Korean Cultural Office Banquet, Sydney CBD

Guest blogger edition

Korean Food – to most people, this immediately means, fried chicken, spicy hot pots and BBQ meats- yummmm. However, there is a lot more to Korean food than what most people think, and the Korean Cultural Office (KCO) is definitely the right people to show us. I was fortunate to attend a Korean banquet hosted by the Korean Cultural Office in Sydney where they showcased a variety of Korean dishes from their cuisine.

The event was at the Arirang hall in the KCO building (conveniently located opposite Hyde Park)  and started off with free flowing champagne, white and red wine and canap├ęs as bloggers mingled with other bloggers, industry experts, KCO staff and other guests. The hall was very professionally set up and the atmosphere was exceptionally friendly.

Mu ssam (Pickled radish with seafood), Yeon geun jorim (Soy braised lotus root) and Yachae twigim (Root vegetable twigim)

We took a seats and was introduced to the introduced to the event by Irene and Dr Lee from the KCO followed by a heart thumping traditional Korean drum performance. Well renowned Korean chef Heather Jeong then took the stage to briefly demonstrate the preparation of a traditional Korean beef dish nurbani.

Then came the food- all 12 courses of it!

Hobak Juk (Pumpkin congee shots) -  yumm, I had expected this to be savoury but it was a sweet pumpkin taste

Before and after -

Seasonal Hwae (Korean Style sashimi) – not much difference to your regular sashimi dishes, the exception being the thin slices of abalone sashimi! The first time I’ve tried abalone sashimi, I would describe the texture to be similar to that of the top shell sushi meat and tastes like abalone :P

Haemul pajeon (Seafood Pancake) – a mini version of the usual huge pancakes you order in Korean restaurants but packed full of flavour.

Tang pyeong chae (savoury bean jelly with soy sesame) and Bo ssam (slow cooked pork with chili radish) and oyster. OMG the pork was so melt-in-the-mouth it’s not even funny….

Gyerja chae (Salad with mustard dressing) – seemed a bit tilted to the western side of things but tasted OK.

Japchae (Stir fried sweet potato noodles with beef and vegetables) – really liked the fried egg strips in this Japchae – added an extra depth to the flavours I thought.

Bul dak (Fire chicken) and Nurbiani (Beef fillet with pine nuts and garlic chives) – this was delicious – I just wanted more!

Mul mak guksoo (Cold soba noodle soup) – a traditional Korean dish – it was OK, but I’m not a big fan of cold soup noodles in general.

Assorted ddeok with sujeonggwa (Korean rice cake with cinnamon punch)

And of course, there has to be the Banchan! (Korean side dishes). We had 12 different kinds to choose from including a variety of different Kimchi.

And a selection of drinks to try...

When the dishes first came out, I was bit worried that the dishes wouldn’t be enough to fill me up given the smallish portions, but like a good degustation course I was truly satiated by the end of the night. The food overall was delicious and had an air of home cooked goodness to it. The dishes were packed full of flavour and I could have easily devoured entire main sized portion of each of the dishes.

To cap of a fantastic night of food and fun, we were given a hamper of assorted Korean cooking ingredients and food products for us to try at home.

The Food Book dined as a guest of The Korean Cultural Office.


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. I love panchan at Korean restaurants. So great to finally discover the names of them all!

  2. Hi Helen- me too! Maybe now I can order refills without solely relying on pointing at the empty dishes, lol