[Sydney] It may sound strange, but one of the best cities to get good Korean food (other than in Korea) is Sydney.
Those who tried some of the better Korean restaurants there would agree with me. (Disclaimer: There are some not so desirable ones too.)
There is Madang on Pitt Street where the wait for a table never ends.
The owners of Madang must have decided to spread the crowd by expanding with Danjee, positioned at a higher than average Korean Barbecue restaurant level.
The name represents a Korean traditional ceramic pot, often used to ferment food. “Danjee is a step above Korean BBQ. We want to be considered more fine dining, with our focus on the presentation and quality of the food we offer.”
It is not fine dining yet. However, the sister restaurant of Madang does boost of a more relaxing, refined, quiet environment.
Finding Danjee on Albion Street, perpendicular to George Street, can be tricky though.
Look out for Skyview plaza, and turn left into a narrow lane. It is the kind of place where you can imagine people doing ‘secret things’ in the dark.
Just that there is a Korean restaurant there.
Danjee is divided into an outdoor barbecue zone and air-conditioned dining area.
There are set menus priced at AUD$40, AUD$50 and AUD$70 (BBQ set) per person. Expect cool kimchi, ssamjan sauce plus soy, sesame, ginger marinated meats.
Or you can pick something from the multi-page menu which include Bo Ssam – boiled pork belly (AUD$38), Gal Bi Jim – slow cooked beef ribs (AUD$50), Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap – hot stone rice bowl (AUD$20), Deep Fried Chicken Wing or Breast Pieces (AUD$15), or sharing portion of Danjee Deep Fried Chicken (AUD$35).
I somehow preferred the cheaper chicken wings version – enjoyably flavored and spiced. Less dry too.
The classics here are all spruced up. If you love the Pajeon (pancakes) served with stuffed green chilies or perilla leaves, this is the place for you. Or get the Kimchi Nok Du Jeon (AUD$13), which features individually pan fried kimchi and mung bean, served with pork and bean sprouts.
I might have preferred the pancake served as a whole though.
Have the Beo Sut Jap Chae (AUD$16), also known as glass noodles made of potato starch, which have been tossed with enoki well as royal brown mushrooms. Or a seafood version of Hae Mul Jap Chae (AUD$17) fried with local octopus, squid and prawns.
Other interesting dishes include the Yuk Hwae (AUD$20)- a Korean version of staple involving raw beef, fresh cucumbers, nashi plus soy dressing gathered around sparkling raw egg york.
If you are up for something spicy, a popular choice would be the Bul Bak (AUD$38) – ‘fire chicken’ thigh, with Korean rice cakes and cayenne, complete with melted cheese.
That one dish that really left me an impression was the seafood stew with generous portions and hearty appetizing base that you couldn’t possibly stop a one bowl; there is also a Kimchi Deung Gal Bi Jjim (AUD$30) – slow cooked pork American spare ribs in Kimchi Stew.
Danjee accepts online reservations (yeah to not queuing in the cold), but to note that there is an additional 2% charge if you were to use an overseas credit card.
1–7 Albion Place, Sydney, SW 2000
Tel: +61 02 8084 9041
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 5:00pm – 11:00pm Daily
Google Maps – Danjee