Hwaro Korean BBQ, Melbourne

Our dinner feast was at a Korean BBQ joint at one end of Little Bourke Street (non-Chinatown end). We successfully navigated our way there via public transport and a lot of walking much to the discomfort of some of the girls who were walking in heels. Heh.

We score ourselves a hole in floor table and snugly sit around the BBQ grill at the centre of the table whilst ordering the raw meat and other dishes from their menu. Now what is different at this KBBQ is that the wait staff actually do the cooking for you!

hwaro, kbbq
Lemon soju; side dishes and rice.

hwaro, kbbq
Raw meats: bulgogi (marinated beef), kalbi (marinated pork), marinated chicken and waiter grilling the meat for us.

hwaro, kbbq
Pork belly sizzling away. Deliciousness! Smoky hot grilled meat served straight away, no complaints here!

The staff are attentive and quickly rush to ones table to grill and cut up the meats in serving size portions. Once done, they leave to let you finish what’s been cooked before heading back to cook the rest of the meats. Maybe we eat too fast, or that the wait staff got held up at some tables but there were instances where we cooked the meat ourselves, and in saying so – we are totally fine with that! We’re used to cooking our own meats anyway, so the wait staff attending to each individual table was a first for us – a nice touch. :)

The food was great as well as the service… but that was until we paid for our meals. We waited patiently at our table for our change whilst they cleared everything away. After waiting for a solid 10 minutes, it hits us. We’re not going to get our change back! Say what?! We all look towards the staff as they stare at us, laughing at themselves and shying away sheepishly. HMPHS. NOT HAPPY. A perfectly great meal has now turned into a horrible meal with very shonky staff! I’m unsure as to why we didn’t ask for our change back as we stood up and left in not so good spirits. (Stupid decision on our parts. :( Le sigh.) Looking back, I am still bewildered by their actions towards the end of our dinner… GAH! If you were wondering, yes – we were going to tip them for the dinner but they’ve got to give us the choice whether we tip them or not. It isn’t right for them to take our change.

Has anyone else experienced this or were we a case of bad luck?

Food: 4/5
Service: 0/5 – SHONKY. The taking of our change has wiped all their good service clean.
Value: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5

-d

Hwaro Korean BBQ
562 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
P 03 9642 5696

Hwaro on Urbanspoon

5 comments for “Hwaro Korean BBQ, Melbourne

  1. March 25, 2011 at 3:37 AM

    This post leaves me craving Korean BBQ badly!

  2. jack
    May 2, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Same thing happened to me with the change. Forced tip?

    • dbites
      May 5, 2011 at 5:05 AM

      Forced tip? That’s pretty dodgy… I mean, by all means have a sign somewhere stating that they’d appreciate tips and whatnot, but taking a customers change as tip would almost be like ‘stealing‘. Obviously in my case, it wasn’t so since my friends and I didn’t say/ do anything about it (still kicking myself over it)… but it’s still NOT nice and quite unacceptable in my books! :(

  3. LXS
    May 15, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    hi dee
    if you don’t mind me asking, what was the final bill and how much change did they steal?

  4. Tom
    November 11, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    My experience in the paying process is quite different. I was kind of confused not knowing whether I should ask them to bring the bill to my table or I should go to the counter and pay for it myself. After about 30 seconds of greatly straining my thoughts, I decided to do the latter and nicely asked for the bill to which they subsequently, in great courtesy, gave me the change (if you’re interested, it was about $17). Thanks for your feedback about the daylight robbing incident that took place with you, I beware of that. But the food is too good to resist not coming back just because of the tipping problem.

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