My friend Seon and I met for lunch at Restaurant Gangnam* at Waterford Plaza last week. I hadn't realised that it had opened although I knew that there was going to be a Korean restaurant because a sign went up long before works started inside. For many months, the restaurant sat empty but it was well worth the wait because the restaurant decor is great! Very modern and trendy but with a relaxed and cool vibe.
Waterford is such a busy little shopping centre, largely owing to the students and staff at nearby Curtin Uni. It took me two circles of the carpark to find a spot and by that time, I was more than 15 minutes late.
The restaurant was full but we managed to get a table without delay. When we sat, the waitress told us our table number (it was either 16 or 60) and advised us that we needed to order at the country. The table numbers aren't written on the table, so make sure you have your 'listening ears' on!
We both had the bulgogi bibimbap ($9.80) and a crushed pear juice ($3).
Only one pear juice came out and it took alerting staff twice before the second one arrived. They were very apologetic both times. The juice came poured over crushed ice in a tall water tumbler. Oddly the glass was only 1/2 full (or 1/2 empty).
The meal was accompanied by two side dishes to share; cabbage kimchi and a coleslaw noodle salad. We also got a soybean soup each.
The bibimbap was really good! It came in a stone bowl (that wasn't as hot as I think it should've been), with a generous serving of rice, bulgogi meat, mushroom, carrot, zucchini, spring onion, egg and bean sprouts. The red kochujang sauce wasn't given to us when we were presented with our meals but there were bottles on other tables, so we took one from the table behind us.
Update 07/07/2014: I have been back to Gangnam twice now (and ordered the same dish). Both times the stone bowl was piping hot and absolutely AWESOME!
Despite the few moments of neglect, service was fine for a cheap $10 lunch special. Gangnam was without a doubt the busiest restaurant in the strip on the day we visited Waterford and I can see why. The food is good, the lunch specials are cheap and food is delivered quickly.
*The pronunciation of Gangnam isn't 'Gang' doesn't rhyme with bang', nor is it 'nam' as in Vietnam. The 'G' is a much softer and to my ear sounds like a soft 'K' sound, while the 'ang' part of 'Gang' sounds like someone posh saying 'ang'... it kind of rhymes with lung. Similarly with the 'nam' part of 'Gangnam', it's not 'nam' to rhyme with lamb but almost sounding like 'numb'.
In case you haven't seen enough photos of Restaurant Gangnam's Bibimbap - here are some more photos.