You’d be forgiven for mistaking this Korean barbecue den for the set of a Stanley Kubrick film – past the discreet entrance and up the plush red stairwell is a curious arrangement of custom made cooking tables and shiny black hoses dangling from the roof.
But look past this Dr. Strangelove-like scene and you’ll realise that Myeong-ga Madang is an authentic Korean eatery, where waiters dutifully sear meat at each table and replenish a never-ending supply of delectable side dishes known as banchan.
Having opened just three short weeks ago, Myeong-ga Madang is a little quiet, but the service is excellent and so is the food.
The beef bulgogi is tender and rich and the charcoal imparts some serious flavour. Leave your conscience at home, because Madang is the sole Melbourne importer of their smoked duck: a crispy offering best dipped in salt and wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf.
If you feel a little intimidated by the menu, which includes seven barbecue banquets (duck, meat and pork are among the options), ‘traditional court cuisine’ and dessert, you can rest assured, it’s hard to go wrong.
Standouts in the complimentary banchan are the spicy red kimchi, pickled bean shoots and caramelised lotus root, all generously refilled when you call for service via a button on your table.
It’s clear that Gibong Choi, the brains behind Madang, knows what she is doing, having previously run a number of Korean joints around town.
She says Madang is one of many restaurants in Melbourne joining the Korean barbecue boom. This is a fire we’re happy to stoke.
258 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
(03) 9663 1112
Daily 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm