Thursday, 3 July 2014

Bbox Korean Restaurant, Mt Lawley

A new Korean restaurant opened in Mt Lawley a few months ago.  In the lead up to the opening, it was getting quite a bit of hype on Facebook and Twitter from food bloggers who had spotted the construction and signs. It took a few months after opening before I was able to visit but friends who had documented their trip on Facebook and Instagram gave me feedback ranging from "okay" to "bloody brilliant".

I went on a particularly chilly winter night after a botched attempt to redeem a Scoopon voucher from BROTHER in Menora. I called ahead (en route to the restaurant and about 5 minutes before we arrived) to check if they did BYO. I was told they did but when I got to the restaurant they have a liquor licence, so I'm not sure if they do offer BYO.

Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by staff with a loud cheer - I'm not sure what they said but I'm guessing it was "환영합니다" (welcome) (?). I had already looked at the menu online and knew it was on the mid-range/high end side (for Korean restaurants in Perth) and bordering on fusion with offerings like cold pasta salad.

We were given some complimentary makgeolli (Korean rice wine) on arrival. I once had a particularly rough hangover from a soju (Korean spirits) and makgeolli fuelled evening, so drinking it wasn't very pleasant for me. *shudder*... Oh the memories!  For those interested in trying, it's a sweet milky wine and goes down quite easily.

We ordered two dishes which we shared. The meal came with three sides, none of which were kimchi. When I enquired if I could order some kimchi, I was told that they don't have it. WOW! A Korean restaurant that doesn't have kimchi! Blasphemy! ;)

The dish at the bottom of the photo below would be the most kimchi-like but paled in comparison.The other sides were vinegary pickled vegetables.

Sides which accompanied the meal

My favourite dish of the night was the B.Box Beef. The beef was tender and the veggies were nice. It was a very simple dish and probably good for someone who isn't very adventurous. I guess you could say it was a Korean spin of the Aussie classic, steak and veggies. 

B.Box Beef: quality cuts of beef marinated in B.Box soy sauce and grilled on wood fire  ($21.50)
 The pork belly and squid was very spicy (you've been warned!) and the squid was a little chewy. 

Spicy Pork Belly & Squid: stir fried pork belly and squid, marinated in chilli sauce with vegetables ($17.00)

I visited Bbox a week later with a group of Korean adoptees. Had I been before I organised the meetup, I probably would've picked somewhere else. It's not that I didn't enjoy my first visit to Bbox but I feel that somewhere more authentic would have been better for our group. 

This time, I ordered the Hot Stone Bowl Rice. For those who know Korean food, I guess it's similar to Bibimbap. The bowl was really hot which meant the rice stuck to the bottom getting crispy, crackling... just the way I like it! If I were to return to Bbox, I would order this again.

Hot Stone Bowl Rice with Kimchi & Bulgogi ($16.00)

Soft tofu stew ($15.00)

We had dessert. This was an cinnamon sorbet that I thought was going to be in syrup. As you can see it wasn't and was probably a terrible decision for a cold evening.
I can't recall the name of this - it was like cinnamon ice. 

Having spent three weeks in Korea over April/May 2014, I am admittedly fussy when it comes to Korean food. I thought the food was good quality but found the portion sizes on the small size for the prices. I didn't think the menu leant  itself well for 'family style' shared dining (mainly due to the size of the dishes) and when I asked the waiter, there were only a few dishes on the menu (mainly hot pot type soup stews) that he recommended would be good for sharing.

Bbox has a solid drink menu, offering both Korean alcoholic drinks for those wanting an 'authentic' Korean dining experience, as well as a variety of white/red wines, beers and ciders (bottled only)*.
The staff were outstanding - very knowledgeable and attentive, as well as being chatty and friendly. The fitout is really good and Bbox is positioned in a great spot in Mt Lawley.

While Bbox offer something slightly different from your regular Korean fare, it was not interesting enough to have this diner running back in a hurry.

B.Box Restaurant on Urbanspoon 

*Beer and cider on tap is offered on the menu however at the time of my visit (June 2014), was not available yet.

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