Korean Banquet Showcase
Korean Cultural Office
255 Elizabeth St Sydney

The Korean Cultural Office recently held a Korean Banquet Showcase for media and food industry people and of course a few foodies like us to highlight the variety of food available on the Korean menu.

We were lucky enough to be invited and it was an amazing night providing a great insight into the Korean culture as well as their amazingly fresh and tasty food.

We really didn't know a lot about traditional Korean food before this event.

Yes, we'd eaten at several Korean BBQ places - who hasn't - but as expected there's so much more to the food than this!

The hospitality was excellent and the whole event ran so smoothly. We started with drinks and three delicious canapes - mu ssam (pickled radish with seafood), yeon geun jorim (soy braised lotus root) and yachae twigim (root vegetable twigim).

We then sat down for our twelve course Korean Banquet - expertly prepared under the guidance of food personality Heather Jeong. Heather works with Maeve O'Meara from SBS Food Safari, does cooking demonstrations in schools and also works on SBS Kitchen Conversations with Jenna Yoon.

She is also a cooking teacher at the Korean Cultural Office - yes you can get Korean cooking lessons here as well!

The room we were in was beautifully decorated. They'd really gone to a lot of trouble to make this a special evening - and it showed.

Once we were seated we were entertained by some traditional Korean drumming which was so amazing.

The drum sticks were moving so fast that we could barely see them!

So this is the menu we had the pleasure of experiencing for the night.

It wasn't a small range - not when you have three canapes, twelve courses (there actually were that many despite the list at the side) and another twelve side dishes on a separate table!

The courses were hobak juk (pumpkin congee shots), seasonal hwae (Korean style sashimi), haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) tang pyeong chae (savoury bean jelly with soy and sesame), bo ssam (slow cooked pork with chilli radish), gyerja chae (salad with mustard dressing), japchae (stir fried sweet potato noodles with beef and vegetables), bul dak (fire chicken), nurbiani (beef fillet with pine nuts and garlic chives), mul mak guksoo (cold soba noodle soup) and finally assorted ddeok with sujeonggwa (Korean rice cake with cinnamon punch).

The evening was also enhanced by an informative and entertaining talk from the Director of the Korean Cultural Centre.

He explained a lot about Korean food and their dining culture and kept us all entertained with his light and informative presentation.

He then introduced Heather Jeong who gave us a great cooking demonstration.

We left the Korean Banquet Showcase very full, thoroughly impressed and with much more appreciation of Korean food, which is extremely healthy and tasty. We're now going to search out more Korean food and even experiment at home with Korean cooking as every guest was generously given a goodie basket of Korean sauces and food.

Special thanks to everyone at the Korean Cultural Office, the Director and Irene Kyung-soo Woo who invited us.