Han Ga Ram Korean Restaurant
3/F Plaza 2000, 2-4 Russell Street, Causeway Bay
Tel: 2891 5090
Price: about HK$200 without drinks and the service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant has comfortable booths that are set well apart. Decor is modern with pale wood tables (with the usual recessed barbecue grill) and accents.
Pros: the ventilation was good, and we didn't smell of barbecued meats after the meal.
Cons: the food seems like 'Korean lite', and flavours were toned down. The banchan (side dishes) were uninteresting and included sliced celery, simmered black beans and under-seasoned spinach and bean sprouts. We asked for more kimchi, but it never came. We tried two pork belly dishes - sliced, for the barbecue (HK$120), and je yuk bo ssam (HK$350), where the meat was boiled and served with radish kimchi, plus lettuce and sesame leaves with which to wrap the ingredients. With both, the meat was too lean and, therefore, dry. Fried pork intestine with vegetables and soondae (blood sausage, HK$185) was well spiced, but the soondae had far too much fen si (mung bean vermicelli) and not enough blood. Fried octopus and vegetables with spicy sauce (HK$200) had octopus that was chewy and didn't taste fresh. Kimchi jeon (pancake, HK$120) had a good flavour, but was doughy and needed to be cooked longer so the edges crisped up.
Recommended dishes: the barbecued ox tongue (HK$120) wasn't the most tender we've tasted, but the sesame-salt dipping sauce went well with the meat. Our favourite dish of the evening was the boiled Korean-style dumplings (HK$100), which had thin wrappers, and the generous amount of light stuffing was so flavourful that the dumplings didn't need a dipping sauce.
What else? There was some discrepancy between the menu prices and what we were charged, although we didn't notice until afterwards, and it was in our favour. On the receipt, the bo ssam was HK$280, the kimchi jeon was HK$108 and the octopus dish was HK$180.