Restaurant review: Meok Bang Korean BBQ and Bar, Tsim Sha Tsui
Meok Bang Korean BBQ & Bar
2/F Tern Plaza, 5 Cameron Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2723 7313
Price: about HK$320 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: it was almost empty when we visited on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. K-pop videos were playing on TV at a reasonable volume.
Recommended dishes: the marinated pork spare ribs (HK$115 for 200 grams) were succulent and tender, with just a hint of spice (there's also a non-spicy version). Prime spare rib beef (HK$218 for one large rib) was very good, with a marinade that wasn't as sweet as usual. Stone pot rice with beef (HK$88) developed a great rice crust after we let it sit for a while, and there were plenty of crunchy vegetables for texture. Raw crab marinated in soy sauce was expensive at HK$228 for one, but the meat had a delicious jelly-like texture and was sweet, with plenty of roe.
Pros: the banchan (side dishes), while not the most extensive, were interesting; the selection included kimchi that was spicy enough, vinegar seaweed, and marinated onions that were great with the beef.
Cons: the kimchi pancake (HK$88) was lacking in flavour. The buckwheat noodles with cold broth (HK$88) was simply awful: the noodles hadn't been rinsed well, and the bland broth was insufficiently chilled.
What else? It's fashionable to serve cheese with Korean barbecue, and one of the empty slots on the edge of the grill was filled with grated cheese (which melted in the heat) and the other with raw egg mixed with kimchi, which slowly cooked. We're not sure what the egg was for — we left it alone — but the cheese was an interesting, if heavy, accompaniment to the meats and the kimchi pancake. There are branches of MeokBang in Prince Edward (tel: 2390 6822), Causeway Bay (tel: 2725 5718) and Wan Chai (tel: 2499 7577).