Kimchi Garden

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am


1/F-2/F, 500 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2836 3877
Open: 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-4.30am
Cuisine: Korean

Price: about HK$215 without drinks or the service charge.

Ambience: we were seated at a booth that was large enough for the food but which had very little space underneath for our legs because of the large apparatus that held the equipment for the tabletop barbecue.

Pros: the banchan and namul (side dishes) were fairly extensive, although the most interesting of all of them was the baechu geotjeori (fresh cabbage salad), which had the flavours of kimchi without the fermentation.

Cons: while one of the waitresses was friendly enough, she had no idea what she was doing or what she was serving. We asked for more baechu geotjeori, she brought more regular kimchi and when we pointed out that it was the wrong thing, she still didn't know the difference. Kimchi jeon (kimchi pancake, HK$110) was not worth ordering: it was stodgy and far too oily.

Recommended dishes: yuk hae (usually spelled yuk hwe, HK$150) was a good version of what is often described as Korean steak tartare. The beef was hand-sliced before being seasoned with garlic, sesame oil and pear slices, with a nice fatty richness provided by the raw egg yolk. Jaeyuk bossam (pork belly wrapped in leaves, HK$300) had thick slices of tender, skin-on belly that was nicely layered with fat. It was served with radish kimchi, warm doenjang (fermented soya bean paste) and lettuce leaves, sesame leaf and blanched cabbage. Cold buckwheat noodles in broth (HK$73 on the lunch set, or HK$100 ?a carte) had nicely chewy noodles and a refreshing, tart broth that cleaned our palates of all the fatty meat.

What else? For lunch, there's a good range of well-priced dishes. Kimchi Garden occupies the space that used to be Changwon Korean Restaurant.