If you ask a Korean who has spent a bit of time in Perth, chances are that Took Bae Kee will be on their list of Korean restaurants they recommend. Situated on the east side of Perth near some other Korean establishments (next to a small Korean grocer and across from a haircut joint), this statement is even more true when you go inside.
Took Bae Kee is a casual restaurant that can get quite busy given it's quite small inside. The decor is simple, but it's relatively clean and cosy for an eat-and-go Asian food establishment. Service-wise, the wait staff seem to all be Korean and provide a decent service for the casual restaurant environment.
The menu contains a variety of Korean dishes from soups, to meat dishes, to rice dishes, and vegetarian dishes written in Korean and translated in English. Prices vary mainly from around $10-15 for most main meal dishes. Given Koreans can eat spicy, you might need to consider whether the dishes are edible for those with weaker stomachs – I know I struggle with very spicy food.
Bulgogi Bibimbap - $13
Bibimbap means mixed rice, or otherwise generally a bowl filled with rice and other ingredients that you mix together before you eat.
Took Bae Kee’s Bibimbap was a bowl that had rice topped with shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and sesame seed. The Bibimbap is also served with a separate dish of “gochuchang” which is a chilli pepper paste that adds flavour. However, notably the Bibimbap was missing a fried egg which I usually see in Bibimbaps.
The Bulgogi beef was soy flavoured barbecued sliced beef and was mildly tasty for a barbecued beef. Together with the addition of the different ingredients, the combination makes this dish kind of nice to eat if not pretty simple.
The Bulgogi was (as it’s meant to be) dry even when adding the gochuchang sauce, and had a bit of a sweet and slightly oily overall feel. I think this dish would have been much better with the optional extra fried egg which would have added to the taste and the texture of the overall mixed dish (and the Koreans I have asked seem to think the fried egg is a must). However, this is Korean food cooked by Koreans and recommended by Koreans so who am I to question this?
Took Bae Kee also sells Dorset Bibimbaps which are meant to come in a heated stone bowl, but in actual fact the one I had came in a metallic one. I recall my previous occasion of eating the Dorset Bibimbap to be good and I enjoyed that – but that one came with a fried egg. Note to self – make sure it has a fried egg.
Soondoboo Jjeegae - $11
This dish was in the soup section of the menu and described as a hot and spicy soup with tofu and seasonal vegetables. The seasonal vegetables included a lot of Chinese cabbage.
With noticeable chilli throughout, this dish was pretty spicy though if you can handle it and like things spicy I’m told it’s not bad. The only thing is that you have to be careful when eating this dish as it can leave red marks on you and all over your lips. This is also probably not a very summery dish.
Soy Beef Bulgogi - $13
Remembering that Koreans can eat very spicy foods, I opted for the soy flavoured beef on a hot plate rather than the spicy chilli beef version. Whilst this may have been the safer option, I am not convinced that the dish was the better tasting one.
The soy flavoured beef came on a sizzling plate and to me was a bit like a stir fry of beef with vegetables such as onion, carrot and cucumber. The beef had a more sweet than salt flavour to it and was a pretty average beef dish for my liking. However, that probably helps make the dish healthier and we are in a recommended casual Korean restaurant here.
As a main course, the beef was accompanied by a bowl of steamed rice in the “normal” stainless steel bowl.
The Korean side dishes served with main course meals
In summary, Took Bae Kee is a great little Korean restaurant that lets you have a taste of Korean food whilst dining with other Koreans. If you like Korean food, I’m told this place is a must.
Points to note: Given its size and popularity, you may have to line up for a table during peak times. You can also complete your Korean journey by going to the next door supermarket – they even have Korean ice creams.
Go for: Good Korean cuisine, recommended by Koreans.
Took Bae Kee Restaurant
Shop 6, 542 Hay Street
PERTH WA 6000
(08) 9225 4557
Monday to Sunday – Lunch and dinner