Weekend bites: The Wellington Hotel and Mapo Korean Restaurant

The Wellington Hotel

the wellington hotel
Patrons, beer o’clock, Fatso the Wombat – is that you donning a Crows scarf?!

A standard pub fare for a fuss-free no whistles kinda late lunch on a lazy Monday (woohoo for the public holiday which was weeks ago but there is another one creeping up soon – Queen’s Birthday Monday 9th June 😉 ) with The Stranger. There are some days when we’re just after something simple and satisfying and a good ol’ pub meal usually does the trick.

Instead of battling the crowds in the CBD, we thought we’d go somewhere more suburban for ease of parking and for a quieter atmosphere. The Wellington Hotel on Wellington Square in North Adelaide fit the bill and hey, it was open too!

the wellington hotel
Chicken schnitzel served with garden salad, chips and mushroom sauce; $19.00

Pub meals are always so generous is size, this one was no exception, although not as big as the schnittys at Coopers Alehouse which I think should generally be shared between three or four people! A tall jug of mushroom sauce to accompany the crispy crumbed chicken schnitzel which sat on a bed of chips along with a handful of fresh greens and carrot bits for crunch and some much needed veggies for ones diet. 😉

the wellington hotel
The Welly burger; $18.00

Super tall stacked Welly burger with the lot! A beef mince patty (which I found to be a bit too ‘herby’ for my liking) with lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon, caramelised onion, smoked paprika aioli, tomato relish and chips! There was only one way to tackle this monster of a thing, and that was to take the top half off and work through the burger with the good ol trusty knife and fork! Hehe. Chips are sinful and there’s always a few too many golden batons on ones plate – don’t you think? We’ve always struggled to stop ourselves from picking at the left over chips even though we’re at full capacity and usually, the chips always win.

The Wellington Hotel
36 Wellington Square
North Adelaide SA 5006
P 08 8267 1322

Wellington Hotel on Urbanspoon

Mapo Korean Restaurant

I’ve been to Mapo a few years ago and feasted on their degustation and thoroughly enjoyed it. A scoopon popped up a few months ago with the same degustation on offer at only $89 for two so I thought it was a good opportunity to feast my taste buds on the same degustation and bring The Stranger along as he’s always wanted to try Mapo.

The restaurant wasn’t very busy on our visit with a few tables occupied, most of which were on the same scoopon deal we had as well. Our first few dishes came out at lightning speed with a brief short explanation of what they were before the waitress quickly whisked away and let us be.

Sashimi grade scallops and prawns in a ginger flavoured teriyaki sauce drizzled with truffle oil
Dried calamari squid in a butter soy sauce
Korean kimchi with a rice ball and a toasted seaweed
Tempura style chicken breast drizzled with honey mustard sauce

The first plate of scallops were good, juicy plump mollusks with a sweet gingery sauce and a punchy salad of finely diced onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. Our plates were taken shortly thereafter and the next arrived minutes later with a pile of dried calamari squid in a butter soy sauce. Dried calamari squid is known to be quite chewy and dry, this one was no different except the squid had absorbed the butter soy sauce therefore each piece was like a piece of savoury chewing gum with a pungent seafood-y yet sweet kind of flavour. We also thought it was a bit funny how they used the same diced salad from the first course on the base of the squid pile. Unfortunately, this was not the last time we would see the same salad!

Next up, a rice ball with Korean kimchi, two triangles of toasted seaweed and a deep fried noodle stick. Simple and flavourful yet a challenge to ‘roll’ the rice into the seaweed with our metal flat chopsticks as instructed by our waitress. (Side rant: we’re no fans of those metal flat chopsticks at most Korean restaurants, they’re so heavy to hold and tricky to use. Wooden ones and plastic ones are usually the way to go I say!) The kimchi was the hero and we thoroughly enjoyed it on its own.

The tempura chicken breast was next and we’d caught up to dish number 4 with the table beside us. Our waitress plonked our plates onto the table and briskly walked off, a notch down from the service experienced earlier in the evening. The chicken was dry and the batter soggy and cold with a squiggle of mayonnaise in a bed of sweet honey mustard sauce. Key words: cold and dry chicken.

Succulent coffee pork spare ribs with a fresh salad
Black Angus Eye fillet drizzled with black raspberry sauce
Baileys and pistachio ice cream

Another thing we noticed during our degustation was how inconsistent the presentation of the dishes were. My pork ribs had the bone still intact on both pieces but The Stranger’s plate just had the meat on its own. The salad probably sat there a bit too long as well as the leaves were bruised and limp by the time they arrived to the table. The eye fillet had no love and sat on a huge chunk of sliced onion that the kitchen failed to separate and disperse. Oh, the same salad from our earlier dishes made another appearance again! Also, did anyone else notice the same oil being used to ‘decorate’ the plates on multiple courses?

Dessert was just dessert. There was no Korean aspect to it at all. Unfortunately our experience at Mapo was a major let down, the poor service that progressively got worse towards the end of the evening and the lack of care and love towards the food really showed.

After a little research (I should have done this prior to purchasing the scoopon!), it turns out that Mapo is operating under different owners as previous owner and Chef Chung Jae Lee had sold Mapo and is looking into a new business venture. Well that explains why Mapo ain’t the same Mapo that I used to know.

Mapo Korean Restaurant
113 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8211 6042

Opening hours
Mon-Thu 5.30pm-Late
Fri 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-Late
Sat-Sun 5.30pm–Late

Mapo Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon


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