Amidst the various tennis finals, a failed attempt at a chocolate cake, a pet frog and a frog that died, it was Andy's 22nd birthday dinner on Saturday which was celebrated with great fanfare. The location - Korean Hot Pot in Chatswood (just near the Vodafone tower although tucked away which can make it hard to find). I just noticed Charissa's already beat me to a post on her blog so head over to check it out. As we were sitting on different tables, I have a slightly abridged version of her post to tell.
About half of us simultaneously pulled into the local council carpark near the restaurant to arrive just a tad past the appointed hour (we had the birthday boy with us so in that case, were legitimately late for the evening). I think there must've been over 20 of us which made us well occupy over half the restaurant; so many people I haven't seen for so long and really, too little time to catch up with everyone. As we were also seated on two long tables, it meant that conversations were generally limited to those sitting around us. Nonetheless, I felt the restaurant offered a nice atmosphere for catching up (as well as eating!) and well, like I said, the noise in the restaurant was probably caused by the 20 odd of us talking and chatting away.
Dinner consisted of a most scrumptious selection of Korean Hotpots, Spicy Noodles, Braised Pork Wraps and a Kimchi Pancake that was on the house. On our table, we ordered to share between the 10 of us and well let's say, the people that were on my end of the table got the better end of the deal. Food kept being placed at our end cause the waitresses couldn't quite move into the other. As go all Korean meals, this was accompanied by a selection of korean side dishes/tapas. On the whole, the food I ate, I enjoyed. I didn't get to try the Seafood Hotpot which was placed down the other end but by the sound of the kafuffle going on about its contents, it didn't seem that I missed out. On the whole, our meal consisted of a lot of chilli. Whilst I'm a big fan of chilli, I think it would be advisable to limit this ingredient to one or two dishes otherwise the entire meal ends up tasting quite the same.
On the service side, I actually found the waiters and waitresses extremely friendly and polite. The owner looked after our table and she gave us plenty of advice when it came to ordering. Her suggestion saw our table have just the right amount of food with everyone paying $20 for the night's meal. During the night, there happened to be a slight argument between the owners and a customer. Straight afterwards, the owner sent her daughter to apologise to us for the disruption. Yet for many of us, we failed to even notice there being a disruption and really, I have rarely seen a restaurant show that much concern for its guests. As we left, we received the same friendly smile from its owner; I am definitely going back.
So all in all, Happy 22nd Birthday Andy! Enjoy your present and I look forward to the next food crawl you organise!