Thankfully, I have another Korean friend in Melbourne and after 4 months of not having Korean food, we asked him to take us for some good BBQ. He certainly didn't disappoint because he took us to Hwaro and happened to know the owner of Hwaro who happened to be in the restaurant that night.
So despite all the earlier reviews I have been reading about the place which had some complaints about service and prices, service that night was top notch. Food was brilliant which ultimately relies on marinade and quality of meat. Knowing the owners also meant we got hold of some good stuff which was within budget of our wallets. So judge the review with a pinch of salt.
This was the first time I had BBQ that was entirely heated via charcoal only. Usual BBQ joints we go to in Brisbane and in Malaysia uses a mix of gas and charcoal. The result? Better tasting meat and a less likely chance that meat will burn especially if you have to DIY.
The sides are quite ordinarily and rather limited too so if you are looking for 10-12 different looking banchan (thats what they call it), you will be disappointed.
What we apparently had that night is apparently not available to the public unless you happen to know the owner or if you are a VIP of the place. I believe we had the wagyu short rib and another cut that now looks like rump but with the most amazing of marbling I have ever seen. At grade 9, you can try asking but I am not sure if you will be able to order some. All I can say is it was god damn good! Compared to the ordinary wagyu on the menu, it wasn't much of a fight although still pretty good regardless.
If the more expensive wagyu is not your cup of tea, their pork dishes are just as good. The chilli pork belly and the marinated pork ribs are excellent if you have a smaller budget.
There isn't a whole lot of other dishes if you don't want to do BBQ here. We also had a kimchi hot pot with spam, cheese and bottled sausages. I was told that this dish was created during the Korean War with the influence of the Americans. Interesting background and despite the contrast of flavours, it tasted pretty good.
Overall a good recommendation if you want to have a Korean BBQ meal and if you have 50-60 dollars per person to spare. While service that night was excellent, I am told, sometimes you might have to end up cooking the meat yourself. Small complaints about the place would be the rather loud music which makes you wonder if the restaurant will turn into an underground club after it closes and with any BBQ place, your clothes will stink.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars (well for that night), I wonder how big of a difference it would be had we gone there without knowing anyone.