254 La Trobe St
Hi, this is not-Ming. By not-Ming I mean that Ming’s busy studying for exams and would prefer some time to be not-writing. More accurately, I’m Chris, and I’ll be filling in for today.
“Welcome, Mr Aaanderson,” I almost expected the waiting staff to say as we entered Oriental Spoon, the first restaurant I’ve seen where they have earpieces akin to those of the Agents in The Matrix.
But there’s no red or blue pills waiting for you inside Oriental Spoon, just a smooth, attractive interior of wooden floors, tables and walls, along with a bustling atmosphere should you be there right on dinnertime. This certainly isn’t one of those small, cramped places off Swanston or a laneway.
|Banchan (kimchi/bean sprouts/squid)|
Once we’d sat down, perused the menu and ordered, a waiter promptly brought us the complimentary dishes (Banchan) before our meal came. I’ll have to admit first off that dishes like these aren’t always to my liking, and so was mostly the case with these – of the beanshoots (kongnamul), kimchi, and squid we received, I didn’t much like neither the beanshoots nor the kimchi. However, Ming said that the kimchi was sweeter than she’s used to, and that the beanshoots tasted standard – the squid on the other hand tasted OK to me although nothing amazing.
|Beef Bulgogi ($17.5)|
Within a few minutes however our Jap Chae had arrived, followed shortly by our Chicken…. Beef Bulgolgi?? ($17.50) Despite ordering the chicken, it seems we had been served the beef instead. Somewhat surprising surely, and hopefully something that doesn’t happen very often, but we were hardly going make a fuss, especially when the beef looked delicious nonetheless, sizzling temptingly in front of us.
As we began to eat our food, I quickly forgot about ordering the chicken anyway. Diving into the mountain of beef before me, I couldn’t help but stop and stare off for a few moments practically each time I ate one of the slices of beef – very well cooked and marinated in the bulgolgi sauce, the meat was juicy and full of flavour. There’s only one real phrase for this sort of food: Good Meat. There was an assortment of vegetables to accompany the meat, and I’m sure they tasted nice too, but in all honesty I just didn’t care with meat this good.
|Jap Chae ($17.9)|
Alongside all this of course was our Jap Chae ($17.90). This was a bundle of sweet potato noodles, beef and vegetables, with quite a good serving size. The sweet potato noodles, for a type that I hadn’t tried before, were quite nice – thinner than most noodles, the taste was a welcome change from the usual and they were still great to eat plenty of. The beef in this dish was also nice, though not as delicious as that in the Beef Bulgolgi, so it went somewhat less noticed as a result – but along with the vegetables gave a nice variety to the dish, making it enjoyable and filling.
By the time we made our way through both of these – and only barely – we were each full to bursting. It was even a struggle to get up and pay the bill, let alone walk out the door. But a feed like that without breaking the bank will certainly see us making the trip again someday I bet.