Another in the long list of newly opened places, Ong Gie brings Korean barbecue to Edinburgh for what I think is the first time.
The barbecues, built in to the bigger tables, lend themselves to larger group dining, so given I was flying solo, in between shows at the Book Festival, I didn’t exercise that option. I saw some folks giving it a whirl and it looked great fun, but I’m not such a fan of situations, like with Chinese hot pot places, where the diner has to play such a participative roll in the cooking.
I kept things straightforward with kimchi dumplings to start, followed by beef bulgogi.
The place is really new, with very minimal decoration. It will wear in, but feels a little sparse, for now. Service was friendly, welcoming and accurate, throughout.
Kimchi is one of the cornerstone dishes of Korean cuisine, so no Korean meal is complete without it. Sadly, these dumplings, although definitely ordered and announced as kimchi dumplings, tasted and looked very much like minced pork dumplings to me. I went with them, though, and they were well made, although the filling was rather bland.
The main course, a traditional stew soup of beef, vegetables and glass noodles, was entirely better. Full of tingling gingery goodness, this was an enjoyable, if messy, eat. The beef was soft and packed with good flavour, and the broth was really tasty.
So overall, I suspect I missed out on the main fun of Ong Gie, but still enjoyed my visit. While my total bill was reasonable, there seemed an awful lot of dishes priced at £10 and above, which leads me to suspect that if you were to come here with a party of say 6, get a bit enthusiastic with the barbecue, and pile into some of the other dishes, you may end up running up a considerable tab. I’ll need to test this theory on another visit, at some point soon.
Blythe scores Ong Gie
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: kimchi dumplings, beef bulgogi
I drank: water
I wore: white shirt
Total bill: £15.70