took be gi
Mixing up the dolsot bimbimbap.
Strangely, the restaurants we frequent often are the last to get a mention on the blog. Maybe sub-consciously I’m keeping them to myself but here it is – Took Be Gi. If there’s a queue on Pier St it’s often to get into this place for lunch and it is worth the wait.
(There’s a sister restaurant on Pier Street with a somewhat similar menu called Took Bae Kee 2. We often come here to skip the queue.)
The ‘banchan’ side dishes – kimchi, nam jul bean sprouts, seaweed salad and a mayonnaise potato salad.
As in most Korean restaurants there are the ever present banchan side dishes, which are often the highlight of the meal. As soon as you’ve ordered, the little appetisers are on the table. Banchan are seasonal and thus change frequently. There’s often bracken fern (tastes better that it sounds, who knew ferns where tasty), sweet soy beans or braised lotus root. However, kimchi is always a constant. Took Be Gi’s kimchi is, in my opinion the best kimchi in Perth. (It’s a big call, but I’m making it! Are there any better in Perth? Let me know…)
They go through some 100 Chinese cabbages a week to make their signature kimchi. It’s a young kimchi so it’s crunchy, fresh, sharp and balanced, minus the fizziness that often taints people’s first impressions of the pickle.
However, the dish that gets my bum on a seat is the seafood pancake. It is impossible to resist, no matter how full I am, I can always force another piece down with that spring onion sauce. Eaten as a starter, it’s a savoury disc of tiny seafood, spring onions and flour batter. The inside is warm and tender, almost undercooked. The edges are nubbly and you can tell it’s been expertly fried because it’s very crispy. It’s like a Korean hash brown. There’s a kimchi version too (surprise, surprise).
The food here is always spot on. It can be spicy though. Their kimchi tofu soup is so hot that I often wonder whether I’m being burned alive by the still bubbling soup or the chilli. Or both. But it’s great if you love spicy food (if you dare, you can even order extra spicy!).
Korean dumplings (mandu) in soup.
When I don’t have all day to suffer through copious amounts of hot chilli paste, I get the dumpling soup. Resembling three very fat half moons, the dumplings are filled with pork, vegetables and japchae (sweet potato noodles). There are a few rice cakes thrown in for good measure. The soup however, is what clinches the dish. Thin and oddly pale, it is delicious. I’m convinced there’s some sort of creamy Campbell’s soup added to it.
First timers should however skip the menu and go straight for the dolsot bibimbap. Rice, various seasoned vegetables, your choice of protein (or a raw egg cracked over the top) are served in a raging hot stone bowl. The idea is to slip in the fierce looking gochujang (fermented hot pepper paste – which is more sweet than hot) and mix to your heart’s content.
The rice becomes crispy and the whole dish becomes one amalgamated, wholesome fry up. The best part is that the dish stays hot while you eat it. And it’s fun. In a dangerous-third-degree-burns kind of way.
Beef dolsot bimbimbap – rice, vegetables and beef in a hot stone bowl.
Soy pork rib on a sizzling plate.
Bulgogi anything is pretty good here. That being said it’s hard to go wrong with bulgogi. But notably, Took Be Gi’s sauce is made on site with crushed fruit – not out of a bottle. We also tried the sizzling soy pork rib which despite looking bare, was well marinated, sweet and more-ish, made even more so by the streaky pork belly. Yum.
I don’t think I’ve had a bad dish here and after countless visits, that’s really something. If you love Korean food, no doubt you’ve already been here. If you haven’t fallen in love with banchan, bulgogi and bibimbap, come here and find a new love.
Took Be Gi
542 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000 (the entrance is on Pier Street!)
T: (08) 9225 4557
Open 7 days 11.30 am – 8.30 pm
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