ChangGo (Korean BBQ), Melbourne CBD – can you handle 8 flavours of pork belly?

I’ve been discovering many unique and delicious restaurants lately that do not have much Urbanspoon presence with the help of a few friends’ suggestions. One of the highlights was a little Korean BBQ restaurant hidden on Little La Trobe St in the CBD. It would have been a very difficult place to find if Kenneth haven’t already been there and Sat who arrived late had to be fetched by Yuye because we believed he got lost.

The restaurant is quite small. Apart from 2 tables that seated a few more people, the remaining tables are all 4 seaters. As it was peak dining time on a Friday night, we had to make do with squeezing 5 people onto a 4 seater. Since I was in the corner, it proved quite difficult to manoeuvre my arms to pick up food from the table. If you’ve been to a Korean BBQ (or even just a normal Korean restaurant) you’d know just how many plates end up on the table! There’s the free side dishes that we kept ordering refills of:

And of course the huge metal hot plate in the middle where we cook the food took up most of the table space. This hot plate was interesting because it was slanted to let oil out on one end. I was afraid the food would topple over but it was just my paranoia.

The interesting thing about this restaurant is their set menu items. If you’re a lover of pork belly, I highly recommend ordering the pork belly set with EIGHT different flavours called the “Palsaik Set” for $58.80 which serves 2-3. It came with the pork as well as a seafood soybean paste stew, 2 rices and assorted veggies. The veggies can be seen on the hotplate above.

The pork flavours were: wine, original, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste and red pepper paste. These pork belly pieces came neatly rolled on individual plates on top of a huge wooden plank which actually had the flavours written on the side. How convenient and unique! It was exactly the width of the table.

We were all big pork belly lovers so these lovely pieces of fatty tasty goodness were finished with the blink of an eye. A lot of the flavours tasted similar and wasn’t all that strong but I think I liked the herbed pork the best.

The pork also came with flavoured spring onions and lettuce to wrap the meat with. I personally didn’t like to eat the meat with the spring onions because I found them a bit too sweet, but Sat loved it.

We also ordered the beef set for $48.80 which came with a marinated flank beef, a top side beef with salt and pepper and a choice of 1 more beef from the 6 selection which we chose premium beef rib. The other choices were scotch fillet, beef brisket and ox tongue. You also get a Seafood soybean paste stew, 2 steamed rice and assorted veggies like the pork set.

I couldn’t tell the difference too much between the beefs, I was just very full and still stuffing my face with so much meat…it wasn’t a pretty sight.

As the soups were the same in both sets, the waiter suggested we change one of them to a different flavour and so we did. It was just a regular kimchi stew with, yes, more pork belly. I know, we were crazy. I couldn’t tell too much difference between the two soups actually, because they were both quite chilli, apart from the fact that one tasted a little more like seafood.

We were warned by the waitress when we were ordering that it might be too much food, but we managed to finish everything, including 2 jugs of beer! We did however, walk away feeling totally bloated. That’s what always happens at Korean BBQs though so I wasn’t surprised.

Overall it was a fantastic night, although we were a bit cramped and constantly had to vacate empty plates and bowls to free up space, but I guess that’s part of all the fun. I love cooking food on the table, the room always smells wonderfully like seared meat and it’s such a festive atmosphere. I would definitely return to ChangGo for a good pork belly fix and if you’re like me, I think you’ll enjoy this little hidden gem too.

ChangGo
Phone: 0433379100 (confirmed correct as of 28/09/2012, just leave them an SMS if they don’t pick up the phone)
Address: 70 Little LaTrobe St, Melbourne VIC 3000

ChangGo on Urbanspoon

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21 comments… add one

  • choux choux June 16, 2012, 4:57 pm

    OMG I want Korean BBQ. That epic 8-flavour pork belly plate is awesome. The beef looks really good too! Don’t you think Korean food is just so photogenic? I reckon it’s because there’s always so much colour!

