Review: Arisu Korean Restaurant

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 December, 2012, 5:02pm

56 Pan Hoi Street, Quarry Bay
Tel: 2351 2626
Open: 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm
Cuisine: Korean

Price: HK$140 without drinks. There's no service charge.

Ambience: not much. Tables are packed very closely together, and as we were by the soup and rice cookers, the waitress had to keep squeezing by.

Pros: if you stick to very basic dishes, you could probably have a decent meal at an inexpensive price.

Cons: we expected this outlet to be as good as the Arisu in Tsim Sha Tsui, which is a place we like a lot. But although they have the same name and same website, they're very different. The original branch has good food, specialising in hotpots, but this branch is much more basic: the menu lists mostly inexpensive dishes meant to be eaten by individuals, rather than shared. The ja jang mien (HK$55) - a Korean version of a Chinese dish of noodles with black bean sauce - was very bland. The Napa wraps with sliced pork (HK$250) were served, as usual, with fermented shrimp sauce and dwenjang (fermented bean paste), but should also be served with a special type of kimchi. We had to ask for it - instead, it was a salad of shredded fresh cabbage, seaweed and spicy sauce. The pork was rather rough in texture, and not skilfully sliced.

Recommended dishes: the rice cakes with fish cake and vegetables (HK$60) were our favourite dish. Often served as street food in Korea, this was simple, comforting and filling. Spicy seafood and soft bean curd soup (HK$55) needed more body. The broth was thin, but the amount of seafood was plentiful.

What else? The menu seems to be composed mostly of lunch specials. But they are also available at dinner.