My boyfriend and I have recently started a new tradition of having a "date night" once a month - basically, we just go out to a restaurant for dinner, then head over to a bar for a few drinks. My boyfriend thought it would be fun if we take turns surprising each other with our dinner destination. He went first, and took me out to a cute lebanese tapas place called Agraba. Then last weekend, it was my turn. Making decisions is not exactly my forte, so I began stressing I would never find a nice place within our budget (we're both uni students, so we try keep on the cheaper side when eating out!). After typing multiple combinations of "cheap eats Melbourne" into Google, I eventually stumbled across Wooga Korean Restaurant. Located on Victoria Street, directly across from the Queen Victoria Market, this restaurant offered a fun dining experience. Reviews online spoke of barbecuing your own meat, which had captured my attention.
|Korean BBQ pro?|
We arrived about 6:45pm, and found the restaurant already quite busy. However, we were quickly seated and offered menus. There are a number of main meals, cuts of meats and soups to select from on the menu, but we opted for one of the set barbecue menus. "Option A" ($39, to serve 2) offered us three cuts of meat, tofu soup and two serves of rice. We were also given a combination of four delicious side dishes - kimchi, bean sprouts, pickled daikon and cabbage salad - that could be refilled as much as you liked. The kimchi was delicious! I had never had it before, but have seen recipes for it online and am now eager to try make it at home. We also tried out one of the Korean beers on the menu - Hite.
A bed of hot coals was placed in front of us, and a waiter brought out the meat and started cooking it for us, returning occasionally to turn it or cut it - probably as we looked like we has no idea what we were doing! We were a bit concerned that three cuts of meat between the two of us would be quite a lot (we aren't huge meat eaters), but it was just about perfect. The cuts were all thin and cooked quickly, and you could grab them off the barbecue when they were cooked to your liking and dunk them in the sauce offered to you. Chopsticks were the utensil on offer, so eating was a bit of a struggle for me!
By the end we were both satisfied, and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Having a bed of hot coals on the table was perfect for a cold Melbourne night! The staff, while efficient, were a bit difficult to call over and lacked personality. But all in all, I would recommend this place. I definitely want to try it out again, but with a bigger group of people. More people = more variety!
Have you ever been to a Korean BBQ? What are your favourite date night destinations?