Visited Hyang To Gol 2 times last year for lunch. Enjoy lunch packages and value for money sets like Rice + Beef. Rice + chicken etc. Popped by for lunch to urgently address an impromptu craving for Ox Tail Soup (Ggori-Gom-Tang) $22.00. Somehow thought taste differed slightly with 2015 version being slightly saltier (Which suits my personal palatte), the one i tried on Sunday noon was rich but missing that brackish character. Craving 3/4 settled thou.
They are serious about Banchan (Side Dishes). Sweet, salty, sour palatable little treats eaten before or with mains, were well enjoyed. Braised Mackerel with Radish (Godeungeo Mujorim) stood out, it takes as long as an hour’s prep time with radish providing rich thick potato style sauce.
Jajangmyeon $16.00/Bowl. Preferred Tae Woo at Central thou. Have never been to Korea and Hyangotol’s focus on it’s cuisine is Tradition Tradition Tradition. Tae Woo’s receipe might have been twisted slightly to suit locals but I shall only know upon visit to Korea itself. Hyangotol’s version had sliced meat, as much onions but ain’t as rich/flavorful as Tae Woo’s Jajangmyeon (With bits of minced meat). Dull in my view. Just wasn’t lip smacking enough.
Wasn’t too adventurous when I pointed my finger to this on menu at order taker. Keeping mind open, I write on this dish shutting out local versions of fried rice. Hyangotol’s Kim Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi – Bokgeumbap) $15.00/Plate disappointed on first bite, but 2nd mouth & subsequent ones picked up taste momentum. However, overall, not for me. I failed to keep an open mind eventually as the big fan me whom adores my fried rice grainy, like super grainy – finally abandoned Mr Bokgeumbap halfway. Subjective thou. Perhaps one day I will appreciate. Rice was too clumped up resembling dried up Risotto. Flavors were fine thou. Just rice texture.
Very reason for making way to Hyangotol – Oxtail Soup. White, rich soup simmered for hours, accompanied with leek, dates and sliced eggs. Eggs added some body to soup mixed with flavors derived from collagen & marrow. As mentioned earlier, taste slightly differed when I had this in 2015. Lacked salt element. 3/4 disappointed + 3/4 craving done-ed. Once again, Traditional Korean Cuisine are known to be subtle in flavors. Understood, reminded and wasn’t all ruffled up!
Service was fine & all of the above mentioned costed $62 bucks. Wallet friendly and Banchans were truly stimulating, scrumptious and appetizing. Would re-visit but walk in familiar territory like mainstream grilled meats + request for more salt in Oxtail Soup hopefully not pissing off Chef.