    Reply
  • thyme (Sarah) June 16, 2012, 9:57 pm

    I had to keep staring at that series of ‘pork belly’ offerings. Wow. This would be different for the U.S. I keep hearing about pork belly but I don’t think it has caught on here quiet yet. I am very intrigued and would love to try it. Speaking of Korean food…do you know the blog “A la Mode”. He takes incredible photos and just posted his recap of his trip to South Korea. Its filled with tons of food photos and descriptions of the dish. I thought you might like it!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 17, 2012, 8:41 pm

      I’m surprised Korean BBQ hasn’t caught on in the U.S. yet, I love it so much. Can’t imagine life without it!

      I checked out his site, LOVE his photos, they’re absolutely stunning. Wish I could take photos like that! Damn…

      Reply
  • Parsley Sage June 17, 2012, 4:42 am

    Hells to the yes! I’d be all over that Palsaik Set! It looks amazing. Despite the place being a bit cramped, I think it sounds like a welcomed discovery :)

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 17, 2012, 8:43 pm

      It was definitely a welcomed discovery, now I know where I’d go when I have a craving for some pork belly! :D

      Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook June 17, 2012, 3:53 pm

    8 flavors of pork belly! Bring it on! =D I love Korean food and if this is in my neighborhood, I’d show up every week for sure! You took delicious pictures!!

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 17, 2012, 8:44 pm

      It’s a bit far away for me as well unfortunately, or else I’d be there all the time too. :P

      Reply
  • Glamorous Glutton June 17, 2012, 10:00 pm

    This looks like a great restaurant. I love the pork with all the different flavours. We use to have lots of Korean BBQ restaurants here, but there wasn’t much cooking at the table. Many of them have gone now but you’ve made me think it would be worth searching out a real BBQ Korean restaurant. GG

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 19, 2012, 8:25 pm

      It’s a shame that most of the Korean restaurants around you are gone! It’s always a good place to go with a few friends and you get to chat and cook at the same time, I find it a lot of fun and lots of food as well. :D

      Reply
  • bata June 24, 2012, 2:30 am

    dang, missing out

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet June 25, 2012, 11:44 pm

    YAY a great find :) Another place for Korean BBQ in the city yay ~ It’s so annoying that they’re always so busy and cramped sigh…why can’t Korean BBQ’s rent bigger places lol but for good food i’m willing to squish hehe

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake June 26, 2012, 11:32 pm

      HAHA that is so true! Most Korean BBQ places are a bit cramped, but then that makes them more fun because it’s more festive and loud. :P This restaurant though was smaller than most of the other ones I’ve been to so even worse! :P

      Reply
  • Jessica September 24, 2012, 6:19 pm

    Hi, my frd and I want to visit this restaurant this coming wknd. Been trying to make a booking through this phone number but no one picks up. Is this the right number? is there another way I can make a booking other than physically going there to make the reservation?

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake September 24, 2012, 10:22 pm

      Hi Jessica, I just checked ad it seems that there might not actually be a number to call, it’s pronably best to go there in person. Hope it turns out ok for you! The number I had on my site might have worked in the past but doesn’t anymore.

      Reply
  • Lisa September 25, 2012, 11:58 am

    My first time at ChangGo was in October last year when they first opened, it was amazing at the time. I went again last night, and it was just an amazing experience all over again. Loved the 8 pork set! Also in love with your website!

    Reply
  • B September 27, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Hi Jenny,
    I used the phone number you had on the website, on Thursday and it worked no problems. My advise to the other person is if you don’t get through, send them a text as they answered that as well!!

    Cheers,
    B

    Reply
  • Jessica September 28, 2012, 12:00 am

    Hi, just came back to tell you the phone number is right. It just they don’t pick up, but they do reply your msgs if you sms them : )

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake September 28, 2012, 1:26 am

      Thanks Jessica, I will change the number back to the one I had. Glad that it worked for you in the end. :)

      Reply

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