Though I'm sitting at home right now typing, I'm thinking back to this Korean meal I had at Perth Dae Jang Kum Restaurant in Northbridge (the photos help my mouth water). This Korean restaurant has a good range of Korean food including those warm-the-insides soups, meals served on hot sizzling dishes, and the self-cook BBQ grills.
Perth Dae Jang Kum Restaurant itself is quite a large restaurant with good ample seating, much like many street facing restaurants in Northbridge. The decor is quite simple, but the restaurant is clean and the area quite spacious. Many (if not all) of the tables include a BBQ grill which they start up for you if you order any of the BBQ grill meals - but be prepared for the odours to permeate through your clothes.
The menu offers a variety of Korean dishes including grilled meat bulgogi dishes, soup dishes that are vegetarian or come with meat or seafood, and dishes (including a variety of meats from beef to chicken and pork) you grill on the BBQ grill-plate on your table. With each meal, Perth Dae Jang Kum Restaurant serves some typical Korean side dishes like the infamous kimchi.
Seafood pancake - $9
When I normally think pancakes, I think pancakes sweetened such as those with maple syrup and berries. However, walk into an Asian restaurant and you may find that a pancake (or dishes that look like they could be described as a pancake - eg okonomiyaki) is a savoury affair.
This seafood pancake was one of those savoury pancakes made with bits of seafood (including baby octopus, shrimp and squid) and thin strips of carrots and spring onion mixed into the batter. The pancake itself was made with a batter that tasted like it was flavoured or seasoned, such that the pancake itself had a savoury flavour running through it. This gave the pancake enough flavour that it didn't need any additional sauce or condiments (though a type of chilli oil sauce was provided on the side).
Texture wise, don't expect the light fluffiness of a sweet pancake but instead a slightly more dense and solid pancake. However, the pancake was thin and the batter not too heavy, and a base that had a deliciously lightly crunch (though quite oily at the same time with the oil probably used to help crisp up the base). All up, I thought this was a delicious savoury pancake.
Note that despite this being in the "entree" section of the menu, this pancake is big enough to feed a person as a main - and definitely too much for one or even two as an entree. We were pushed to finish our entire meal sharing one of these between two for an entree.
Chicken Bulgogi - $16
This chicken bulgogi was served on the (familiar at many Korean restaurants I've tried) sizzling plate.
The chicken was barbecued in that bulgogi soy marinade, this one being quite a sweet one more so than salty but otherwise retaining a distinct soy flavour. The chicken was marinated and cooked such that each piece seemed infused with that flavour and cooked enough to keep the chicken relatively moist and tender for a barbecued meat.
The bulgogi meal was served with a bowl of rice in a typical stainless steel bowl with a stainless steel lid.
Overall this meal had strong infused flavours, which to me seemed a bit like a stir fry - only with greater intensity and less sauce.
Tofu soup - $15
This steaming hot soup had a red colour but wasn't spicy hot, and tofu that was silky smooth. The flavour was intense and from the small taste I had of this dish, the flavour seemed to have a thick stock base that i thought was seafood based.
Great for winter, perhaps not so good as we head into spring and summer.
Side dishes served with main courses
The complimentary sides provided with our meal included the mandatory Korean kimchi, seasoned bean sprouts, and what seemed like glutinous rice cakes. The kimchi had a good level of spicy heat with every piece of Chinese cabbage, the bean sprouts a little oily and lightly garlic flavoured, and the rice cakes were smooth and jelly-like and topped with a soy based sauce.
We liked: Lots of flavour in the stock, marinades and sauces; selection of pre-cooked dishes as well as self-cooking dishes on the menu
We didn't like: Sizzling dishes and table grilled food leaves you smelling like the food; not the cheapest Korean around
Other things to note: Takeaway available; vegetarian, seafood and meat options available
Perth Dae Jang Kum Restaurant
74 Francis Street
NORTHBRIDGE WA 6003
(08) 9227 0615
Lunch - Tuesday to Saturday, 11:30am to 3pm
Dinner - Tuesday to Saturday, 5:30pm to 10pm