Guhng Korean Restaurant
19 McKillop St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9041 2192
Fun fact: “Guhng” is Korean for “Palace”.
This was the last place Fatbee and I took Mummybee to before she left for home, and the meal we had there was enjoyable. A number of Fatbee’s friends came along, so it was a pretty jovial Korean BBQ session… and a big success in our books because we wanted to show a worried Mummybee that Fatbee’s life in Melbourne is surrounded with a good circle of supportive friends.
Guhng’s Melbourne ‘palace’ is located in a narrow, three storey tall Korean ‘dungeon’ on McKillop St, right next to Red Spice Road. We were seated in the basement, which was an excellent area to be in, because it meant that all the smoke rises to the top whilst our table remained pretty much free from a cloud of meat smoke.
We decided to skip the banquet set menus and go a la carte instead, allowing us to pick exactly what we wanted. After ordering, we were presented with the usual delightful selection of complimentary accompaniments that comes with all Korean meals. From left: pickled daikon, marinated onion and kimchi.
Kimchi Hotpot 14 | Black Rice 2
Korean traditional Kimchi soup with pork and vegetables
We started off with a serve of kimchi stew to share, which came medium spicy with a nice hearty brothiness to it. My only quibble was the serve was very small for its price point. Pictured right is the rice that they serve here, which comes as a mixture of black and Jasmine rice.
Yuk-Hwei / light-seasoned beef sashimi, sliced raw tenderloin 200g with egg yolk, pear, cucumber, sesame oil and guhng’s signature gal-sal dressing 23
Next we had a traditional Korean entree of raw beef sashimi. The beef was good and it was interesting having crisp slivers of nashi pear in the mix, but the gal-dal dressing pushed it towards the cloyingly sweet territory.
Pictured right were the fresh veggies that came with our Korean BBQ dishes (see below). They top it up as you go through that bowl.
We then embarked on the Korean BBQ half of the meal. First, a cauldron of hot coals was skilfully placed inside the hole in the middle of our table, and the accompany dipping sauces arrived. From top: soybean sauce, salt and sesame oil, honey plum sauce. We ended up enjoying the salt and sesame oil dip the best as it was the least sweet.
Premium Beef rib fillets / 180g / limited sale premium part of beef rib 26
Wagyu / 200g / Australian Wagyu beef is one of the most delicate meat among all and the cube roll fillet is the tenderest part of the beef 39
Things happened pretty quickly from here on. The meats arrived and our friendly waitress started cooking it for us. She’d tell us when the meats are ready to eat, suggesting we wait a bit longer if we prefer it well done (no way!).
Pictured on top, in longer strips, were the premium beef rib fillets… and the steak-like slab of nicely marbled meat below was Wagyu beef. Both were very tender and flavoursome and I could not really pinpoint which I preferred.
Mix mushroom bbq platter / various mushrooms grilling on the charcoal fire 13
We also had a much enjoyed serve of mixed mushrooms.
Pork belly / Dae-Pai / 200g / sliced plain pork belly 20
But interestingly, my favourite BBQ meat for the night had to be the plain pork belly. Once chargrilled on the BBQ, the caramelisation made it incredibly flavoursome. They used very good quality pork here, I’d even think it might be Kurobuta.
Gal-bi / 200g / butterflied cut of beef rib meat, marinated and fermented in soy-sauce for 72 hours with garlic and ginger 23
Our final BBQ meat was marinated beef ribs, which we enjoyed the least (it was sweetish). I’m not a veteran with Korean BBQ, but I think the best things to BBQ are the plain unmarinated meats… where you can enjoy its flavour and quality without battling a curtain of seasoning. It was also the reason why we enjoyed the salt and sesame dipping sauce the best, because it augmented the BBQ meat’s flavour without overpowering things.
Here’s the mess we left behind as we left the place… quite civilised, actually. It was a good meal, but I’ll have to say that the serving sizes here were on the smaller side, but of good quality. So I basically left just satisfied (ie. 80% full) rather than stuffed.