I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published August 6th 2015
Sizzle your tummies in a suburb known as "Little Korea"
So my friends and I have built up a bucket-list of different suburbs around Sydney that we have to make a food-dedicated trip to. We can now both tick "eat Korean food at Strathfield off our list". We were aware that Strathfield has ample Korean restaurants, but Alrose Garden Restaurant won our attention over due to their large wooden booths that were easily seen through their floor-window.
After a quick glimpse at their menu, we were actually both relieved to see that we didn't have multitudinous options (only one double-sided piece of laminated paper!), as we would've otherwise sat there for hours pondering over what to order.
One side of the menu
The other side of the menu
It didn't take long for our banchan. Although we were not brave enough to try the kimchi dish, we thought the pickled radish dish was superb, as it wasn't too vinegary or soft and soggy. Our meals arrived soon after. In fact, the part that took longer time was when we were trying to signal the waiters and waitresses to take our order, as we were sitting near the corner.
My friend ordered a pork schnitzel ($16). When it was placed on the table, we were both blown away by the size of the schnitzel. It was as big as my face! (But unfortunately the photo below does not do its size justice, as I was undoubtedly taking the photo from too far away....) She urged me to try some, and boy I was amazed at the quality of it. The crust was crunchy, yet not excessively oily to somehow be able to in my mouth as I ate it. Together with the pungent sweet and sour sauce, we could've eaten just the combination of these two things all day. She then said that the purple rice was rich in flavour and aroma while feeling super healthy at the same time. For an additional two dollars, she was given the option of replacing the bowl of rice with a side of crunchy chips, but why would you go to a Korean restaurant for chips? To top off the dish was a mixed salad that teamed up with an "exotic-flavouring" dressing according to her.
I had a beef bulgogi ($14). Now, I don't eat beef very often, but I have somehow always loved bulgogi, and Alrose Garden sure met my expectations. The amount of beef was generously fused with shallots and onions, which gave the marinated beef a contrasting tang. The beef strips were tender and aromatic, so it complemented well with the rice, which I originally thought would have no taste. Little did I know that purple rice (also known as black rice) isn't like our normal "white" rice. It had enough flavour on its own and was less sticky than white rice. Not to mention that it apparently contains the same anthocyanin antioxidants found in blueberries or blackberries due to its dark colour. Like my friend, I highly enjoyed eating the salad, but it was the sauce that intrigued me the most. We both attempted to work out at least some of the ingredients in that dressing in our desire to re-create such a thing, and needless to say, we failed to name at least 3 ingredients.
Alrose Garden Restaurant offers: takeaway dining, alcohol (they have a bar inside their restaurant), wheelchair access, vegetarian meals, Wifi, available outdoor seating area, smoking area. Time to sizzle your tummies inside a modern Korean restaurant in a suburb known as "Little Korea".