Inside Heng Bok, Bandra | All The Deets
Located right next to its Japanese counterpart, Heng Bok is a low-profile Korean restaurant on Linking Road. My companions and I were looking to eat something out of the ordinary and Heng Bok fit into our picture with ease. A Korean venture by the team that runs Kofuku, the menu features known Korean dishes along with one line explanations for those unfamiliar with the cuisine.
Contrary to its neighbor Kofuku, the restaurant was dimly lit with dark wooden tables cushioned with either sofas or low chairs for seating. A compact space with a high bar also used to seat patrons, the interiors were simplistic and practical. After absorbing the series of serious foreign eaters at the tables around us, we assumed that this meal was going to be quite authentic.
We helped ourselves to the assortment of pickled vegetables which included cabbage, radish, cucumber and zucchini laid on the table. Bright orange and pungent kimchi was being wiped away while we waited for the ‘grill it yourself’ barbeque experience. We decided to ask for the Beef Bulgogi Barbeque and the Chicken Bulgogi Barbeque. Thin slices of beef were sautéed at our table with big cloves of garlic and mushroom. Salt, pepper and sesame oil were served alongside which proved to be an addictive dipping sauce throughout our meal. The beef bulgogi was preferred over the chicken which we found blander in comparison to the juicy, sweet and spicy flavored beef bulgogi.
We then ordered the Korean Style Mandu which were non-vegetarian dumplings. Though well stuffed, I found the coating to be quite thick and doughy and the meat was not as moist as I would have liked. The Crispy Chicken Teriyaki was devoid of flavor, owing to the fact that the protein didn’t absorb the spice of the teriyaki sauce too well. It was not crispy as promised which came as quite a disappointment. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the Daeji Galbi. Succulent, tender pieces of meat which fell of the bonewere grilled in a salted, spicy marinade. I loved how different the marinade on the ribs were from the usual sweet and spicy barbeque rub. The salt and chili worked beautifully together to make this the highlight of my meal.
For our mains, we opted for the Seafood Jjamppong. A strong bisque seemed to be the foundation to this broth with generous portions of prawn, squid and clams. We slurped on the noodles and loved the juicy bites of vegetables along with the steaming pieces of seafood. To make things ever merrier, the Dolsot Bibimpap, also cooked at our table. was an absolute delight. Cooked in a hot pot, the bowl consisted of sticky rice, mushrooms, various greens, a protein of your choice and a gochuchangsauce, adding another flavor profile to the dish. Full of different textures further enhanced by the tangy and spicy sauce complemented by crispy bits of burnt rice, this clay pot is one I would definitely come back for.
Our meal at Heng Bok was a good one. Though the interiors may not hold your attention, you can devote your concentration to the menu when it comes to ordering and devouring the food. We would recommend that you ask your waiter to guide you through the courses, as they were very friendly and knowledgeable. A cozy Korean space, this restaurant is a great choice for those who enjoy exploring different cuisines made with authentic, delicious flavours.