23 Nov Guhng, Melbourne CBD
There are plenty of Korean BBQ restaurants around, but one of the larger and more popular ones in the CBD is Guhng. Guhng is quite an impressive restaurant that spans over 4 levels, each with a different vibe. It possesses a dark, cosy and quite unique interior – stone and wood are used to reflect a traditional palatial restaurant atmosphere, but there are a few modern design touches that blend in seamlessly. The lower level has large communal tables, whilst smaller tables are found on the ground floor. The two upper levels cater well for functions and private dining, and even includes its own bar.
The extensive menu covers both Korean favourites and more inventive dishes, though this is condensed for lunchtime. No Korean meal is complete without some banchan. Today’s small dishes include kimchi (of course), pickled radish, and onion. If you’ve ordered BBQ, the lettuce and accompanying salt and sauces are also set on the table.
Their Crispy Pork Belly is steamed and deep fried with sweet soy sauce. The succulent meat kicks things off to a good start. Kept in freezer for an icy texture, the Yukhoe – Korean beef tartare with pear, egg yolk and a soy-based sauce – is perfect for cooling down during today’s hot weather. Also light and refreshing is the House Seafood Salad with pickled squid and prawns.
Though perhaps not as suitable for the weather, we still thoroughly enjoyed the Seafood Jeongol – a spicy stew with vegetables and seafood including scallops, prawns, mussels, and baby octopus. Order some multi-grain rice with it to make use of the delicious broth, especially towards the end when all those seafood flavours have concentrated even further.
We dig deeper into the communal spirit by partaking in Korean BBQ, where an array of barbecued meats are available for selection. Ingredients to grill on the BBQ can either be ordered a la carte, or as a set. For groups there’s also a number of BBQ banquet options that includes starters and desserts. Though I’m sure you could DIY, I thought it best to leave it to the experts. Our proteins for today are the King Galbi and Premium Angus Rib Fillet, both tender, well-marinated, and exhibiting that delicious flame-licked flavour.
Desserts feature at dinner time. For a refreshing and icy treat, the Red Bean Semi-freddo might be right up your alley. Our pick is the Fig Leaf Panna Cotta. It’s perfectly wobbly and smooth in texture. It’s not sweet, and has an interesting flavour that’s difficult to describe – I can only say that it’s very good.
It can get pretty busy so bookings are recommended, especially on weekends. Guhng’s huge range of tapas, share dishes, hot pot and rice and noodle dishes is sure to satisfy any kind of hankerings for Korean food.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Guhng as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Guhng The Palace
19 McKillop St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9041 2192