On the edge of Dickson's food street is My Mom's Yangpyeong Haejanggook. I'm going out on a limb to nominate this as the most unusually named restaurant in Canberra. To break it down, Haejanggook is a soup touted as Korea's hangover cure (it can be any of a variety of soups apparently) and Yangpyeong is a place. And the 'my mom's' speaks to the homely and cosy vibe of the restaurant. On a bitterly cold Canberra night, we're beckoned inside by the twinkling lights. We head in and on closer inspection, these are part of an out-of-season Christmas display. K-Pop is blaring from a bubblegum bright TV show, a mural of the incredible hulk glares from across the room and laden tables full of steaming broth and fried chicken waft at us. Within a matter of seconds, My Mom's has managed to deliver a sensory overload of epic proportions and I get the feeling this will be a fun place to eat.
Although the restaurant specialises in haejanggook, or hangover soups, we order Korean Fried Chicken, kimchi pancake and bulgogi beef to share between two and as soon as it arrives, it's clear we've over ordered. Everything arrives quickly and the staff are efficient and friendly as they keep bringing more to our table. The chicken is tasty enough but it isn't very crunchy and definitely not the best available in Canberra. Despite that, it's a generous portion for the price. If this is the one thing you are really craving I'd go elsewhere, but as a side to other choices, it's more than OK. The kimchi pancake is delicious with a nice flavour and texture. The standout is the bulgogi - the perfect sweet and umami dream dish. The beef is tender and the portion, like every dish at My Mom's, is very generous. As well as what we ordered, the delicious pickles and side dishes that come alongside the meal are absolutely delicious. We end up leaving satisfied and with a doggy bag stuffed to the brim.
A visit to My Mom's is like experiencing a strange hybrid of a restaurant, a dive bar and dinner at your high school bestie's house. There are clashes of taste and interest and everybody wants to be heard among the cheerful chaos. The telly is on, the space is welcoming and the food just keeps coming. It's eclectic, it's familiar and even if the food isn't high-end, it's yummy in a low-key way.
My Mom's Yangpyeong Haejanggook is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.