I mentioned a few posts ago that my parents are visiting at the moment. The last time they came over I treated them to lunch at Movida, and the food was fantastic, but mum and dad, used to the inexpensive delights in Malaysia, were nevertheless perturbed by how much I was shelling out for the meal, and insisted that they would be just as happy with good cheap food. So this time I took them to Haruaki.
I haven't been there for months, and apparently in that time they had changed hands. They also had a lunch special, which I immediately pointed out to my parents: "$5.90 for those dishes! See, that's cheap!"
Unsurprisingly, they opted for the $5.90 specials. The servings were small by Australian standards, but it was perfectly adequate as far as my parents were concerned, and they even offered me a little bit of theirs to taste.
Mum got the bulgogi beef don. The meat was tender and savoury, and mum kept commenting on how nicely cooked the rice was: fluffy, well-separated grains which had just the right levels of softness and moisture.
|beef bulgogi on rice|
Dad went for the spicy pork don. Hot, saucy and succulent. Yum!
|spicy pork on rice|
I splashed out on a non-special just under the 10-dollar mark and got the vegetable bibimbap. I just always find it so difficult to go past bibimbap when I have Korean food, and I like Haruaki's - delicious and done dolsot-style, which gave it that lovely crunchy golden crust at the bottom of the stone bowl.
|vegetable dolsot bibimbap|
It was a warm day and I really felt like a cool dessert, so I went for a goma ice cream to finish things off. Despite the generic-looking chocolate sauce and flaked almonds on top, and knowing it wasn't house-made (I asked - though admittedly I had some trouble communicating with our waitress, as her English wasn't very good, so who knows!), I really liked this, and so did my parents - it was luscious, creamy, and packed with the flavour of black sesame seeds. Just writing about it makes me want one right this moment.
|goma (black sesame) ice cream|
We didn't get any banchan (Korean side dishes) with our lunch, but for the prices I don't see that as an issue. I was happy with the meal and so were my parents. The food was still as satisfying as I remembered, even with the change in management and staff.
Haruaki's not too far away from where I am, but if it was just that bit closer, I would likely be bombarding it with takeaway orders every so often. With an abundance of Korean eateries in Melbourne, this may not be a place many would travel out of their way for, but it's definitely a place that most would love as their local.