Just when you think you’ve found your favourites, you dive down another alley and get hit by another pleasant surprise.
Such is the diversity and beauty of the Logan food scene.
Since first discovering Manok Park at Underwood Central, I’ve returned a further two times in a fortnight.
Korean food has been rising in popularity for a while, but it’s probably fair to say it was pigeon-holed as an all-you-can-eat barbecue option.
That’s fast-changing, and this neatly decked-out restaurant in Underwood is a great example. It has a bustling turnover and everybody seems relaxed as they casually make their way through dishes predominantly shared.
The menu is in English and Korean, and if the number of people of Korean origin is any indication of the standard of food, then we’ve found the golden egg.
Regardless of what you order here, the team will bring out small starter dishes for the table. On Thursday nights, you’ll get a kimchi pancake which is a mixture of pan-fried potato, kimchi and flour.
Along with the chilli-infused daikon, pasta salad and coleslaw, it’s a great way to get the palate prepared for the onslaught of flavours to come.
Spicy or soy marinated raw crab at $22 is a bargain if you can get your head around eating crab that hasn’t been boiled or fried.
Like most dishes on the menu, it comes with rice.
One of the more popular dishes is the Korean fried chicken, but my personal preference is the tonkatsu stick. It’s a little like a schnitzel shaped as a dagwood dog. Unusual, yes. Yummy, absolutely.
Dumplings, octopus, or a number of soups and stews help add diversity and different flavours to the table, as does an authentic version of bulgogi.
The chef’s recommendation is char-grilled pork loin, which again – at $21 – is well-priced. It’s as bit as any other main you’d order around town, and the pork comes with lettuce leaves and condiments which can be wrapped up in a mouthful of pleasantry.
Along with the starters, one dish per person is plenty here.
Service is great. There is a small selection of drinks including three types of beer and a Korean rice wine. If that’s not your cup of tea, then there’s plenty of tea to choose from, water or soft drink.
This place is tucked away, but well worth a try.