Is it immature to want to eat at a restaurant merely because of it’s name? If so, count me as immature because I was keen to eat at Wooga for that exact reason! Woooooooga woooooga. (Someone please stop me.)
Wooga is a Korean barbeque restaurant located across the road from the Queen Victoria market, in a string of Korean restaurants. According to The Age, woo means beef, and ga means house in Korean. I went there with mum, dad, Alastair and Bro in December for a low key birthday dinner. When we arrived on a Monday night, they were the busiest out of all the Korean restaurants on the street and even though we had booked we had to wait for about 15 minutes for our table. There’s not much standing space inside, so we loitered outside on the footpath – fortunately it was a lovely, warm evening!
We ordered one of the BBQ set menus for the five of us – the “Combo B” menu ($65). The menu said that it would serve 3-4 people. Mum is a light eater (though the rest of us are big eaters… so it all works out really!) so we figured if we added one more dish we would have enough food. Meat to be cooked on the barbeque can also be ordered separately, but it’s probably better value in a set.
The set came with:
Top grade beef rib
Top side with salt and pepper
Top grade scotch fillet
Kimchi and pork in spicy soup
And four bowls of rice
In addition, we also ordered one main dish: pan fried squid in spicy sauce ($26).
The staff placed the meat on the grill for us, and returned every now and again to check on us. When it was cooked to our liking, we dipped it into bean paste and scoffed it down.
Naturally, there were several dishes of banchan. We REALLY liked their kim chi and asked for refills several times. I also really liked the pickled daikon and beansprouts, though there was a cabbage one that was too bitter to be enjoyable. I wish they gave out larger dishes of the banchan though – even though you can ask for refills it’s a bit annoying when one portion can only be shared out among two people.
The soup was packed with mushrooms, cabbage, pork, tofu and a big spoon of chilli. It was delicious and warming – and definitely not the kind of thing to be eating on a warm night. But we wouldn’t help ourselves, it was so enjoyable!
We actually got quite full with the rest of the food so could possibly have skipped this dish. Lest you think that’s all squid on that large plate, it was interspersed with chewy noodles in a spicy-sweet sauce. The sauce was a touch too sweet for my liking, otherwise I would have loved it.
Wooga is inexpensive, filling, and the vent above the charcoal pots work REALLY well. I walked out without my hair smelling like cooking smoke – which is pretty rare whenever we go out for Korean barbeque! That reason alone elevates Wooga above other Korean barbeque restaurants that I’ve been to, and fortunately the food was good enough to warrant further visits.
For more posts on Wooga, check out these blogs:
[googleMap name="Wooga Korean Restaurant" width="600" height="300" directions_to="false"]270 Victoria Street, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia[/googleMap]
Wooga Korean Restaurant
270 Victoria Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
Phone: (03) 9328 1221