Panchan Korean side dishes
The best part about eating in a Korean restaurant is the assortment of panchan side dishes that will arrive at the start of your meal.
I love wondering what tasty morsels will arrive, this Korean version of amuses bouches to titillate the palate, and then, excitement (and frenzied camera action) ensues as a whole entourage of tiny platters arrive on the table all at one.
There is almost always something I haven't seen or tasted before, and I love to taste each one with measured scrutiny. There is usually something hot and spicy (more often than not, spiced slices of pickled kimchee), a dish or two of something sweeter, and a few that are cool in the mouth to temper any burning tastebuds.
At Hanabi, in Sydney’s bustling CBD, I am particularly enamoured with the salted black beans which are smooth and slippery on the tongue, sweet and starchy within. There are ribbons of hot and spicy zucchini kimchee with spring onion; chunks of milder turnip kimchee; slivers of bamboo shoot dressed with sesame seeds; and a handful of broccoli florets, steamed simply as they are.
I'm a "saver" when it comes to enjoying my food, so I'm quietly distraught when our waiter removes our half-empty dish of salted black beans (my favourite one!) mid-way through our meal. Silently I hope he will return with refills but he doesn't. So instead I turn my attention to our main meals.
Chicken teriyaki $13.00
Chicken teriyaki,trendily presented on a square-ish plate, is predictably sweet but not as dark and sticky as I usually prefer. The chicken is moist and tender though, and the salad is light and refreshing.
BBQ chilli squid with bulgogi $13.00
The barbecue chilli squid arrives on a more familiar hot plate, sizzling and spitting with vengeance and enveloping the table with heady sweet aromas. I love the sauce on this one which is thick and caramelly, and I resort to scraping the remnants down with a spoon into my bowl of formerly pristine white rice.
Prawn tempura $25.00
The prawn tempura appear a little pricey but this is forgiven with the first tasty bite. The prawns are sweet from the sea and the batter is light and crisp. I crunch everything down my gullet, tails and all.
Shop 3, 122 Liverpool Street, Sydney
(near corner of Pitt Street, next to Macchiato)
Tel: +61 (02) 9262 7288
Also Hanabi Restaurant at
35 Joseph St Lidcombe, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9646 1412
Other Korean restaurants on GrabYourFork:
Milliore, Haymarket, Chinatown
Se Joung, Campsie
Seoul Ria, Haymarket, Chinatown
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8/12/2006 04:24:00 p.m.