Food and Drink

   

Say Annyeong to Korean BBQ

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For eons, chefs and patrons have clashed on what constitutes a rare, medium, or well done steak. At Wooga Korean Restaurant the customer is perpetually right, as they do the cooking themselves. No gimmick, Korean BBQ involves table cooking over coals and Wooga, according to my Korean friends, is the best in Melbourne.

Located opposite the Queen Victoria Market, Wooga is rustic yet sleek, flanked on either side by other Korean restaurants. The menu offers beef and pork mains with familiar flavours like chilli, garlic and soy, plus a delectable array of banchan (side dishes). Undoubtedly the best way to enjoy Korean food is in a group, and Wooga’s combo’s are a cheap and entertaining way to try a bit of everything.

Combo B ($65 for 3-4 people) includes four cuts of beef, steamed rice and a delicious spicy soup bubbling away on the table full of pork, mushrooms, onion, tofu, kimchi and rice noodles. To cool things down, there is an array of bottomless cold banchan including cabbage salad and pickled bean shoots. You also get the fiery pickled cabbage dish kimchi, without which no Korean meal is complete, in all its reddish, garlicky, spicy glory. Don’t be shy to ask for refills.

The service isn’t always great so don’t be surprised if your drinks arrive after your food or your large group frazzles them into forgetting you. The slight language barrier is frustrating to some, but to me it makes the experience more authentic. If ever in doubt, just watch the experts on the surrounding tables. The food arrives rapidly and occupies every square centimetre of your table, before your companions even have a chance to say “So, do we cook this… ourselves?”

My advice: Book ahead, share a combo, wear light clothing around the coals, and try the Spicy Pork ($16) and seafood pancake ($8) as extras. The $5 Korean Beers Hite and Cass are refreshing and make you glad you didn’t go the BYO option with a warm bottle of red. If you don’t leave here in a food coma or at least feeling ill, then you haven’t experienced Korean BBQ properly.

Wooga Korean Restaurant
270 Victoria Street, North Melbourne
9328 1221
Open Everyday 5.30pm – 10.30pm
12.00PM – 3.00PM on weekends


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