Basic Korean restaurant should be cheaper

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 9:47am

G/F Delite Mansion, 3 Granville Circuit, Tsim Sha Tsui

Tel: 2369 6880

Open: noon-1am

Cuisine: Korean

Price: about HK$250 without drinks or the service charge.

Ambience: crowded, smoky and uncomfortable. The small, brightly lit room was packed with young diners. The tiny round tables are close together, and diners sit on backless stools.

Pros: there's an extensive and interesting selection of items for the DIY tabletop grill.

Cons: the pull-down smoke extractors (think of a copper-coloured vacuum hose) over the tables were small and inefficient. I was sitting close to a nearby table and was splattered with the oil from their grill. We ordered many items, and they were served all at once. It should have been obvious that they weren't going to fit on the tiny tabletop, most of which was taken up by the grill. We ordered the grilled pork rinds (150 grams for HK$70) because we'd never seen them offered at Korean barbecues. Now we know why - they take ages to cook, and the skin remains chewy, even when brown and blistered.

The spicy grilled chicken feet (HK$138) were marinated in a sauce that was one-dimensionally hot. The banchan (side dishes) were sparse. The only one we liked was the marinated mushrooms.

Recommended dishes: grilled pork spare ribs (200 grams for HK$108) had good flavour from being marinated in sweet miso, while the thick slices of pork belly (HK$98 for 150 grams) were well-layered and had tender meat.

Grilled conger eel (HK$128) was a surprisingly generous serving - three moist slices that we cooked until slightly charred on the outside. Grilled ox tongue (HK$108 for 100 grams) featured thin, tender slices that were delicious when dipped in sesame oil. The noodles with young radish kimchi (HK$78) was refreshing, but the best dish was soup with black pudding (HK$88). Listed as a "relief of hangovers", the broth was filled with vegetables and chunks of blood.

What else? You'd expect this to be cheaper, or supply a more comfortable environment for the money.

Susan Jung