Sunday, October 11, 2009

Go Koong: Food Generosity

Maybe I’ve been unconsciously affected by Los Angeles…or the fact that Yvonne has been feeding (i.e. forcing) Super Junior clips into my brain (I still cannot believe I know the members by name now instead of hairstyle description) but I’ve been finding myself falling madly in love with Korean food. It’s crept up and slammed Jap-fare down on the “My favorite Cuisines” list. I guess it can’t be helped – eating K-food brings back happy memories of dinner extravaganzas with the Debs and the Sun and it’s become sort of a comfort food for me. And though Hong Kong’s Korean restaurant scene can’t compete with that of LA’s K-town, we still have some pretty kickass choices here. Enter Eddie’s restaurant – Go Koong.

I admit it – I am shamelessly in love with Go Koong and it’s one of my fave restaurants in the city. I must’ve written about the place at least three times in the last two months alone. So when we had to pick a place for the Nelson’s special birthday dinner, we both agreed it would be no other place than GK.

Ahhh…the wonderful chime of “oso oseyo” (welcome) from the super-friendly staff always puts a giant smile on my face on walking in. We were guided to the table I sat at the very first time I visited the restaurant. Nostalgia. Like all first time Go Koong-ers, The Nelson was very impressed by the restaurant’s hefty, Bible-thickness menu. Choosing from the seemingly gajillion dishes here is never easy. Knowing about the restaurant’s large-and-in-charge portions though, I recommended we just order two dishes first, which should already be more than enough.

(Oyster pancake and potatoes, among other banchans)

And here, let me just say that, one of the reasons why I love Go Koong so much, is for their banchans. They have the most AND the best banchans of any Korean restaurant I’ve been to in Hong Kong and they never skimp. Being a self-proclaimed “Banchanman,” this was a VERY decisive factor in my love for the restaurant. That night, they had the slightly sweet potato cubes that I love so much, as well as an absolutely delish oyster pancake, PLUS nine other things, PLUS a small bowl of sweet pumpkin congee each. Sigh, I love food generosity.

Midway through stuffing my face with kimchi and listening to gossip the Nelson had to dole out, our seafood pajun (pancake) arrived. This is one of my all-time Go Koong favorites. So crispy around the edges and so moist and chewy in the centre, with generous amounts of squid and other seafood and scallions for an extra dose of flavor. Soooo good. Our other dish was the Nelson’s K-food favorite – Korean ja-jeung mien. The noodles had A LOT of sauce – no joke - pre-mixing, it appeared in its bowl as one big dark brown gloop. I’m not going to lie – personally, Korean JJ mien was never a favorite of mine but I enjoyed the dish enough that night. I like the slight sweet tinge to the sauce and the small bits of pork were deliciously tender.

(I love = seafood pajun)

But just when we thought we had ordered just the prefect amount of food, one of the super-friendly waitresses brought a big fatty plate of japchae to our table, telling us, “a gift from the chef.” Awwww…see? Is it any wonder I love this place? Go Koong’s japchae is nothing short of delish. In fact, I had it with my mom before who, in her own words, “doesn’t like japchae,” but, on trying Go Koong’s version, again in her own words, “did like japchae.” On top of the noodles, the restaurant also gave us two bowls of flavorful yet light seaweed soup to wash down the Korean feast we had. Had to abandon plans for the Korean shaved ice dessert yet again (I’ve only ever been able to stomach dessert ONCE after the main meal at Go Koong…and that was only because Eddie FORCED me to try it, despite my stuffed-to-the-brim-ness).

(Japchae, JJ mien, seaweed soup)

With a refreshing cup of sweet cinnamon tea, we ended our meal at Go Koong which, as anticipated, was awesome as usual. I seriously love everything about this place. From the excellent service (in true Korean resto style, the staff here help you take care of everything on the food-serving side, even helping you flip your meats on the BBQ grill and dividing up the pajun onto your plates for you) to the clean, comfy space to…of course, the effin’ fantastic food. To sum it all up, in four simple words: I Love Go Koong.

FOOD: 5/5
SERVICE: 4.5/5

GO KOONG ($$$)
202, Toyomall
94 Granville Road
Tsim Sha Tsui


Side note:

The times when we used to skip morning PE classes to grab breakfast at McDonald’s. The coffees we drank over long gossip sessions. The embarrassed looks we had when “Gregrid” didn’t let someone eat fried chicken. The “OH MY GOD!” presents (:D) I would receive in my mailbox in LA. The “gift wrapping lady” incident. The excited discussions about Stefano Pilati and Louboutins. All these things.

Happy Birthday hun!

You and Kenj make me very happy. Thanks for being in my life. Thank you.

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