Thursday, November 5, 2009

Go Koong: It All Just Keeps Getting Better

A “go-to” place is an absolute necessity in my life. In LA, it fluctuated between Susina, Amandine, and this particular bench in front of Dodd Hall. In New York, I had Bouchon Bakery and Central Park :) - places that put a giant smile on your face no matter how many times you go; places that make you feel comfortable yet don’t bore you. I need places like that. And since about two months ago, I’ve found my new “go-to” place in Go Koong, also known as my absolute favorite restaurant in town.

I must’ve been here a gajillion times already, and every time is better than the last. I really can’t find anything I dislike about the restaurant. This time around, I managed to tear myself away from my beloved seafood pajun to explore other parts of the menu. We went with the daegoo gooi/grilled silver codfish ($140) to start off (that is, following the amazing banchans <3!

(Codfish: grilled to loveliness)

The following dish was somewhat disappointing in comparison and probably my least favorite of all the dishes I’ve had at Go Koong. This was the haemool dwenjiang jungol/seafood and bean paste soup hot pot ($300). The broth was way too salty to be had on its own (well, it was miso after all) and the shrimps – though impressively large, weren’t as fresh and firm-fleshed as I would’ve liked (but I loved the fact that the stellar staff team help you de-shell your shrimp). Thank God though that this dish was followed by the absolute high of the entire evening – the danhobakgaalbijjim/steamed sweet pumpkin with beef ribs ($188). O TO THE M-G…this was amazing. Truly, madly, deeply. The ribs were soft, and so tender, they fell clean off the bone. Flavor-wise, it was a perfect balance of savoriness with a tinge of aromatic sweetness from being steamed inside the pumpkin. And the pumpkin, what can I say about the pumpkin to do it justice? It was beautiful. With a soft, almost crumbly texture and a rich yet unheavy sweetness. It actually tasted somewhat like mooncake egg yolk. Without a doubt, my new favorite dish at my favorite restaurant.

(Seafood hot pot: meh...)

(Steamed pumpkin with ribs: can I marry you?)

(Please ignore the dirty plate)

Next up was the complimentary Korean styled scrambled eggs. I know I must’ve said it before but I really do love Go Koong’s food generosity. They’re always spoiling us with free goodies on top of the other heap of goodies we already have on our table. The eggs were nothing too special but, for some reason, I found myself finishing the whole thing and craving a second serving. Food champion much? Hells ya! The last savory course was the mool nengmyun/homemade buckwheat noodles in chilled beef broth ($90). A PERFECT closer – being light and chilled. It was easy on the stomach after the absolute feast we had just eaten. I love the slurp-worthy, chewy noodles and the sweet, refreshing chilled radish strips went extremely well with them. I mixed in a giant spoonful of spicy sauce and a little mustard and downed everything with a happy heart. We ended the night sipping our after-meal chilled cinnamon tea, with a giant satisfied smile on our faces and a very well-fed stomach. I’ve found my “go-to” place and I hope you find yours.

(The K-style scramble)

(Chilled noodles)

FOOD: 5/5
SERVICE: 4.5/5

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

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