Arirang Korean Restaurant
3/F W Square, 314-324 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai.
Tel: 2506 3298
Open: noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Price: about HK$300 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: the restaurant is attractively decorated with lots of pretty knick-knacks and artworks. There are comfortable booths that seat up to four along one side of the main room, as well as larger tables for groups and two-tops tucked away here and there.
Pros: good ventilation - we didn't smell of barbecued meat when we got home. The menu lists some interesting dishes that we've never seen at a Korean restaurant in Hong Kong, including sliced duck with salad. The selection of meats for the tabletop grill is extensive.
Cons: the lightly seasoned superior tongue (HK$100) had some chewy parts that made it difficult to eat - you had to put the whole piece in your mouth because it was too tough to bite in half. Japchae (vermicelli with beef and vegetables, HK$100), wasn't exciting. The side dishes were forgettable.
Recommended dishes: the unseasoned double-size special short ribs (HK$240) had beautifully marbled, tender meat that needed just a quick sear on the grill. Bean curd with mixed sprouts in spicy dressing (HK$90) had just a bit of a chilli kick. But the bean curd and varied flavours of the sliced onion, different types of sprouts and shredded sesame leaf on top made the dish cool and refreshing. The pork belly with vegetables in stone casserole (HK$350) was much spicier, but had a subtle sweetness that balanced the chilli. The meat in the dish was tender and the vegetables - which included carrot, cabbage and sesame leaf - needed to be eaten with steamed rice to temper the spiciness of the sauce.
What else? There's a branch of Arirang in Ocean Terminal (tel: 2956 3288).