What is Korean food? Kimchi is probably the most well-known Korean dish and there are many variations of this dish. Napa Cabbage Kimchi is the most common type of kimchi and is a side dish that is served with most of the Korean meals that my family have enjoyed. It is made by mixing salted white cabbage with kimchi paste made from chilli powder, garlic, spring onion, Korean radish (daikon), ginger and fish sauce. Koreans have an obsession with kimchi and it is eaten by itself, as a side dish and used as an ingredient in other dishes. Another popular signature Korean dish is bibimbab, a bowl of white rice topped with a mix of colourful vegetables. Quite a number of Korean dishes are spicy, which suits us because we love spicy food.
Mandoo Korean Dumplings at Bank Street (opposite Adelaide Railway Station) was our introduction to Korean food in Adelaide. They are famous for their dumplings and when you step into the restaurant, you will see the chef standing behind the counter making them. We have tried bibimbab at many different restaurants and still think that Mandoo's is the best.
Mandoo's Fried Pork Dumplings (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Recently, we decided to go away from our normal order of dumplings and bibimbab and try their hot pots instead. Winter is a great time for enjoying the hot pot because it is piping hot and warms you up quickly.
Mandoo's Spicy Hotpot (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
All of Mandoo's dishes are yummy but its menu is not extensive so we started searching for other Korean restaurants in Adelaide and found Ga Bin Korean Restaurant at Grote Street. The size of the dishes served here is quite generous, with the restaurant providing a selection of Korean side dishes to eat with them. One of the dishes we liked was the Dak – Bokkeum, a stew of chicken and rice sticks cooked in a spicy sauce.
Ga Bin's Dak – Bokkeum (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We were really excited when we heard about the opening of Mr Bulgogi Korean Restaurant at Mawson Lakes. This restaurant provided us with our first experience of eating Korean Fried Chicken. The chicken served here was juicy with its flavour and wonderfully enhanced by the spicy sauce.
Mr Bulgogi's Spicy Korean Fried Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
My father loves the Sweet and Spicy Korean Fried Chicken so much that we started looking around for other places that sell the dish. My sister's friend claimed that the best Spicy Korean Fried Chicken is from Chicken Coop at Glynburn Road, Firle so off we went to try the dish there. The Korean Fried Chicken lived up to its reputation with the flavour of the Soy Sauce version having a stronger taste than the one served at Mr Bulgogi.
Chicken Coop's Korean Fried Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Our latest tasting of Korean food is a Korean barbeque meal at Koba Korean BBQ Restaurant at Grote Street. Presentation of the Korean BBQ is notable in that you are first offered a selection of ingredients to cook on the grill set in the table and can then request more of the specific ingredients that you love. Other dishes are offered as part of a buffet, including a Bibimbab that you assemble yourself.
Koba's Korean BBQ (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We have acquired a liking for Korean food and would love to sample more. Do share with us if you know of any restaurants that serve scrumptious Korean cuisine.
Mandoo's Bibimbab (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Korean, Goodwood Road, Goodwood, just south of tramline, is delicious. It similar to Koba Korean BBQ, but offers seafood as well as meat. It does have a very yummy, non Korean chocolate fondue as part of their banquet.
Found another local gem even better than Mr Bulgogi - Miga on Payneham Rd, opposite McDonalds and the shopping centre. Good old fashioned Korean. I also agree that the best fried chicken I've found so far is at Chicken Coop :)