Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Toodouri Korean BBQ
My friend Liane and I have been friends since 2008, after we met at Uni. She is one of my closest friends. I feel like we have fun together but we can also have really serious talks too. Our friendship can sometimes centralise around food (what good friendship isn't?). One of our best times together was spent eating Korean friend chicken and drinking beer on a hot day with my other very close friend Susie.
In 2009, Liane developed a really expensive addiction to Korean BBQ. When Susie or I asked her what she was doing that night or what she did last night, her reply was 95% "Korean BBQ". Liane nudged us to come with her, but being poor uni students that thought Korean BBQ was $50 a head, we always declined.
Fast forward to 2011, I experienced Korean BBQ. Only two weeks ago, Liane, her boyfriend Shimpei and I went to Toodouri. It was goddamn tasty but I did not take any photos. Second time around, I decided to bring my boyfriend and my camera along.
Toodouri is situated opposite Queen Victoria Market. Apparently that street is pretty full of Korean BBQs, but Liane likes Toodouri the best because the food is decently priced and the service and atmosphere is great. That night, we chose to get a set meal. We got pork belly, bulgogi (we changed it to chicken bulgogi), LA spare ribs and Korean Kimchi soup for a cheap $49.50.
Plus, what's great about Toodouri is their ban chan (the three little dishes that you nibble on) are constantly refilled.
I particularly like the ban chan at Toodouri because they all taste so different and act as a palette cleanser to the BBQ meats. The creamy macaroni salad is totally westernised and delicious. It's overcooked pasta in a heavy and sweet mayonnaise. It sounds awful but it's actually just really good. Kind of like when you eat spinach dip. The kimchi was amazing: spicy and very acidic. The bean shoots were lightly seasoned and doused in a mild sesame oil. All really different flavours.
They first brought out the pork belly. I don't eat pork so I don't know how that tastes but I'm going to assume it tastes pretty goddamn delicious.
While they were munching on the pork belly, I helped myself to some kimchi soup. It came out of the kitchen all hot and bubbling, spraying Liam's glasses with kimchi soup. It was just what I hoped for: hot and acidic. The soup was bright red with kimchi, onion and tofu. It was just a really nice wholesome soup that went well with the rice.
Once the pork was done, we started on the chicken and the beef. It was so good! The chicken was lightly marinated and super juicy! It went so well with the sauces. The red sauce is made out of soybeans and red pepper (so good and not really all that spicy). The second one is my favourite. It's salt, pepper and sesame oil. Very delicate flavours. The beef was also amazing. Tender and beefy, and the ribs were pretty fun to gnaw on.
They even gave us little trays of garlic that's been soaked in sesame oil. Liam is a garlic fiend. He eats that stuff raw sometimes. I thought I'd give it a go with the beef and it's very interesting. I have to say, I can only eat raw garlic in small doses since it's so potent.
However, we put that little tray of garlic on the BBQ and the sesame basically deep fried the garlic, mellowing out its astringency and turning them into crunchy chips. It was so good with the chicken and the beef.
If you are ever in need of a Korean BBQ fix, Toodouri is a great place. The atmosphere is fantastic and the service is speedy and friendly. I'm already thinking about what to order the next time I come here!
260 Victoria St
North Melbourne, VIC 3003
PS~ Liam's housemates got a new kitten after their cat died. This cutie pie is Yiggy. He's so cute and naughty!