According to Google, 'Bungle' means an unsuccessful performance or piece of work - this sure was paradoxical when it comes to the Bungle Bungle restaurant in Runcorn, 19km south from Brisbane's CBD. Bungle Bungle has been and still is one of my regular haunts for the past 3 or so years, but I had never thought about writing about it on Weekend Notes until tonight, when my friend suggested I did. I blew her off, saying Bungle Bungle was so popular that someone was bound to have already covered it in another article, but a quick search proved otherwise - I was quite shocked at this revelation.
Bungle Bungle is a Korean restaurant with an extensive menu which includes (but is not limited to) pancakes, salads, soups, rice dishes, noodles, and hot pot. However, their signature dish(es) is their fried chicken - a trip to Bungle Bungle is not complete without filling your stomach with some of these delicious wings. Step aside Kentucky Fried Chicken, and make your way for the new (and better) KFC: Korean Fried Chicken.
A picture menu, in case you weren't sure how the Korean dishes looked like!
Their chicken wings are crispy on the outside, yet tender, juicy and succulent on the inside. They also have the best sweet chilli sauce to accompany the wings - I only wish they would share their secret recipe, because its not something you can get from Woolies or Coles! The wings are great but in a different way to the wings at Tippler's Tap - the wings at Tippler's Tap are smaller, dryer (on the inside) and crispier (on the outside), but with more flavouring on the skin. I love both, and wouldn't be able to choose between the two - they're just different, and hence may cater to different tastes.
They don't look like anything special, but trust me, they are.
The price of these wings are very reasonable - the more you order, the cheaper they are per wing. The prices are as follows: $6 for 5 wings, $11 for 11 wings, and $16 for 18 wings. It's an extra $3 if you want chips along with the wings too. Bungle Bungle also has available whole/half chickens in the following styles: fire, soy garlic, spicy soy, and of course, original.
Ahhh sorry Eddy, you're not allowed to have any of my chicken wings!
Because Bungle Bungle is a Korean style restaurant, it will come with 'side dishes' (also known as 'banchan'). There are many different types of side dishes, with the most popular and well-known variation being kimchi. The side dish that comes with fried chicken here at Bungle Bungle is cubed Korean radish, also known as 'daikon'. This is one of my favourite side dishes in Korean cuisine. Aside from being free, the best thing about side dishes is that you can ask for them to be refilled, often as many times as you like!
Pork ramyun (aka Korean ramen). Note the side dishes are different to the side dish for the chicken wings. This time it's kimchi and fish cake.
It's also worth mentioning that you can call up and order prior to picking up your order/eating in - it saves you some time if you are busy and/or always on the go. I usually call them while driving home from work/uni, so that they're done and ready to go by the time I arrive. The wings are always freshly fried - none of this frying in bulk and keeping them warm in the hopes of saving time, money, and effort business.
Spicy stir-fried pork belly and squid - may sound like a bit of an odd combination, but it's really good!
Bungle Bungle is open from noon till late (approximately 12am - 1am, depending on how many customers are there) every night. This makes it perfect for a late night snack (or even a makeshift hangover food cure). Bungle Bungle also has a wide range of Korean alcohols available, from beer to soju to rice wine. For those of you who are new to Korean alcohol, I would definitely recommend soju and rice wine (i.e. 'makeolli'). Soju looks like water, and doesn't taste very strong either. However, be warned - because you can down it like water, you can easily get tipsy and even drunk without realising it!
Koreans take their alcohol very seriously, as it is embedded in as part of their social hierarchy, lifestyle, and traditions. There are different 'rules' when it comes to drinking, depending on who you are drinking with (e.g. with someone 'higher' in the hierarchy or not). I find this drinking culture of theirs fascinating - you can read more about this here. It's also interesting to note that South Korea has the highest alcohol consumption per capita in Asia!
Going back to Bungle Bungle, this restaurant is a great place for you to have a chill night with a few good mates. It's by no means a fancy restaurant, as the plates and cutlery used are disposable, and their food, while presented well, does not include any decor that is purely for aesthetic purposes. This helps them provide a quick and easy service for large numbers of people, as well as dogs! As a side note, this is the first Asian restaurant I've visited that allowed dogs to come with their pawrents. The playlists there are always interesting, consisting mainly of Korean music - makes for a great change! I hope this article has convinced you to try out this great restaurant, as well as given you some insight into the Korean drinking culture. P.S. there is free wifi available!