{Review} Another round of Brisbane eats

I can’t get enough of Brisbane. Can you believe that there is actually a street with a congregation of Korean food? In-awe-because-of-Adelaide’s-apparent-shortage-of-Korean-eatery-choices. Gee, who knew that typing with hyphens would be so difficult.

Not that I hate Adelaide. I love this place to bits and pieces! My first home away from home.

So anyway, about the food. I was madly Googling good food places on our two-hour trip back from Byron Bay with the sole purpose of finding a cheap and good place for dinner on a Sunday. The combination of ‘cheap’, ‘good’ and ‘Sunday’ proved to be too difficult for Google to comply and the task was arduous. At long last I found a mad sounding – pardon the pun – place called Madtongsan II along Elizabeth Street.

Upon our arrival, I realized that this was in fact a Korean restaurant. Not too keen on having too many Korean meals before *ahem* mytriptoKoreanextweek myself with the addition of my dining partner’s not-so-fascinated-with-all-things-fermented-including-kimchi stance, we ventured up the flight of stairs to the restaurant anyway driven by our angry gastric compartments.

Boy was I glad we took the chance. This place was hopping, tripping and bloody good. Our entree of a regular sized seafood pancake was in fact the size of one of your dad’s old records and oh so crispy and chewy at the same time. The baby squid, belts of leek and chili littering the pancake were wonderfully fresh additions to the awesome pancake. Dipped quickly in the soy-sesame oil dipping sauce, the pancake was out of this world. Easily the best ever or so my taste buds tell me.

Both of us chose the bibimbap, with mine in a hotpot with raw silvers of beef and a cheery raw egg and the friend’s in a giant bowl topped with slivered mushroom, sprouts, julienned carrot, cucumber, cabbage, beef bulgogi and a bright and happy sunny side up. It was good. No. It was great! The crunchy of the vegetables with generous servings of fresh beef and eggy rice was the perfect antidote to a rioting empty stomach. The side dishes of the ubiquitous kimchi, pickled onions and a heaped saucer of cold tuna pasta-ish salad were regrettably passed as we were struggling to scrape our massive bowls clean.

At the end of the meal we left with satisfied bellies without breaking the bank. Thumbs up for the madly great Madtongsan II. I wonder what happened to Madtongsan I.

Another meal worth mentioning was our dinner at Irish Murphy’s. Mr Murphy and clan claims to be drinking consultants. A posh title for good and honest Irish pub, I reckon. We were drawn to the place by the live music and the lure of fifteen dollar lunch and dinners. The discounted menu was surprisingly extensive and bountiful, ranging from salads to burgers to seafood but we only had sights for the 200g grain fed rump steak. Now, 200g is actually double the portion recommended for a meal so keep your scoffing at bay. We were already overeating.

The steaks arrived displaying evidence of superior steak-cooking skills with the rumps at the verge of charred but agonizingly tender and spot-on medium-rare. Perfect. It was one mighty great steak and as with great steaks, they were gone before we’ve had enough. The supporting cast on the plate were fresh garden salad and thick chips. I swapped my starch for mash and it was a joy to eat. The mash was definitely something to write to your mother or girlfriend or sister or mistress about. It was soft with chunky bits hidden in the heap of potato glamour. The garlic was a terrific surprise but it was no surprise that I polished it all up in no time. So. Damn. Good. Kudos to the chef and thank you for a cheap and smashing meal. Oh and not forgetting the live Irish country musician entertaining us with his belting tunes. The only thing lacking was dreamy Celtic manhunks caught in a Whiskey-fuelled bar brawl.

Madtongsan II on Urbanspoon

Madtongsan II | 85 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 | (07) 30031881

Irish Murphy's - Brisbane on Urbanspoon

Irish Murphy’s | 175 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 | (07) 32214377