Taste in

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am


Shop 201, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan
Tel: 2525 3699
Open: Monday-Saturday 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm
Cuisine: Korean

Price: we ordered a large meal of five dishes to share between three of us and paid HK$165 per person without drinks and the service charge.

Ambience: it has the feel of a quirky fast-food shop, with black tables and chairs (and some benches), an array of empty potato chip packages displayed on one wall, and odd paintings and knick-knacks placed here and there. Korean pop music is played at a reasonable level.

Pros: it's a fairly limited menu that includes soups, grilled dishes (cooked in the kitchen, not tabletop) and other standard Korean dishes such as ramyun, budae chigae (army base stew) and bibimbap. The food is reasonably priced, portion sizes are large, and they offer unlimited refills of rice and banchan - little side dishes. The kitchen doesn't add any MSG. Service is friendly, if not always efficient.

Cons: apart from the marinated raw cuttlefish, none of the banchan were particularly interesting. Green bean pancake with pork and kimchi (HK$65) was stodgy and bland.

Recommended dishes: beef bones with vegetables in soup (HK$65) - with chilli or without (the waitress advised to have it with) - was a large bowl of comfortingly mild soup with slices of tender beef. A similar broth was used with the homemade kimchi dumplings in soup (HK$95), which featured well-stuffed dumplings with tender wrappers. Spicy fried seafood (HK$95) consisted of mostly squid with a few scallops and shrimp in a tolerably spicy fermented bean paste sauce. Boiled pork with cabbage (HK$180) was an almost ridiculously large portion of still-warm sliced pork belly served with cabbage leaves (they're usually salted, which wilts them, but these were fresh), perilla leaves, salted shrimp sauce, ssamjang (flavoured spicy bean paste) and raw sliced chillis and garlic. There was actually too much pork for the three of us to finish, although we made an effort because it was tender and just fatty enough.

What else? Despite being tucked away in an office building, Taste In is popular, and, on a weeknight, we saw some hopeful diners being turned away because there weren't any free tables. It's a good idea to reserve a table before coming here.