A couple of the boys and I headed to Northbridge on a hump day to recover from the mid-week slump and spend some time with Al who is going to be returning to Sydney soon. We were going to take him to La Cholita, but it was packed and over-flowing with people. We ended up going to a Korean restaurant on Francis street, called Sinabro.
Sinabro has two separate sections; The front (indoors and lovely looking) is a buffet of Korean marinated meats for BBQ and so forth and the back of the restaurant, in what looks like some dingy hawkers place in Hong Kong somewhere is the a la carte area, where you can get the Korean hot pots, BBQ, pancakes and anything Korean.
Despite its appearance, you know you are at an authentic place when majority of the diners are Koreans.
We opted for the Korean BBQ as the nights were still a little chilly even if we had hit summer.
We ordered the chicken BBQ and the chilli pork. The bbq came with little charcoal pieces enclosed in metal basket which you cook your meats on.
What I find annoying with the bbq-ing though is that your clothes and hair and everything really smells like the bbq. Despite all that, Sinabro marinates their meats really well that when it was bbq-ed the taste well and truly comes out. And the marinate itself is delicious. The pork was nice and tender before it was cooked, so when it was cooked it was just as tender. It didn't seem to have too much fat either.
The chicken on the other hand was a little fatty, but that was easily fixed with a bit of creative use with the scissors.
I love it how the two boys bbq-ed the whole meal for me though. It was lovely like that.
Common with many Korean restaurants, Sinabro provides side dishes that comes "free" with every meal. They had a serving of kimchi - which I found rather disappointed - it lacked the real kimchi spicy flavour and didn't seem homemade - in fact I'm pretty sure it was from one of the pre-packed because I thought I say the pre-packed bags near the area where we sat. Apart from the kimchi they gave salad (which was rather bland) and a rice vermicelli dish. I would have to say of all the Korean restaurants I've been to, Sinabro had the most disappointed side offers - it was bland and I felt as though because it was complimentary they didn't care what it tasted like. In other words, I've had better.
Apart from the bbq we shared the kimchi pancakes - which again wasn't too bad, although I felt as though they put too much batter and not enough kimchi. And the kimchi wasn't spicy and not really sour either. It was rather disappointing, although the serving was large.
Overall, I love the ambience - the feeling of being transported to the hawkers streets of Asia, the student prices as well as offering a variety of Korean dishes. The BBQ was probably one of the better ones I've had in Perth, the meats were marinated well (I'm not sure what kind of marinate it is, but it was sensational - not too salty, not too chilly, but complementing the juicyness of the meat). However, their kimchi and the pancake was disappointed and I find it particularly weird that a Korean restaurant can't make good kimchi - it makes me blow my mind!