Hallah, Contemporary Korean Cuisine Review – Melbourne – Australia
I was recently invited to dine with some close friends of mine at Hallah – Contemporary Korean Cuisine located on Victoria Street in North Melbourne. It’s located next to the Queen Victoria Market and its amongst a cluster of Korean BBQ Restaurants. It’s a great part of the world – the market with fresh produce, seafood and meat, right across the street from Korean BBQ. I’m in heaven.
I love Korean food, it’s flavourful, fresh and satisfying. The BBQ in particular is a wonderful experience because it’s hands on, smoky and very filling. I understand that it’s kind of counterproductive to go out for a meal and cook it yourself, but there something satisfying about putting meat on a hot grill and watching it cook, all the while washing down the experience with cold Korean beer. It is truly a sensual experience that ignites all of ones senses. The smell of the fat crispifying on the grill, the sight of the fresh meat, the touch of cooking if yourself, the sound of the sizzle on the BBQ and of course the taste, oh the taste.
I’m a sucker for a couple of things in this picture – kimchi (that beautifully tasteful and fermented cabbage) and meat. Oh and did I mention beer. Korean’s aren’t typically known for their beer, but their crisp take on the beverage pairs perfectly with BBQ and kimchi. Well-done Korea.
We ordered the BBQ and were served an array of items such as kimchi, garlic, pancakes, wagyu beef, chicken, salad, chillies and veggies. We also had soup and beer. At Korean BBQ joints you typically pay for the meet and the extras come free, so we kept the kimchi coming. We took our time to engage in our eating experience and cooked each item with care and precision. The food was great and so was the experience. I’ve experienced better Korean food in Korea, which is the case for so many authentic foods, but Hallah did a good job recreating a traditional style of eating abroad. The meat was from good cuts and quite tender, the sides kept coming but the kimchi was a little on the weak side and not as pungent as I had hoped. It didn’t faze me though; I just kept it coming because I love the stuff.
We left full and satisfied from a good night out with friends and a good meal. The restaurant was clean and modern, the service wasn’t bad but there was a language barrier at times. Overall it was a respectable dining experience and we left happy.
Food Quality 8/10