Campsie is perhaps Sydney's Little Korea and it is here where you can find authentic, cheap and honest Korean fare. We've been to Se Joung a number of times and consider it one of the best-value best-tasting Korean joints we've frequented so far (no small claim).
As always, we ordered the pajeon or seafood pancake--an enormous dinner-plate-sized serving of pancake batter bursting with prawns, calamari, spring onions and mushrooms. The pancake is light and crispy and golden brown. Although this is listed on the entrees page, this is more likely ample for four as a starter.
Pajeon--seafood and shallot pancake $11.00
An assortment of pickled vegetable side dishes will arrive at your table depending on the number of people at your table, and what they currently have available. The kimchee (chilli pickled cabbage) here is particularly potent but some, like the seaweed and bean sprouts, are free from sinus-clearing spices.
Assorted sidedish pickles, seaweed and vegetables (complimentary accompaniments)
The japchae, or potato noodle, was tasty--served with beef, capsicum, carrot and onion and scattered liberally with sesame seeds.
Japchae - stir fried potato noodle with vegetables and beef $11.00
The oxtail hotpot arrived steaming hot--the broth was faintly sweet with a touch of chilli and perfect for dousing over bowls of steaming rice. There was plenty of green vegetable in here--slightly bitter--and a couple of oxtail pieces which warranted plenty of bone-picking attention.
Hotpot of oxtail $12.00
However the highlight dish which we always order is the jeyuk bossam--a delightful roll-your-own mouthful of joy. Thin slices of boiled pork belly are placed in blanched cabbage leaves, topped with a spoonful of fiery hot kimchee and gobbled quickly. The kimchee mixture arrives with tiny oysters scattered through it, and the burst of sea-saltiness as you munch through crunchy cabbage, the pork and the chilli pickled cabbage is immensely satisfying.
If you order nothing else, make sure you order this one!
Jeyuk Bossam--kim-chi bundle of cabbage leaf with pork $20.00
The only downfall here is the service which worsens as the night progresses. We've seen customers turned away at 9.00pm when the restaurant is supposed to close at 10.30pm. We've also had half-finished drinks whisked away whilst staff hover in the background tetchily, itching to clock off.
Patrons can eat 'authentic'-style by sitting cross-legged on cushions at low tables, risking lack of sensation to the lower legs and complaining back muscles forced into action. The other half of the restaurant has the standard tables and chairs, which are always more popular for some reason!
This is good food at unbelieveable value. Eating here will painfully distend your belly for under $20.
Our tip: Order the jeyuk bossam and don't eat here too late and/or linger. Best to eat early and leave with a grin.
68-72 Evaline Street, Campsie
(next to Woolworths)
Tel: 02 9718 4039
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11/18/2004 11:59:00 p.m.