Thursday, April 19, 2012

Melbourne Hwaro Korean BBQ @ Melbourne CBD

Having a Korean as a close friend means eating the occasional Korean meal, especially I believe, if you speak Korean in a Korean restaurant, you will probably get slightly better service and maybe better portions. At least that was what I believed when we were back in Brisbane with a good Korean mate. 


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. 


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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. 


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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. 


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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. 


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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:

Melbourne Hwaro Korean BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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. 

7 comments:

Sean said...

ooo, i wonder why the owner refuses to serve the top-notch beef to the public though. i'm sure there'd be very strong demand. it looks gorgeous! :D

Michelle Chin said...

hwaro is famous but i am not sure about having korean food in melbourne.

50-60 AUD per pax can get my family stuffed to the brim at bee won. my dad knows the boss at bee won and the boss dotes upon my sister and I (on the grounds that we study at melbourne?!), so we get discounts hehe.

having said that, if you're earning aud, it should not be a problem...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: sorry i assume bee won is back in KL? yeah if you convert prices, you will obviously get a better bargain in in msia. like u said, since im earning AUD, i might as well pay 50 aud vs. paying 800-900aud for a flight back to eat haha.

sean: i suspect prices would be an issue. their normal wagyu w/o that kind of marbling is around 20-30 bucks a small plate, looking at what we got, they will want to charge double.

msihua said...

You know.. after being here for 10 years and having uni friends who swear by Hwaro, I still have yet to go.. must be because I've lived in a korean suburb all these years.. no point :P

Winston said...

Wow, I wish I had Korean friends who knows the owners too. Must've felt like a rock star haha. Knowing the owners and being served the best and most special cuts of meats and all. Walked past this place so many times but still haven't been. Your experience sounds great though, hopefully they'll be as nice to me when I go too haha

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

winston: well its a really quiet road, how come u walk past this place? well its always good to have "connections" with restauranteurs!

msihua: carnegie? so any good recommendations in that area?

CUMI & CIKI said...

underground club korean BBQ! LOL.. what a weird notion if it did turn into a club:P So, is the Korean bbq generally better here than in KL?