Harimgak (North Shore City, New Zealand)
Korean food is almost synonymous to table top gas-powered barbecue grills, it might be good in some ways but it takes the limelight leaving other Korean dishes in the dark. There are many great dishes that the Korean cuisine can offer and one way to find that out is by dining in to a Korean restaurant that does not offer Korean barbecue.
Harimgak in the North Shore is one of those places, sometimes it’s quite intimidating to dine in places like this as everyone that dines in here is a Korean and all of them also speak in Korean, luckily my daughter knows how to speak their language after she self-studied during those times she got hooked to K-Pop. It’s nice to have someone knows the language especially when you visit places like this, at least you will know if people are talking about you and you will know what you are ordering.
Before we head into our review, I have a trivia for you. Do you know why the Korean chopsticks are made out of metal? I am not sure about the validity of this story but most of the Koreans I knew told me that the reason for it started during the Baekje period where the use silver chopsticks were implemented, these types of chopsticks would change colour due to a chemical reaction when a poisonous chemical is applied to it, this gives them another layer of protection against their enemies. It started with the royalties then the commoners started using it as well. Another reason is that Koreans use spoon for their rice unlike their Japanese and Chinese neighbours, hence it was not necessary to use wooden chopsticks where rice easily sticks to, plus metals are more hygienic than the wooden ones.
Going back to the restaurant, yes we were served with the usual utensils, the spoon and chopsticks so the next time you will be given one, you will know that the spoon is for the rice.
Looking at the menu, some of it looks similar specially with the Chinese counterparts, it might but trust me they are different. One good example is this Deep-Fried pork with spicy and sweet sauce and black thick soy bean paste with noodles ($15.00), it may look like a Sweet and Sour Pork but it’s not, it’s even served with your choice of rice or Jjajangmyeon which tastes like a spaghetti noodles on a sweet sour and savoury black bean sauce.
Their Stir-Fried Combination Seafood and Vegetable Served with Rice ($15.00) also looks like a normal stir-fried seafood but again its quite different, there are subtle differences in the sauces used, overall it was great.
They also have dumplings ($10.00), while this taste the same as the Japanese gyoza it was accompanied by some pickled vegetables and some sort of black sauce.
This place is quite unique, the looks and the ambiance, I feel like transported in Korea while we were here. All furnishings are so Korean, most writings are so Korean and most probably the dishes are authentic since all of the diners are its local. While all of what we ordered here have similarities with its neighbouring cuisine there are many more dishes to discover like the multitude of Korean stews, to find out more about what this cuisine offers I have a full category for Korean just click this link to see what we already had posted.
Address: 1/20 Link Dr, Wairau Valley, Auckland 0627, New Zealand
Phone: +649 444 5700