Budget mission


IT’S been a week of celestial disappointments.

First the failed takeoff of Elon Musk’s Starship on Monday and then the solar eclipse on Thursday, which from my vantage point in Fremantle was imperceptible.

Growing up in Glasgow, I’ve seen darker days during the height of the Scottish summer.

To nurse my intergalactic disappointment, I decided to grab some Korean takeaway from Sticks in Hulme Court, Myaree.

Located behind some car dealerships on the Leach Highway, Hulme Court has a litany of budget restaurants and cafes. It’s small and a bit uncouth but has tons of personality – imagine Danny DeVito became a chef. I’ve had some good and some bad meals from Hulme Court; the pick of the bunch being Nishi – a cosy Japanese place with a great teppanyaki bar.

The menu at Sticks had a compact but diverse range of Korean dishes including Kimchi Jjigae, Soondubu Jjigae, Japchae Noodle and Kookbob, as well as all the western favourites like Bulgogi and Bibimbob.

I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t tried many Korean dishes out with the bulgogi and bibimbob, so I went for the pork Kimchi Jjigae $16.80 (also available with beef, chicken or mushroom).

It was basically a kimchi stew with meat, vegetables and rice.

The dish was piping hot (not always the case with a takeaway) and had been well-wrapped so it didn’t end up spilling all over the bag. It was an enjoyable, hearty dish with a lovely savoury heat from the sauce and plenty of soft onion and kimchi.

There was heaps of thinly sliced pork and it all came together when you dumped in the rice, creating an intense, murky broth.

The deep red stew is probably something you wouldn’t eat on a first date – a messy old number – but it hit the spot on a cold autumnal night.

Across the table, my wife “Special K” was tucking into her Bibimbob ($16.80 no egg) – a pleasant mix of savoury beef, green leaves, sliced cucumber and carrot, perched on a large bed of steamed rice.

I liked how they gave you a tub of thick, spicy sauce on the side so you could add how much you wanted.

“Very fresh and tasty and it’s a generous portion,” she said.

“The veggies are really nice and fresh as sometimes they can be a bit ropey in a bibimbob.”

Unfortunately things went down hill with the kimchi pancake ($9.50) and fried veg dumplings (eight for $9.50).

To be frank, they were both borderline burnt.

A shame as the filling in the gyoza-style dumplings was spot on and very tasty, but the pancake was a bit unsalvageable.

Thankfully the meal ended on a high with the Chicken Japchae Noodle ($16.80). 

Not everyone will like the gelatinous, super-sticky Korean noodles, but my young kids wolfed them down no probs and it was piping hot with plenty of tender chook.

It was firmly back to Earth at Sticks Cafe and Korean restaurant, with some dishes hitting the heights and others not achieving liftoff.

But you can’t fault the price and portion sizes, and it’s always good to try places at the grittier, small end of town.

It reminded me of a pithy comment from the late, great Anthony Bourdain – If you’re staying at a fancy hotel, never eat at the places recommended by the concierge.

Sticks – Cafe and
Korean Restaurant
47 McCoy Street, Myaree


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