146-148 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 7912
Ambience: 5/10 (simple and clean sitting area but plastered with a fake wall of scenery)
Food: 5/10 (variety was not fancy but value for money)
Service: -/10 (self-service as it was a buffet)
T and I wanted to try out Shinssi Hwaro Korean BBQ restaurant featured in the Entertainment book. To our disappointment, the place was CLOSED when we got there and the lane actually looked deserted! There was a sign on the door saying that they are open on Sundays! But why was it shut?! False advertising I must say. >.< Thankfully, T remembered that on Little Bourke Street there is another Korean BBQ restaurant, GoGi. So, we made our way there in the cold gloomy weather.
The restaurant has really simple decor, looked more like a canteen than a functional eatery. We were shown to our seats promptly by the waitress when we arrived at the door. Once seated, another waiter came with the menu, informing us that they were offering two different options, namely: the normal buffet @ $15 (no cooking involved) and BBQ buffet @ $31.50 (cooking involved). We decided to go with the standard buffet as we were hungry and freezing and could not be bothered with the cooking/waiting.
I decided to get a little of each dish available so as to let my readers have a look as to what was available. I tried the assortment of meat (beef, pork, lamb and chicken) which was done almost the same way, meat was sliced and cooked similarly. Maybe just a difference in the respective marinating sauces? Among all, the lamb had the strongest smell and taste. They had two different types of dumplings: one that was stuffed with kimchi or something spicy and the other which was with typical fillings. GoGi also had a limited selection of vegetables and salad. Shockingly, their kimchi was horrible and it tasted “off”! T who loves Korean food came to consensus with me on that. :0 But their tofu salad was not bad with the tofu fried nicely in a mixed of chopped vegetables. There were two types of rice to go with the dishes, I got myself the seafood fried rice which was bland and tasteless! The only “compensation” was the little shrimps scattered in the rice cooker.
GoGi is the place to go if you are very very HUNGRY and do not mind the quality of food presented before thee. It is value for money and you can stuff yourself till your heart’s content! 🙂 However, if you have a low tolerance for BBQ smell when you are NOT having it, you are better off somewhere else (Shou Sumiyaki which is two doors down is a rather good alternative).