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Gogi House brings ‘kimchi country' to City

Update: October, 20/2014 - 19:09
Pig out: One of the restaurant's most popular dishes is Korean-style pork belly.

Enamoured of everything Korean - from hairstyles and fashion to music and dance - Vietnamese high school and university students regularly frequent restaurants offering Korean food. HCMCity's Gogi House, situated in a district where many South Koreans live, is popular with both locals and expats. Thu Anh reports.

Gogi House is located in Tan Binh District where many South Koreans live.

One of HCM City's better places to sample Korean food, the restaurant is always bustling with both Koreans and Vietnamese patronising it, especially during weekends as it offers good food and service at reasonable prices.

For its customers, the ambience and menu are similar to Korean restaurants they see in movies though Gogi House's owner is Vietnamese.

Vietnamese call Koreans "people from kimchi country", a reference to their national pickled cabbage dish.

Gogi serves its pungent kim chi free of charge. It does seven kinds of kimchi, a different one every day of the week.

It does not stop there, though. It has adapted its dish for Ho Chi Minh City, serving summer kim chi, using white radish, cucumber, bean sprouts, and green bean cakes. It is slightly sweet and vinegary and less salty than winter kimchi.

Mix ‘n match: This rice dish features minced pork, egg, vegetables, sesame and chilli.

It offers a wide selection of grilled beef using meat imported from Australia and the US.

For those who love pork, Korean-style pork belly costs VND149,000 (US$7). The meat is cut in slices and cooked with secret spices, and is soft and very flavourful.

Another good choice is US premium beef cooked barbecue style at your table. But depending on your preference, the sweet-smelling meat is also cooked in the kitchen and served sizzling on a hot plate.

To taste the dish the Korean way, you should place the meat on a lettuce leaf and roll it together with garlic, red pepper, and cucumber.

Fried rice with minced pork, egg, vegetables, sesame, and chilli and served with a kimchi soup costs VND85,000 ($4) and is enough for two.

Gogi offers two traditional Korean hot pots called kim chi joengon and bulgogy joengon at VND229,000-249,000 ($11-12). While the former uses kimchi broth, the latter has meat fried in a sauce.

Sweet spot: You should make a reservation to make sure you land a window table. Gogi's waiters are friendly and professional.

Both dishes contain meat, radish, bean sprouts, mushrooms and hot spicy red pepper.

Served in a large clay bowl and topped with slices of fresh red pepper, the dishes' explosion of half a dozen tastes will make your eyes water. The pungency first hits the mouth and then spreads through you, making you warm under the collar though the temperature inside the restaurant is pretty low.

Gogi House

Address: A43 Truong Son Street, Tan Binh District

Tel: 08 3848-5180

Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm

Comment: A restaurant offers barbecue in Korean flavour. Free kim chi and ice water.

As you eat, you could try some soju at VND 95,000 ($4.5) a bottle. Interestingly, Jinro, a soju brand, has remained the world's top selling liquor for years.

The restaurant's set menus for lunch with fish, meat, and seafood cost VND85,000 each. Beef ribs cost VND200,000-300,00.

Waiters are friendly and professional.

To make sure you get a nice window table, make reservations.

The restaurant has a car park. — VNS

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