You’d probably balk at the idea of having to cook your own food at a restaurant, right? I mean, you’re already paying for it, so now you’re in charge of preparing the food, too? Ludicrous. Hwa Ro Korean Restaurant in Northbridge is doing just that… and customers are coming in droves.
It’s all thanks to Hwa Ro’s winning combination of nifty tabletop cooking stations (complete with charcoal barbecue, automatic skewer rotator, soup burner and smoke-gulping ventilation chimneys – the only set-up of its kind in Perth), killer kimchi and a constant stream of K Pop music videos. Oh, and a team of Korean wait staff who not only tell you when your meat needs flipping, but also seem genuinely happy to bring you your third complementary dish of sweet potato noodles.
First timers might feel a bit lost with the menu. It’s long, and has some curious menu items. “Pork shoulder butt”, anyone? Newbies are often told to try Hwa Ro’s signature dishes like the kkochi – skewers of duck, pork belly, chicken thigh or seafood that you watch rotate over the charcoals. Entertaining and delicious…. as long as you don’t let them overcook. Then there are the barbecue dishes that aren’t to be missed. You choose your favourite marinated meat, be it wagyu beef, pork belly with skin or chicken, and along with it are various banchan side dishes like radish kimchi, pickled vegetables and radish “tortillas”, as well as hot sauces and rice.
However, dining at Hwa Ro is not without risks. First, there’s the chance of self-inflicted food poisoning. Plus, there’s the real chance you’ll become a K Pop fan. You’ve been warned.
(Also published in AgendaCity)