It's all about the big pot of soup simmering at your table at this Lidcombe drawcard for the Korean community
That massive pot of simmering soup you see people eating at Korean restaurants? Meet jeongol, said to have once been the preserve of the rich or the royal. You can put anything in here: meat, seafood, tofu, vegetables, dumplings and even whole cakes of instant noodles. Jeongol has been claimed by everyone now, but there’s still something quite majestic about lazily picking your way through the overflowing pot, set over a portable gas burner on your table.
Jeongol is what every second table is having at O Se Yo, and not just in the winter months. Nothing brings a table together quite like jeongol, whether it’s dutifully serving up a bowl to Grandma or squabbling over the last slices of chewy rice cake noodles. From the first click of the ignition on the gas stove, it doesn’t take long for the jeongol to start bubbling furiously. Go hard on the chilli with the spicy beef stew, trawl for squid and mussels in the spicy seafood, or hit up the dumpling stew, resplendent with enoki mushrooms and quivering pillows of tofu (each $35).
Make like the cheerful rabble of Korean families, students and friends in this casual dining room and order far more than can fit on your table. You’ll somehow find room. Start with the seafood pancake ($14), one of the better ones you’ll find in Sydney with its generosity of squid, mussels and prawns bound together in a crispy shallot batter. Back it up with mandu, the Korean version of dumplings that come steamed or deep fried. The meat and vegetable ones are like oversized tortellini, swollen with mince, shredded carrot, vermicelli noodles and shallots.
Spicy sea snails with noodles ($15) aren’t as ominous as you’d expect, the gently chewy gastropods mixed in with a mild radish kimchi. And if the idea of silkworm pupae soup ($12) doesn’t win you over, you can always count on the sweet and tender comfort of bulgogi beef ($15), served on a sizzling hot plate.