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.
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