Itaewon Korean Restaurant
Kiu Fung Mansion, 18A Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
Tel: 2375 0303
Open: 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-11pm
Price: about HK$280 without drinks or the service charge.
Ambience: it's a large restaurant and there weren't many customers on the night of our visit. The booths are uncomfortable because the seats are too soft and short, so they don't fully support the legs.
Pros: portion sizes were generous.
Cons: the service. The waitresses are smiley, but they don't seem very well trained. None of them were Korean, so ordering using the Korean names of the dish didn't work very well. While some of the dishes were well cooked, they didn't taste particularly Korean. The food also didn't resemble the photos on the menu. The seafood and green onion pancake (HK$130) needed a lot more spring onion. The sliced raw beef (HK$150) was one of the prettiest presentations we've seen of this dish, with plenty of julienned carrot, cucumber and Korean pear. The beef was of good quality, but it needed more seasoning.
Recommended dishes: the "chicken with hot" (as it said on the menu, HK$230) was a version of Korean fried chicken. The bone-in chunks of chicken had a light batter and were well fried, but it wasn't at all spicy; instead, the sticky sauce that coated the pieces tasted like Thai sweet chilli sauce, straight out of the bottle. The best dish of the night was the grilled beef ribs (HK$240). The marinade was lighter than usual, so didn't really cover the taste of the beef, which was of excellent quality. The cold buckwheat noodles (HK$90), served with very hot mustard and white vinegar on the side so each diner could personalise their bowl, was another good dish. The noodles were stretchy and chewy, and the iced broth was light and refreshing.
What else? The selection of banchan (side dishes) was not very interesting.