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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Korean Chapter 1. Verse 1. Tong 86 (Beaufort Street, Northbridge)

What can I say this is one of my comfort eats. It's just comfortable to go there, any day and get a table and fast service. Although sometimes the staff doesn't really speak a very great deal of English, but I like accented waitstaff (as long as they bring me my order promptly). And everything is prompt, unless you want re-fills and this could take a while. You can do a lot of self-service, and just indicate to the boss you did it and what table number. I like the ring bell for service thing too (unless I'm sitting under the speaker).

The neko co. has tried nearly everything on the menu, from all of the portions of meats to the soups and stews. We also go there for the projected K-pop MTV, it's been on repeat for a while. So no new stuff. Just adds ethnic authenticity to the experience I guess. They don't wear gimicky Korean outfits but the food is just as authentic.

The factory feel here is convenient and evolving. Interesting comments and tiddie-bits are written and drawn all over the walls. There's a few rude artworks too, if you can find them. Add your mark, permanent markers are provided. The hanging bottle cap thing is very Korean casual eatery style. There's a lot of bottle cap drinking games a la Korean style. The shochu is cheap, you can mix your own chu-hai (order a fruity drink and self-mix). The makkoli (draft rice wine) takes getting used to if you've never tried something like it before. I like it, it's easier to drink - but it's slightly yoghurty. A bit like calpis / calpico but alcoholic. A friend of mine has called it toilet wash liquid before, but then I don't know when he had the opportunity to drink toilet wash.

Favourites:
the kimchee pancake - although not as great as Took Bae Kee 1 or 2. This is still fantastic in colour!
the ox tongue - alwasy a fav, especially good when you can see a speckling of fat and the slices are thin
the intercostals - not all people like the chewyness, but I find this is the easiest to cook with enough pink inside to taste juicey
the mushrooms - grilled mushrooms
the side dishes - the pickled spring onions is delicious with cooked slices of meat.
steamed egg - yes I know it sounds simple but you have to try this. The soup that you can spoon up in this is delicious. Fluffy yet substantial in flavour!

Traditionally the pork belly would be the top of the list, but I find the ones here are now more often very fatty. And I don't personally recommend the neck chain... it's harder to cook right and tastes a bit tougher.

I've also tryed the fish cake soup - don't really think there's much to it, other than the unmarinaded fish cake slices which you have as a side dish. So not much taste. There's the kimchee soup which is spicy but not as flavourful as the ones I tried at TBK. Has something to do with their kimchee, which is a little bit sourer than others.

I am almost sure if you know Korean, there's extra menu items to unlock. So I need to go there with a Korean friend sometime. Anyone want the job?

Vote: 5 out of 5 Stars
I'll add photos later.

Tong 86 on Urbanspoon

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