Lunch, lunch, lunch…. I’ve been crazy about good lunch spots in town for quite a while and we decided to try out a small Korean eatery hiding in one of the many plazas on Rundle Mall.
Located in Charles St Plaza, and hided in a very small corner is this Korean cafe run by a Korean couple. The lady is the main chef and front counter whereas the husband is a helping hand. Sorry I didn’t take any photo of the surroundings of the place. It is very tiny in space and only has three tables. In rare cases, there are aussies who go there for lunch. Most people visiting there are Koreans. Before getting seated, I bet their food to be authentic korean and yummy, and indeed, I wasn’t disappointed with my lunch. 🙂
On offer in the cafe are 8 dishes ranging from $7.50 to $9.50 and most of them are vegan. I was actually a bit doubted about the quality of food before ordering. Oh, well, never mind. There’s no time for me to go somewhere else. So, for two of us, we ordered three dishes.
Spicy Squid $8.50. Squid pieces stir-fried with Korean hot chilli paste, onion and carrots. Seriously, guys, DON’T try this dish ever. There’s hardly any squid in this dish although the taste is very special. It’s not something you can find in your normal standard Korean restaurant but it is also something which makes you looking for squid pieces in your dish. Then, you evaluate it. If you want to try, then try it, don’t take my word; but I hate cheaters who use squid as their dish name but there’s almost no squid 😦
Tempura Vegetables $7.50. See folks, I told you, this place is very vegan friendly and almost all of their dishes are vegetable based :D. Anyway, this dish taste good with some soy sauce and sesame seeds. I think the cafe has misunderstood the word “tempura” and most of Australians does. “Tempura” is a special way of deep-fry in Japanese cooking with a very difficult to make paste/coating. Hence, NOT ALL deep-fries are tempura and this dish should well be renamed as “Deep Fried Vegetables” or some Korean word pronunciations.
Here it comes my favorite and the specialty of this cafe, Naengmyeon! Some of you may think “what the hell is this word?” Yes, it is Korean and it basically means “cold noodle”. This dish is surely their specialty and is definitely something you may be craving for in a hot summer day. The noodle is cold so as the soup which is sour and icy. With the addition of a sprinkle of cucumbers and some special “weapon”, this dish is refreshing especially in summer and for work breaks. The special something I was talking about is vinegar block. Yes, the owner is clever and has pre-frozen some vinegar blocks and when serving this dish, these blocks are thrown in and they will gradually be melted. With the addition of some Korean mustard sauce, the flavour is awesome. Textures, refreshments, spicy mustard and sour vinegar are perfectly combined in the soup and the noddles are very tender. I just love it. If you ever get a chance to try this dish, taste it and feel the complexity and simplicity it has to offer. In fact, this is one of the very few top Naengmyeons I’ve ever had around the world, no matter it’s in Australia, China or in Korea.
Overall, I am happy with the food served, especially the Naengmyeon. The service is a bit down as the owner speaks hardly any English and this has made our communications even more difficult, but at least she’s happy to help out.
Food: 2.5/5 Generally speaking, their food isn’t that fancy except Naengmyeon.
Value: 2.5/5 Not very cheap though when you think about almost purely vegan food.
Charles St Plaza, Shop22/ 215 North Tce
Adelaide, SA 5000