Taking the place of Mama’s Oriental in William Street, Marubang has an attractive and light, airy feel about it – it is a small dining space with a counter/bar to one side – they are licenced but interestingly have only beer and a couple of Korean rice wine drinks (Soju and Makgeolli), as well as sake, on the list – but they are happy for you to bring along wine and have well shaped wine glasses on offer.
We stopped in for lunch on Friday, along with a bottle of wine, and from the compact menu ordered a Kimchi pancake to start, followed by Spicy seafood soup for me and Omurice for my dining chum.
A number of accompaniments for the pancake arrived first – a bowl of chopped chilli, another of Kimchi, seaweed and a final bowl of chopped cabbage in a thin, salty broth – the Kimchi was absolutely top notch – crunchy, sour, very spicy – we zipped through that and another bowl quickly replaced it.
The pancake – the batter fried with kimchi and seafood mixed through– baby squid, shrimps, mussels, clams – was the size of a dinner plate, cut into segments – crisp, but moist and with the various accompaniments to dip and mop was a delightful start.
My bowl of soup came with a whole crab dissected and mixed through the spicy red broth, along with two or three large prawns cooked in their shells, clams, silken tofu and a soft egg – a bowl of steamed rice to mix into the soup completed the deal. It was an impressive looking dish, and the zesty spices, flavours and textures right on the money.
Omurice is a large loaf of fried beef rice – cooked with ground beef – wrapped in an omelette, drizzled with lines of mustard and sitting in a puddle of house made Worcestershire sauce – it was a huge dish, but despite this my dining pal managed to plough his way through it – great value!
With it we enjoyed a bottle of AC Byrne and Co 2017 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, one of Aldi’s house brands – pleasant aromatics of honeysuckle, passionfruit and citrus, with a crisp, clean palate and fine acidity, which well suited the spiciness of the food.
Never having encountered the aforementioned Korean drinks we shared a bottle of Soju – the 360ml bottle of slightly sweet, colourless liquid with grippy alcohol on the mid-palate seemed harmless enough, but with a 17.5% alcohol content, you would need to be careful of overindulging! Anyway, it was bracing and refreshing conclusion to the meal.
Marubang exceeded my expectations – their Kimchi is excellent, the food all very well prepared, is great value and deserves to be a hit.