260 Victoria St
North Melbourne, VIC 3003

Exams are looming, and one very busy Ming has her head buried in pages of notes, diagrams and slides featuring words that would make your tongue roll up the moment you look at them. So that means one thing: it’s me, Chris, here to take her stead for a blog post.

Last time I filled in for a blog post I believe it was Oriental Spoon, and so it should make sense that I’m back for another Korean restaurant, this time featuring Korean BBQ: Toodouri, just across the road from Vic Market.

We walked in armed with a voucher we had acquired via Groupon – entitling us to 2 plates of BBQ meat, one main, one soup, and a drink each. The somewhat small space smelt strongly of BBQ even though they had literally just opened – upon arriving we were the only two there, but others soon followed and the place began to fill up.

Red Bean Rice ($2pp)
Though not covered by the voucher, we opted for two servings of Rice with Red Beans ($2pp) to accompany the meal. We’re really breaking the bank for this one, aren’t we.
Hite ($6)/Coke Zero ($3.5)
Shortly after we ordered, out came our drinks- some Hite ($6) and, since I definitely don’t count myself a fan of beer, a simple Coke Zero ($3.5). Following these was a pot of burning hot coals which was placed in the centre of our table, ready for BBQ-ing. Boy would I hate to be the one responsible for bringing that out safely.
Soft Tofu Soup ($14.9)
While waiting for our meat, we began to dig into the Soft Tofu Soup ($14.9) – a combination of soft tofu, seafood, and fresh vegetables in a spicy soup. This hot brew was a nice assortment of chewy seafood morsels and crunchy vegetables, the soup with a slight kick that was nice on its own.
Sam Gyup Sal ($14)
Sam Gyup Sal ($14)
Sam Gyup Sal ($14)

The first of our meats to arrive was the Sam Gyup Sal ($14), which was a plate of thick slices of succulent pork belly. Once thoroughly cooked right in front of us, each piece was an enjoyable shot of meaty goodness, tasty without any fancy garnishes or sauces. Just make sure not to grab these too quickly once they’re cooked or you’re liable to burn your mouth a little.

La Galbi ($18)
La Galbi ($18)
After the pork came the La Galbi ($18), marinated slices of beef rib with special soy sauce. Ripping the well-marinated meat off the bone with your teeth was as good as it sounds.
Stir-Fried Baby Octopus ($15.5)
The last of our dishes to arrive was the Stir-Fried Baby Octopus ($15.5), a sizzling plate of (you guessed it) stir-fried baby octopus and vegetables in a spicy sauce. The octopus was practically slathered in the sauce, making sure it had its share of punch along with its chewy self. I know it’s practically no different from eating any typical meats, but somehow eating a whole baby octopus puts me off somewhat. Perhaps it’s because it makes it a lot easier to imagine a little baby octopus squirming in front of you before you bite its head off. I also made the mistake of saying that very sentence to Ming whilst she had a mouthful of octopus – not good timing.
Of course, as with any typical Korean meal our food was accompanied by a small set of bean sprouts, fresh and crispy kimchi, and a creamy pasta salad (which I must say, I haven’t encountered before as a typical Korean side). I’m normally not big on the banchan at most restaurants, but I’ll admit I found myself picking at the pasta salad intermittently.
I certainly can’t call myself an expert on Korean food (let alone Korean BBQ), but Ming and I have been to a good few places so far, and this leads me to think that the food at Toodouri was good but not the best Korean I’ve had. I think part of its to do with the style of Korean BBQ – I’m the sort of guy who typically prefers to have a big bowl of a particular dish in front of him ready to dig into, as opposed to a number of dishes which can be each had in small doses at a time. Perhaps this style of eating throws me off just a little bit, but nevertheless I enjoyed the meal and definitely wouldn’t mind going there again to try some of their other dishes.
Rating: 13/20

Toodouri Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Bo Bae 08/06/2012 at 2:16 pm

    I can’t wait til I finish my exams and have my annual Korean bbq night with my friends. haha!

    Nice post by the way :D

    • Reply ming 10/06/2012 at 2:22 am

      Thanks for dropping by, glad you like the post! Where do you go for your end of semester BBQ? Recommendation would be very welcome! :D

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