January 2009

Last night, I ventured out into one of my almost forgotten places Han Guuk Guan, for Korean. It is this little hidden hut-looking place on the fringe of the city and the Carlton Gardens, in an offshoot, surrounded by orifice buildings.They actually serve a combination of Chinese and Korean food, but I have never even bothered with the Chinese menu.They serve everything with the pickles on the side, and their menu is extensive as to go from appetisers, cold dishes, hot pots, shared dishes, rice dishes, soups and Korean barbecue.

We started with the steamed Mandoo, filled with pork and served with a chili vinegar. $8.

The pickles, free with every meal.

This is my spicy hot pot of tofu, mushrooms and fish egg sack in action. It comes with a bowl of rice, as do all the individual hot pots. $13 It is actually spicy, so beware if you’re used to spicy food actually being mild.

Not pictured is my dining partner’s pork marrow and spare rib hot pot with egg and potato noodles. $11Very tasty and with many vegetarian options. When I first came here, the upstairs could be booked out for karaoke and they have a giant plasma TV up there, which is distracting when you’re just dining for fun.The kitchen closes at 9:30 and is run by a Korean grandmother which ensures that nothing is bastardised and you can make requests or alterations to your meal at will.Han Guuk Guan13A Victoria St, Melbourne

03 9639 1747