Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Took Begi

Took Begi Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Whenever I get Korean cravings, I like to satisfy myself in the maximum possible way.
The best way is to go all out and make a hole in your wallet by splurging on Korean BBQ buffet, a surefire way to refill and overfill the hole in your stomach.


But at times when you feel a little fat, or feel a little poor, there are other delicious cheaper means to please.
So once you learn to tame your innate animalistic instinct to opt for the endless meat buffet meal, you will start to appreciate the other relatively animal-friendly side of Korean cuisine.


It took me a while, but I eventually got there.

Assorted Side Dishes
The thing I love about eating Korean is the generosity of it all. Your meals are always paired with little endless side dishes that you can keep asking to be refilled, without getting rejected.
Where else could you get that luxury?


The assortment of side dishes goes by a rotational variety, with this particular visit bringing dishes of soft marinated bean sprouts, crisp pickled cabbage and carrot shreds, sticky sweet slices of lotus root and a bitey kimchi which I took for a swim in my drinking cup before I ate it.


And these are the perfect solution to when you are not hungry but not yet full by the end of the meal. Or conversely, if being full is not enough and you rather be stuffed.

Hot & Non Spicy Marinated Thin Sliced Prime Soy Beef Stew - $19
A perfect dish to counteract the chilly weather outside is a hot, toasty and comforting bowl of soup that warms you from the inside out. The simmering soup section of the menu involves Korean traditional clay pot dishes, served with a trusty bowl of steamed rice.


This is a bit pricey at $19, but it's got the goodies. Laden with tofu, vegetables, soy beef and sweet potato noodles in a beef bone broth, it's a Winter warmer and gives you a full facial steam while you eat it.


Being served in soup however, the beef would benefit from stronger flavours and the interesting sounding sweet potato noodles being just glass noodles were a personal let down.


But rice in soup has always been a childhood favourite, because I didn't have to chew.
Oh yes. I was beyond just lazy.


Stir Fried Soy Chicken Bibimbap - $13
Bibimbap is a nourishing home style type dish, full of simple ingredients that don't lack in taste. Crisp seasonal vegetables of bean sprouts, zucchini, carrots, spinach and shiitake mushrooms are decked out on top of steamed rice, crowning a mound of stir fried soy chicken adorned with sesame seeds.


Best destroyed with all the ingredients mixed up, with each mouthful a perfect balance of protein, vegetables and carbs like a healthy balanced diet should be. As yummy as it already is, Korea's signature dish is missing the ubiquitous fried egg I longed for!


Egg - the humble household kitchen staple. How much of an grumpy chap would you be if your breakfast fry-up didn't have an egg in it!


How hygienic does this seem?

Before there is even food served on your little table, it's highly likely that it will already be messily cluttered with various items. The metal eating utensils are wrapped and sealed with paper and are definitely not the wooden/plastic disposable kinds, yet unwrapping your own cutlery is a rare occurrence nowadays and makes it seem pretty sanitised and clean (regardless if they really are or not!)

Water is served in what actually look like actual water bottles, the type you'd take around with you. It is cute, and reminiscent of my kindergarten days where I was proud of my very unique (or so I thought) drink bottle.


Which I found out a few wiser years later, was actually a clear squeezy sauce bottle complete with nozzle and cap. I HAD BEEN USING A DAMN SAUCE BOTTLE AS A DRINK BOTTLE FOR YEARS, DAMN IT! It must be quite hard to beat my parents' ignorance!


...

A journey to "discover the secret to authentic Korean dishes" will lead you to Took Begi in Perth's CBD. I am no expert, but it sure is a crowd pleaser judging by the inability to just get a table straightaway here. Part of it IS due to the limited seating however majority of it is probably because of its popularity amongst diners, and you really can't jam any more sardines in a can.


Somehow it is always crowded, even into the later hours of the night. Luckily, whilst waiting outside we noticed the banner on their window offering a takeaway offer of buy 2 get 1 free or buy 1 get 50% off Bibimbaps. A smart strategy, and one enticing enough to make the idea of eating in the car seem at least a bit better!

Staff are quite polite and the kitchen is pretty efficient. Ambiance wise, they're here to please your appetite. Some of the seating is a bit of a tight squeeze, as after my meal I literally turned around in my chair to pay the bill at the counter right behind me. Guess you could call it intimacy! The place is brightly lit, flooded with fluorescent lighting with a no frills dining room. Though I don't really care about how you look, I only care about how I'm treated and how well you feed me :)


Pricing is fair for what and how much you get, with a menu variety giving ample choices. Jumping on their takeaway offer, the portion seems a tiny bit smaller but of course, the price is even smaller and could be a contributing factor to that. However despite the small plastic containers your meat is compacted into, it becomes quite an acceptable portion when you mix it through your Bibimbap. That is some well vacuum-sealed protein!


Now, if I could vacuum pack my stomach...


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(08) 9225 4557
Actually on Pier Street, a walk up from Miss Mauds.


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