You know that moment after you’ve just done something amazing? That instant of slight sadness that it’s never going to be that amazing again, if only because it will be weighted with expectation. But you’ll keep going back anyway, just for the memory of that near-perfect experience.
That’s how I’m feeling right now about the lunch I just had from Seoul Palace on Northbourne.
Looking like a reasonably formal restaurant you wouldn’t necessarily pick it as a cheap lunch dive.
But they do have an A-frame sign out on the street and on their window promising “$9.90 lunch box. Chicken, Beef, or Spicy Pork”.
Stepping inside at 11.55am it was a pretty formal space, standard for the Melbourne and Sydney buildings.
There were a couple of tables of Koreans and a well dressed older lady glided over to enquire as to my needs.
On taking my request for a spicy pork lunchbox she glided away to commune with the kitchen, returning to suggest I take a seat.
I had time to check in on 4square and look at my mail, but the kindle app hadn’t loaded on my phone by the time the lady glided back out with a rather large package in a plastic bag and we courteously negotiated the ugly subject of money. (I handed over a tenner and got 10c back same as any purchase, but it all felt much more formal than this transaction usually is).
Interestingly they appear to also be a polling place for some sort of South Korean election which adds a bit of colour.
Here’s a picture of the package that is handed over.
Getting it back up to The Eagle’s Nest it was like christmas doing the unwrapping. In the end the mysterious shape in the bag turned out to be a simple styrofoam pack with compartments. (Sorry for the spoilers).
Niftily folded napkin and chopsticks were included.
Inside was a dollop of better than average kimchi (pickled chilli cabbage, great for flu if you haven’t had the pleasure), two pretty tasty dumplings, two soap like wedges of tofu in a tangy sauce (so no better or worse than any other tofu), and a glorious serve of a thick, rich, red hot pork stew, next to rice soaking up ever magnificent drop of the sauce.
Forget “under $10” this was a great feed at any price.
The benchmark for lunch in Civic is the Burmese Curry Place’s $7 offering. Was this worth $3 more? It probably was. (Big, big call I know).
It’s definitely going into my lunchtime rotation.
Seoul Palace is at 49 Northbourne Avenue. 62627266.
(For more $10 lunches in Civic check the tag)