It’s cold. You want to drink. But you’re also hungry. Hello dakgalbi.
What’s dakgalbi? Picture a massive chicken stir-fry, mixed with a mountain of cabbage, sweet potato, onions and chewy rice cakes. It’s what Korean uni students eat when they go out drinking – cheap, generously portioned and the perfect bedfellow for a night on the turps.
Dakgalbi first appeared in Chuncheon, located in the northern part of South Korea. It's a city so proud of its native dish they have an annual festival that celebrates it.
Traditional dakgalbi isn’t exactly abundant in Sydney. But you can get it at PR Korean, a simply furnished, family-friendly eatery in Lidcombe, the Little Korea of our western suburbs. First you’ll have to decide how you want your chicken: spicy, sweet, hot, with soy or with seafood. Then add your choice of mix-ins. They’ve got everything from ramen noodles to fried rice but we reckon it’s hard to go past the rice cakes and the cheese. Staff will bring everything in a giant pan, placed over a recessed gas burner in the middle of your table. They’ll look after all the cooking, stopping by your table every two minutes to stir, toss and flip until it’s ready. A whole series of complimentary panchan side dishes – not to mention your beers – keep you occupied as you wait.
Get the spicy version and everything turns to a fiery shade of red. The cheese melts all over the rice cakes. The chunks of chicken are succulent bits of thigh. Shovel your steaming hot stir-fry into individual bowls or eat straight out of the pan if you’re really lazy. We’re all friends.
There’s a heap of other dishes too. Dolsot bibimbap ($13) is everybody’s favourite, a meat and vegetable rice dish served in a hot earthenware pot that turns the bottom layer of rice into a golden brown crust. We weren’t sure about the noodles in cold soy milk broth ($12) – add heaps of salt to the otherwise bland and pasty soup – but the sundubu jjigae ($12) is a definite winner, a comforting huddle of silken tofu in a spicy stew filled with seafood.
|Venue name:||PR Korean|
1/10 Bridge St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 9am-9pm|