Food review: Damun Korea Cuisine at Causeway Bay – satisfying surprises await
Prime presentation meets palate pleasure at this diverse but oddly priced establishment
We weren’t sure what to expect when we walked into Damun Korean Cuisine. It boasts of serving traditional and royal Korean dishes, but nicer presentation doesn’t necessarily make for better flavour.
Our hopes were raised with the banchan served at each table – only four selections – marinated spinach, jade melon, bean sprouts and baechu geotjeori (unfermented cabbage kimchi). They weren’t creative, but they were done well, especially the kimchi, which we liked so much we asked for a second helping.
We ordered tomato kimchi (HK$75) out of curiosity, and loved it. The slightly under ripe tomatoes were pleasantly crunchy and a bit acidic, but the dressing was slightly sweet so it balanced the flavours.
Another dish we ordered because it was unusual was the bulgogi and potato omelette with cheese (HK$146). It was a fusion dish: Korean marinated meat meets Spanish tortilla meets Mexican nachos, with cheese, tomato, green pepper and onion, with crushed corn chips scattered on top. Once our minds and palates had adjusted to the unexpected combination, we all thought it delicious, if a bit rustic for the refined restaurant.
The other dishes were a mixed lot, and oddly priced. Seafood and onion pancake (HK$168) was expensive for what it was. It was a free-form shape, and hadn’t been cooked long enough (or at a high enough heat), which meant the exterior was flabby. Also expensive was the braised spicy chicken pot (HK$330). The chunks of chicken were moist, but hadn’t absorbed the flavour of the sauce. For that price, it was a paltry portion.
On the other hand, boiled pork belly with special kimchi and vegetables was a bargain for HK$146. The pork was well-layered and tender, and it was served properly with fermented shrimp sauce, ssamjang, lettuce and cabbage leaves (although there weren’t enough to wrap all the meat and we had to ask three times before we were given more), and a delicious kimchi that contained nashi pear, chestnuts and raw garlic slices.
Korean fresh oyster dolsot bibimbap (HK$180) was a good dish to end the meal. The oysters were sweet and mild, and the soft texture of the seafood and rice contrasted with the crunchy vegetables on top.
Damun Korean Cuisine 5/F Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Rd, Causeway Bay,
tel: 3708 8707.
About HK$260 without drinks or service charge