Thursday, 17 July 2014

REVIEW: Madtongsan I

Madtongsan I - I took this once we left, you can spy the remains of our meal still on the table!
One of the biggest struggles for me is my desire to fit into my clothes and eating all the food. Literally, all the food. I think I do pretty well during the week; I bring my lunch to work almost always.  Watching my workmates have amazing culinary adventures while I cry over a salad is pretty hard but if I ate out half as much as I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to fit out my front door let alone my jeans. Anyway, when I do eat out for lunch at work, I like to try somewhere new. My lovely friend told me about Madtongsan I and since I’ve never had Korean food, off three of us went!
Madtongsan I is one of three Madtongsan restaurants in the Brisbane area and one of two in the CBD. Tucked into Elizabeth Arcade, Madtongsan I is cheap and cheerful with an atmosphere reminiscent of a busy market stall. When we arrived at 11:30, there were only two tables besides ours occupied but as we ate, a steady stream of people entered and filled the ground  floor. There was signage to additional seating upstairs but we didn’t have a look.

The Ya Che Jeon - vegetable pancake. We started eating before I took a photo. I'm still new at this blooging thing!

To start we ordered a small Ya Che Jeon which was a vegetable pancake for $6.90 and Goon Man Doo, deep fried vegetable dumplings, also $6.90. The pancake came out first and was quite large for the price! The small size filled a dinner plate, the large must be the size of a pizza! The pancake was very tasty, with shitake mushrooms, what looked like spring onions and carrot. I could really taste the vegetables and the pancake had a nice crispy outside. It was a tiny bit oily but not enough to stop me from eating my share and maybe a piece or two more.

An up-close and intimate shot of the vegetable pancake. See that little bit of carrot? And the crisp outside. Yum!

The second appetizer were the dumplings and while nice, they didn’t blow me away. They were just cooked, very fresh and very hot. The filling was slightly bland but once paired with the dipping sauce, they were satisfactory. One of my dining partners is a vegetarian and the filling was slightly questionable, they looked like they might have bits of meat. It may have been tofu…I’m no tofu expert though. She played it safe and we split the dumplings between two.

This time I took a photo before we started! I'm learning quick!

For mains, it was fried rice all round. We ordered one So Go Gi Bok Eum Bap for $10.90 which is non-spicy minced beef and vegetable fried rice topped with a fried egg and two Kimchi Bok Eum Bap for $10.90 too, which is kimchi and minced pork fried rice also with a fried egg on top. The staff were very accommodating and gave us variations on the Kimchi fried rice, making one vegetarian and swapping out the pork for beef on the other.

The little side dishes of Kimchi and a sweet tasting potato dish which I think is called Gamjajorim.

 I was so excited when the mains arrived and was not disappointed.  The servings were really generous and there was a pleasant heat to it. I love hot and spicy food so I wouldn’t mind if it were just a touch hotter but I think that might make it too hot for most. As it is, I’m not complaining.
The delicious kimchi fried rice - highly recommended!
The rice was really yummy and the simple side salad had an amazing dressing on it – I ate the whole side salad first! For the price, it was a fantastic meal and I couldn’t even finish it. The restaurant will give you a take-out container for $0.50, pretty good price to pay for tomorrows lunch being sorted!

The non-spicy fried rice which by reports was just as delicious!

My first foray into Korean was a good one and I would definitely recommend the cheap and cheerful Madtongsan I! How can you go wrong at those prices and servings! Together with super-fast and friendly service, Madtongsan I was a win. I’ll be back to try the Bim Bap soon!
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Atmosphere: 2.5/5

Madtongsan I on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Cassie,

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  2. Thanks, Cassie! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.



  3. Love the post! Check out our Brisbane Travel Itinerary as well!

    Happy Travels Everyone!

    Tom & Kate,


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