Strathfield, the self-proclaimed Korean version of Chinatown. This place is bustling full of Korean restaurants right, left and centre so it only seems fitting to eat Korean food when here.
My uni friend recommends we check out Ce Ci, a restaurant she has gone to often. It is busy and small and looks like an eat and go place, as confirmed by their uncomfortable wooden seats which had me wanting to finish and leave rather than sit there and chat. The menu is quite extensive, more so than the Korean restaurants at Eastwood and the CBD and is perhaps even 2-3x larger.
We decide to order some dishes which are not the stereotypical bulgolgi and bibimbab to try some new things. But first my favourite part, the side dishes! The potato and bean sprouts are delicious, the jelly flavourless as usual and alas I am not a fan of kimchi so no comment there.
Tofu and Vegetable Pancake – $12
Our first dish is the tofu and veggie pancake. The outside has been softly fried and the inside is very soft since it is tofu. However, it is rather bland and tasteless and seems to need some dipping sauce to add some saltiness. The outside of the pancake is also not crispy to my disappointment. My eating partner found that the blandness grew on her as the night went on, but overall I was quite unimpressed.
Sweet & Sour Pork – $18
Next came the Korean version of sweet and sour pork. From a visual observation, you can tell that they have cooked the pork separately to the sauce and then just dumped the sauce and toppings on top. Unfortunately it also just tastes like that. The pork is plain and desperately requires some marinade to give it flavour; the sauce does not go that well with the pork and is not well made. There is far too much vinegar and not enough sugar. Another disappointment.
Beef Bone Soup – $12
The final dish was a beef hotpot. By this time I was expecting another failed dish but surprisingly the soup was delicious! And so was the beef! The beef is quite gamey (or beefy flavoured, if that makes sense to you, otherwise ignore) and goes well when combined with the soup and some rice.
As a side note, I have some observations to share with you all about their service. Either the waitress is new or extremely clumsy or I am very unfortunate, but during our meal she was carrying another table’s hotpot of which she rocked and spilt quite a bit, splashing it onto my right foot. Ouch. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, at the end of our meal as she was cleaning up the neighbouring table, she knocked over a glass of water which splashed onto my left foot and trousers. By this time she looked extremely mortified that she had spilt stuff on me twice and did apologise.
But overall, I was quite disappointed with this restaurant. The food was not that tasty, the furniture uncomfortable to sit on and their staff sloppy. If I ever return, I am going to stick to the stereotypical bulgolgi order but I have no intention of ever returning here. After all, Strathfield has a plethora of Korean restaurants of which I am sure can deliver a better eating experience than this one.
37 The Boulevarde
Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9746 7710