Some years ago Wooree BBQ Korean in the Sussex Centre food court had a cult following, there was a hungry scrum at the counter at all hours of the day.
These days Wooree BBQ is still busy but not packed like it once was. We're not sure why, more than likely there's just a heck of a lot more Korean restaurants in town now, a whole 'little Korea' has appeared in Pitt Street in recent years. At least you no longer have to fight the crowds, just the occasional Korean auntie with attitude, and the prices are still low. The menu covers a range of soups, spicy bbq meats with rice, noodles, ramen and bibimbap.
No 12 - Bibimbap - beef'n'veggies on rice - $8.80. We used to love the bibimbap here but it doesn't float our boat anymore, we thought the same on our previous visit. We're accustomed to Bibimbap served in a bowl, it doesn't seem right on a plate, the ingredients don't mix and meld they way though should. It's still yummy and it's healthy but it lacks that special bibimbap magic. The bibimbap at Asago in Market City however makes us all girly giggly. Maybe it's just us. We're not Korean, what the heck would we know anyway?
No 13 - Bibimbap Hotpot - $9.50. Beef and veggies on rice served in a hot ceramic bowl. We normally prefer the cold bibimbap but the hotpot version is the pick here, many folks prefer the hotpot version anyway because it's, well, hot.
The rice on the bottom of the bowl gets all crunchy and worth fighting over.
Iced barley tea, 50 cents for a big plastic cup of it, super cold, light and refreshing, we're hooked on it. It's the best beverage bargain in Chinatown.
No 21 - Korean tofu seafood soup - $8.90. Nice big hunks of soft tofu and some marinara mix in a mildly spicy soup, served bubbling hot in a ceramic bowl. We loved this by the end of the bowl.
#15 - Fried rice with pork and kimchi - $9.50. This is a new favourite, the rice is red, sweet and a little spicy from the pork bulgolgi. The kimchi gives it a nice tangy pickled touch.
Korean style chicken with ginseng soup - $11.80. This is a special on a sign on the counter. We've never seen this dish before so we had to try it. Wikipedia tells us it is called Samgyetang, and is served in summer to replace nutrients lost from sweating. One could say it's chicken soup for the Seoul. Boom tish. There's a whole small chook in there, it seems to have been poached for hours, the bones are super soft and we ended up eating half of them. The broth is plain and delicate. Swimming around the broth is some ginseng root, a date, some rice and some little yellow mystery beans. If you're into poached chicken and simple homely soups than you should definitely give this a try. This plain soup went perfectly with the spicy fried rice, a excellent combo for two people, balanced and filling.
The chicken from the soup gets a real kick when dipped in the supplied dish of salt and white pepper. Yum. Also comes with a bowl of rice.
BACK AGAIN IN MAY 2012...
Seafood bibimbap - $9.80. Prawns, squid, mussels and veggies stir fried in Korean chili sauce on rice served in a hotpot. Fantastic.
While dining you can check out the action on Dixon Street mall below. Joy.
Wooree BBQ is at The Sussex Centre Food Court is at 401 Sussex Street, Chinatown. Head up the escalator and kiss the sky.