit longer and had sorted themselves out a bit. I made a booking this time too as eating anywhere in Canberra on a Friday night without a booking is extremely hard.

The man that runs the place is so lovely and was fascinated by the wine cooler I had brought with me, which was one of those ones that you stick in the freezer and then snugly fit it to the wine bottle (as I expected they wouldn't have any, and I was right, and there is nothing worse than a barely cold white wine!). He even brought the chef out to have a look!

Banchan! Potato and Carrot

I was hoping they were going to have banchan (as I love free food), and they did! We first got a potato and carrot dish which was lovely.

And then they brought out the shredded fish cake, which was definitely my favourite. They replaced it too when we had finished it and also brought out a few other dishes which I forgot to take a picture of. One of them was the always present kim chi and the other I think was a kim chi radish.

We decided to go with one entree and two mains, as it's our usual way of ordering. There were only 3 choices of entrees and one of these was gyoza, so we had to go with that. These are Korean gyoza though, different from the Japanese ones. I prefer the Japanese type, but these were some of the best korean ones that I have had.

Gyoza -$9

They were perfectly crispy, but not dry and the filling was very flavoursome. I could have eaten many more of these.

Katsudon - $13.50

The first main to arrive was our pork katsu. I love katsu and will choose it over schnitzel any day. The piece was massive, which was good as we were sharing. Also good as our next dish wasn't.... It was crispy and delicious and plenty of sauce was provided. We were also brought out all these different condiments to use which we weren't too sure of what to do with it and then these 2 green chillies were brought out. I think we were meant to eat these whole, but we ended taking them home instead!

Then our next dish came out...

Pork Soup - $13.50

On the menu this was written as pork sausage soup, or something similar to this. Well there was definitely no sausage in this and the broth was reminiscent of dishwater. I tried to like it, but I really didn't. It was full of things that I had no idea of what they were, and usually I am all for trying out new things, but I will definitely never order this again.

They had lots of other things on the menu that I would love to try, like Bibimbap and Jap Chae. They also have specialities like Bo ssam which was $40, so I am guessing that this will feed a few people. The people that run it are lovely, and even though I didn't like the soup at all (I am putting it down to this isn't something that I would normally eat and everything else was uber delicious) I am looking forward to going back to try their other meals.

There is also a Zambreros opening up soon and next to that a Sushi place has opened. I am not too sure what food they sell, as I haven't gone in, but I did see some korean writing. So it's definitely not a Japanese run sushi place.

Loving all the new restaurants that are opening here. Now if only someone could open an asian grocery store to replace the much loved Hub!

Arirang on Urbanspoon


Hannah said...

Banchan! Brilliant! I must admit I never go to Gungahlin, but perhaps this restaurant will give me the incentive!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love those Korean side dishes and always look forward to them! :D Yummm!

Anna Johnston said...

So interesting! Big fan of the Korean side dishes, they're always interesting, but have never there always seems to be some 'dishwater' type dish that totally makes me wonder what's going on out there in the kitchen :) Great that you've found a restaurant right up your foodie flavours, nothing better to find a new 'local'