45 Koornang Rd
Carnegie, VIC 3163
03 9972 9197
This post shows how sometimes a little mishap can be a good thing. Dad and mom can be quite loyal when it comes to dining in Melbourne. Once they like a place, they’d go back again and again… if it’s good, why risk a new place?
That’s how we ended up in Carnegie when they visited this year, where the original intent was a revisit to 7 & 7 Korean Restaurant, a place with good bulgogis and samgyetangs. But when we arrived on a Sunday night, it was shut!
We walked up and down the entire length of Koornang Road and finally settled on this place. And to be honest, I felt a bit of trepidation taking them in here, as I thought concept’s a bit more like a Korean ‘izakaya’ slash chicken-and-beer den… not quite the same cosy family vibe as 7 & 7.
Raspberry Makkoli $14 | Jinro Soju $13
On the upside, it also meant that we could enjoy a selection of Korean cocktails and sojus with our meal. This would be mom’s first encounter with fruit flavoured makkoli – a light sweetish Korean rice wine. And like me, she liked it!
Tarng’s Korean Style Fried Chicken (Half) $15
BBQ Baby Octopus & Pork (Spicy) $13.8
K-Tarng in Carnegie can be thought of as a sister restaurant to Tarng in the CBD. However, the CBD branch specialises in soups and hot pots more while K-Tarng is less soup-focussed (no samgyetang – ginseng chicken soup!) plus it has other types of items on the menu. We basically decided to order things that dad and mom have not really tried before.
We started off with a classic serve of KFC – Korean Fried Chicken, which (to my surprise) dad and mom really liked. Admittedly, it was fresh and crispy with tender insides, but I still tend to prefer the less battered-up Malay and Indonesian style ayam goreng.
Next came a sizzling dish of baby octopus and pork in spicy sauce. I tend to find the spicy sauce used in Korean cuisine quite sweet and generic (all their spicy sauce dishes tends to taste the same and I grow bored quickly). All that said, being new to this style of Korean dish, dad and mom once again enjoyed it.
Soft Tofu Hot Pot w Pork 28
Our final dish was a beautiful serve of kimchi stew-like hot pot with tofu and pork. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Korean Fried Chicken and spicy sauces (as evidenced from the previous two dishes), I’m very fond of Korean hot pots. So needless to say, I liked this dish as much as my folks did. It was spicy, bubbling hot and with many pieces of soft silken tofu. Such a nice and comforting dish to have for that cold evening when we dined there.
Overall, the quality of cooking here can’t be faulted, it’s just the style of cooking (KFCs and spicy sauces) that I personally haven’t quite grown to like. And the only reason why I’m less likely to come back here is because the menu contains the types of dishes that I normally wouldn’t go for.
All the same, I’m glad that 7 & 7 wasn’t open that evening, because this ‘accidental’ meal at K-Tarng ended up proving to me that my dad and mom aren’t as set-in-their-ways as I thought they were. And come to think of it, judging by the ‘doom and gloom’ manner in which I’ve been describing the non-soup dishes here, I’m probably more fussy than them!