Korea Garden – Fast and furious in Sheung Wan.
I’ve been dining at Korea Garden for the decade or so I’ve been in Hong Kong, and although this is lazy, I’ve really never bothered to find an alternative, as I really like going there.
The Korean lady who runs it has been doing so for a least two decades, setting up in what used to be the Korea Building on Des Voeux Road, which is now the Bahunia Serviced Apartments.
Food: Total comfort food. BBQ, bibimbap (stone pot), Sam-gye-tang (ginseng chicken soup), etc. Tasty and plentiful, your bbq comes with a table full of kimchi and other banchan, as well as rice and daikon soup, and if you run out, just ask for more and they will keep it coming (within reason). I’ve enjoyed every single meal I’ve ever had here, although I do spend the next day oozing garlic out of every pore.
Drinks: usual stuff, tea and beers (they also sell Hite and OB), careful when you order spirits, as they are likely to just bring you a full bottle and plonk it on the table (got to admire the Korean appetite for getting completely battered, they really are the Scandi’s of Asia).
Service: Sometimes too swift. When they get very busy you just have to shout out the numbers of what you want. If you’re not quick enough they may run off without taking the whole order. As I say the lady who runs it oversees the restaurant as though she’s feeding her own children – if you are looking for a bit of face time, then chat to her rather than the waiters who will give you short shrift.
Ambience: Plastic flowers, dark wood panelling, low ceilings, tables packed in – it’s not going to win any prizes for style, but it’s busy, jolly and steaming. There are always a bunch of Koreans in the place, either expats or out-of-towners which is a good sign. They also have a couple of good sized private rooms where they will put larger parties.
Price: You can really spend as little or as much as you like here. A stone pot meal in itself is under $100, whereas some of the top end beef rib bbq’s will set you back $200+ a plate. Usually we spend around $200 a head. They do an array of good value set menus which are, if I remember correctly, around $180 (+10%) per head.
Location: 1F, Blissful Building, 247 Des Voeux Road, Sheung Wan, very close to MTR exit B. Tel: 2542 2339.
Open: Mon-Sat, lunch and dinner. This place is rammed at lunchtime, so best to book ahead. I’ve never had a problem yet getting a table in the evening for dinner.
Just thinking about this restaurant now makes me crave bulgogi – I must rally the troops to go.