Tuesday 5 February 2013

Seoul House Korean Restaurant

234, Russell Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Seoul House Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon
The Place
Scoring 73% on Urbanspoon, I think you either like it or it's not the right thing for you.
The buffet experience in Melbourne is not well developed unlike the metropolitan cities of Singapore and Hong Kong where it is an art form. Don't expect a sophisticated venue - it's an all you can eat place that can get rowdy with students and smoky with fumes from the barbeque when the crowd gets going. It's on the first level (and I am not aware that there's a lift to get up there)

Things to do Nearby: Diagonal to QV and situated on Russell Street, it's a busy area.

The Food
So, Korea - the land of a thousand condiments. I believe that Korean restaurants should be judged on not only their mains but also their condiments and variety of kimchi. Having only been here for the buffet (though an ala carte menu is extensive), I can only comment on that. There's not a whole lot of variety of condiments. Amongst this, the potato noodles and basic kimchi are nice.

The buffet is great for carnivores like myself. There're all sorts of meat (pork, chicken, beef, calamari) as part of the package. The challenge is that by the time all the meats are put together on the bbq plate - they start to taste similar. The food is ok but the variety is limited and it's not quite spicy enough for my taste. Having said that, it doesn't stop me from having copious amounts of it when I am there.

I would suggest avoid the spring rolls and the fried dumplings - they are not great and take up unnecesary calories and space!

Hence, for the quantity wolfers - this is fabulous - without totally sacrificing the quality either.
This is probably why groups of students are often there from 7pm to 9pm.. and not just any students, Korean students too.
This is also a fully licensed restaurant.

The Service
No fuss, polite, understated and ready to bring out more food.

I would go here for a cultural experience of sharing a space with many other strangers who enjoy eating lots. More important - please do not take people who eat to live, rather than live to eat (if you know what I mean). If you are there for the buffet, you'd want to take people along who can really EAT.

A Cultural Moment
Kimchi Refrigerators - not all fridges are equal. In Korea, a fridge with a Kimchi compartment is arguably the most sought after white good for the household. The specialised compartment accounts for different types of kimchi and fermentation processes and protects the other parts of the fridge from being infused by the pungent aroma. This is important as there are many different kinds of kimchi and different kimchi for different seasons, dependent on available vegetable.

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