Restaurant review: Hongik Univ, Mong Kok - Korean beef dishes

This is old-school Korean fare - don't look for melted cheese on your meat, or fried chicken; the focus is on the meat, with big portions - and the service is really good

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 August, 2015, 10:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 February, 2017, 11:27am

Cuisine: Korean

Price: about HK$250 without drinks or the service charge. We were given a 10 per cent discount because we paid with cash.

Ambience: basic but comfortable enough — the stools are well padded.

Recommended dishes: they were out of the fresh (unmarinated) beef spare ribs, so we had the marinated version — a very good price of HK$198 for 400 grams. The marinade had more garlic and was less sweet than usual, but the meat was tender. Inside skirt (HK$208 for 180 grams) was leaner than the spare ribs, had a beefier flavour, and the pieces needed to be cooked rare to be tender. Fried dumplings (HK$48 for five) had a light, bean curd-based filling. Pan-fried kimchi pancake (HK$88) was large and crisp. Buckwheat noodles with cold broth (HK$78) was icy and flavourful, and served properly with mustard and white vinegar, which added sharpness to the slightly sweet broth.

Pros: the menu is basic — lots of beef and several pork dishes for the barbecue; pancakes, pan-fried dumplings, soups and chigae, and a few rice and noodle choices. Portions are generous. The service was really good — there was one main waitress and she was efficient, patient and smiling.

Cons: the banchan (side dishes) didn't have a great variety — kimchi, bean sprouts, spinach and sliced fish cake — and came in paltry portions.

What else? This is old-school Korean — don't come here if you want Korean fried chicken, or melted cheese with your barbecued meats.

Hongik Univ, 23/F, 726 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, tel: 3565 5783. Open: noon-2.30pm (last orders), 6pm-11.30pm