CHOGAJIP KOREAN RESTAURANT, Fremantle:
by DAVID BELL:
FIFTEEN bucks for a hot meal at a sit-down restaurant that doesn’t have a clown mascot is becoming a rarity these days.
Down at Chogajip Korean restaurant on Essex Street, there’s a small but cleverly varied $15 lunch menu to enjoy alongside renditions of Beatles classics reimagined with traditional Korean instruments.
You could tell the soy fish was cooked in a new batch of oil: It smelled fresh, was golden in colour and had a great crunch to it. The thick slices of fish were subtly flavoured, working as a neutral base for the soy sauce, biting chilli and a light salad (which helped with the guilt of eating a deep-fried meal for lunch).
The udon hot pot with bulgogi is a big dish served in a cast-iron pot, with plenty of chunks of soft, tender marinated beef swimming alongside fat, savoury udon noodles in brothy soup sprinkled with delicious umami powder. Served just slightly cooler than the surface of the sun, it’s a perfect hearty meal for a windy day.
Dak bulgogi was an enjoyable mix of grilled chicken marinated in soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil, served alongside boiled rice. A nice, lighter alternative to the rich, dark bulgogi marinade.
For the middle of the table we picked up sweet chili prawns and were pretty blown away by the incredibly rich, sweet (and slightly spicy) sauce they were bathed in. This wasn’t one of those dishes with three prawns hiding in an ocean of sauce: There were plenty of shrimp strewn throughout the dish from fat plumpers to small juicy ones.
Overall, lunch at Chogajip is a pretty nice midpoint between a $6 burger at Hungry Jack’s and taking out a second mortgage to eat on the cafe strip.
Chogajip Korean Restaurant
Open for dinner all week,
and for lunch on Friday,
Saturday and Sunday
19c Essex Street, Fremantle