M: Let’s have Korean BBQ for dinner.
Y: Sure… where?
M: Korean BBQ.
Y: Ya, WHERE?
M: Uhm, beside China Fried Rice.
M: In the Hong Kong plaza.
Located in the Hong Kong Fashion building are China Fried Rice and Korean BBQ Restaurant. These two restaurant names are so literal and bare that it is amusing yet awesome at the same time. No pretentious elaborate names and no websites, but the consistently good reviews I have read about them piqued my interest.
Now we simply need a restaurant called Japan Sushi to complete the East Asian Family!
First Impression @ China Fried Rice:
Another perfect example of do-not-judge-a-restaurant-by-its-exterior.
Surprisingly one of the more elegant Chinese restaurants in this region.
The red button replaces the frantic waves to get your server’s attention.
I cannot think of any other Chinese restaurant in this region that serves peanut appetizers, although it is a common practice in many Chinese restaurants located elsewhere.
Their menu was huge. Amazing variety of meats and flavour combinations but just way too many pages to go through. Spoiled for choice!
In retrospect, I probably should have ordered some sort of fried rice…
On the Table for Maple:
- Mutton with Cumin ($12.99)
- Chinese Cabbage with Chestnuts ($8.99)
- Beijing-style Fried Pancake ($8.50)
Found another $1.50 on the bill – either the peanuts or the tea.
When they have a chili symbol beside the menu item to warn you about its spiciness, heed advice! We did not enjoy this dish as the cumin was overpowering and spiciness was choking. The mutton was also too fatty. No one but myself to blame for overestimating my spice tolerance.
Thankfully the cabbage dish arrived. It tasted very clean and fresh. I love stir-fry Chinese cabbage dishes! Chestnuts were a nice touch, interesting combination.
The real surprise was the pancake. Not only was it the cheapest…
… but also the largest.
Resembling nothing like a typical Chinese pancake, the pancake slices were stir-fried with vegetables. Though it was oily, there were bountiful amounts of vegetables to provide a good balance.
I enjoyed the meal as nothing was overly salty or oily. Their fascinating menu is enticing me for a return visit. Some dishes I would love to try next include the Smoked Pork Hock in Soy Sauce ($11.99), Sliced Pig’s Ear with Garlic ($8.99), Sliced Jelly Fish with Vinegar Sauce ($5.99), and Szechuan Bangbang Chicken ($8.99).
1) $$ – Main dishes are meant be to be shared, large portions
2) The interior will surprise you, very spacious and bright
3) Service was quick despite the lunch crowd
4) Great flavours and not overly salty
First Impression @ Korean BBQ Restaurant:
Nothing fancy but clean and rather spacious. Based on its name, I initially thought that Korean BBQ Restaurant actually offers the do-it-yourself Korean BBQ (a.k.a too-much-meat coma). However, I think they only serve traditional Korean dishes and not BBQ? We need a REAL Korean BBQ in this region!
As with other Korean restaurants, you will get some appetizers before the meal. My favourite is the spicy fishcake! Although most restaurants generally oblige a request for refill, I sometimes feel guilty for being a glutton and finishing them even before ordering my mains.
I feel awesome for getting more fishcakes teehee.
On the Table for Maple:
- Tofu Stew ($8.49)
- Pork Bone Soup ($8.49)
Some of my other favourites to order are Korean seafood pancakes and hot stone Bibimbab. I stopped ordering Bibimbab after a Korean friend told me that Koreans usually do not order that at restaurants because it is too easy to make at home. Nonetheless, it is still worth trying if you have never had it before!
Undoubtedly, the must-have at a Korean restaurant is the pork bone soup, a.k.a. Gamjatang.
My tofu stew was good, but nothing too spectacular.
Ahh, the Gamjatang is a whole different story. Very generous portions of pork that melts in your mouth. The soup was spicy with just enough kick to leave you slightly sweaty but not dying in pai, unlike China Fried Rice’s mutton.
It was a very satisfying meal, but I wish they would consider offering Korean BBQ.
1) $ – only the hot plate dishes are above $10
2) Basic space, no frills Korean
3) Might need to wave a couple times to get attention for more tea
4) Delicious appetizers, level of spiciness for Gamjatang is perfect