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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Beauty & the Beast

I've recently started to think Ms Foodblogger and I have an acute strain of OCD, we loath the idea of going to the same place! We know what's open late, we know what's good, but we still try find a new place to eat. Some might polish it and call it adventurous, audacious, bold, daring, courageous, dauntless, derring-do (yes, it is a real word before you try correct me), but
its a sickness, and it empties my wallet every Friday night.

We found ourselves in the same situation like clockwork last Friday, on our way to Ashfield, we were in the mood for Chinese and we knew a great place for it, we promised ourselves, a quick, easy, risk and hassle free meal. 

Fate on the other hand had a different plan, by the time we got there all but Dominoes was open. We were tempted for a moment and decided against it, and headed off into the night without destination

I took a wrong turn and we found ourselves on route to Strathfield. We parked and walked across the vast sea of Korean BBQ restaurants that line the main strip in Strathfield, till we walked in to the sign that said "Beauty and the Beast" (B&B herein) Korean restaurant, how could we not walk in.

Castles from different Disney movies adorn the walls
As you walk in you receive wafts of aroma from the myriad of dishes being prepared from the open kitchen. We were seated in the middle and served with menu's to look at through. Over several pages and over 50+ items, it was an understatement to say we had a tough time choosing what to order. A majority of the items have pictures so it makes it simpler to gauge the dishes.

The dishes ranged from $3.50 - $15, we decided to settle on two entrees and two mains, but we were very tempted to get more. Whilst waiting we were served five 'Banchan' (side dishes).

The Banchan at B&B were very fresh, the fish teriyaki was my favorite, and Ms Foodblogger couldn't keep her hand of the mash potato coleslaw. The others such as kimchi and seaweed were also nice.

Banchan: Top - mash potatoes, middle left - kimchi, middle right -fish teriyaki, bottom right - seaweed, bottom left - advised by waiter potatoes, but seemed different to us

Steamed egg soup $8

Kara-age Chicken $8.00

Our entrees arrived quickly as the kitchen was closing down, we were starving so this was great news for us. Korean restaurants have a reputation for making good chicken wings, and B&B didn't disappoint, they were soft and juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Kara-age chicken is simply Japanese Fried Chicken, its very similar to tempura. The meat is marinated in garlic, soy sauce and ginger and then seasoned with wheat flour or potato starch. Its hard to describe the taste of it, its like a deeper, more Asian version of KFC, but not as crunchy.

The egg soup in my mind was something spectacular, it looks great when it comes out, but it lacks flavour, maybe a hint of salt and pepper and maybe some chili and it might of been different.

Whilst eating our entrees our mains to had arrived, we struggled for space but we squeezed in all the dishes.

Eel teriyaki $18

Mixed vegetables & fish roe with rice in hot stone bowl $16

I had ordered the Eel, a particular favorite of mine due to the smoky flavours. For anyone who hasn't tasted it, its rather like an 'eggplant fish' if that makes any sense, it tastes like fried/curried eggplant. The skin texture is slightly slimy and slippery on the tongue and the meat within is firm but fork soft. This was probably the highlight of the dishes.

The Fish Roe dish was more appetizing to the eyes than the palate, to be direct, it lacked flavour. It tasted like roe with rice, neither of which really have any flavour and the mixed vegetables seemed steamed and then mixed into the hot stone bowl, again no flavours. Our waiter had suggested we take the beef version and Ms Foodblogger did initially want the ramen, but we chose to be adventurous. Perhaps a sauce, or an egg would of made it more interesting but what we were presented with didn't do much to excite our taste buds.

B&B was different to the restaurants we usually go to. It was simple, cheap and a bit exciting. There were too many options for us to comprehend, but this added to the adventure. Our usual strategy to search for 'different' backfired that night, but overall though we did enjoy B&B, the prices were low, the environment was clean, the ambiance was lively and the service was very attentive, there was even a bell on the table to request a waiter. Overall it cost us $20 per person that night, and that's a bargain for what we received, we could barely finish our meal, not for a lack of trying. On our return visit though, I intend to stick to household staples like Ramen and spicy chicken, or teriyaki, these seem to be well versed cuisine for B&B as we've seen and at very reasonable prices, but maybe the dishes we tried were more an acquired taste. The journey though continues as another Friday draws near, and we wander the streets of Sydney for the next great culinary delight.

Happy Eating

S & S

Phone: 02 9763 2133

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