> TAIPEI > DINING
FUN MAGAZINE, October, 2005.
Kung Hwa Korea Viand Restaurant
139, ZhongXiao East Rd., sec. 5
Moved to: 20，lane 75, NanJing E. Rd, Sec. 4, SongShan Dist.
Hours: 11 am- 3 pm, 5-10 pm
Credit cards accepted, add 10% service charge.
NT$350/person minimum dinner bill
By Shanzi Chen
Translated by Druetzler
While Korean cuisine has been common
in Taiwan for several decades, most Korean establishments
have remained small eateries or "copper-grill"
restaurants, with high-end Korean restaurants rare in
Taipei. However, one exception to this rule, Mu Kung
Hwa Korea Viand Restaurant, started up up recently next
to the Taipei City Hall MRT station's exit 4. Mu Kung
refers to Korea's national flower, the Hibiscus Syriacus,
but has never been used as a restaurant name in Taiwan
or Korea. This causes a bit of surprise among Koreans
visiting Taiwan's capital city.
Traditional Korean masks decorate the
outside-facing window lattices and attract the attention
of many curious pedestrians. Those who enter will see
the restaurant's exquisite interior design and a large
wall embedded with many small rocks. Mu Kung still uses
traditional old-school methods to decorate and a large
mirror on an opposite wall helps provide the restaurant
with a spacious feeling. There is also a basement that
can be partitioned into three private rooms, or be totally
opened up into a large banquet room for about 25 people.
Mu Kung serves Western-style individual
dishes to each customer, who can choose from an imperial-style
menu with 10 appetizers, three salads, soup, hot foods,
four main courses, desserts, fruit, and eight kinds
of drinks. The menu includes such items as Korean Salad,
Korean New-Year Cake Soup, Ginseng Chicken Porridge,
Korean Seafood Pancake, Seafood with Vegetable Mixed
Rice, and Korean Mixed Sauce with Noodles. Many of the
items on the menu are still made according to ancient
Korean imperial palace traditions.
Korean barbecued meat is served as a
main course, with only the highest-grade meat being
used. There are sirloin, filet and boneless steaks and
the pork is also of top-grade quality. Mu Kung uses
a smokeless grill and brushes animal grease over the
grilling rack to give the meat with a tasty fragrance
while preventing it from sticking to the grill. Authentic
pine seed tea is served to bring the meal to a perfect
end. Lunch is NT$480 and dinner is NT$580, except on
holidays. From Monday through Friday, the Business Lunch
is also a great bargain at NT$220. With such great deals
and exceptional Korean fare, Mu Kung is certainly a
good option for both Korean cuisine gourmets and first-timers.