White tomato 3

Only one new entry for White Tomato. I will get there someday!

Bibimbap, we have seen before. Have another picture to satiate your visual hunger.

Fish cake hotpot:

I was expecting this to be slightly spicy, as with all the other hotpots I have seen, but it isn’t even red. It’s a mild-tasting, slightly sweet from the fish cakes, and has the added dimension of onions and daikon radish.
To the fish cakes themselves! There are two kinds in here. There is chikuwa (I only know it by its Japanese name), which is surimi (ground up fish flesh bound with flour for consistency) in a tube. It’s a good source of protein, and in Japan, it’s an inexpensive protein addition. Fish paste doesn’t sound particularly appetising to the Western palate, but it quite tasty. It’ll be the texture rather than the taste that will meet the most resistance in its acceptance. The second kind of fish cake is more like a pancake with fish paste through it. Compared to the chikuwa surimi tube, the fish paste pancake is softer, more pancake-like in texture and absorbs more of the soup. There’s also a small bowl of soy sauce with wasabi.
Overall, I think it’s best to order the fish cake hotpot if you enjoy mild broths, easy-to-eat/digest foods and inoffensive tastes (Offensive in the way of unfamiliarity such as pork-on-the-bone, chilis, strange preserved vegetables, sesame oil, sesame seeds etc. While I have not found any of those offensive in taste, I am aware that some have sensitive tastes.) Having sensitive tastes shouldn’t limit you to trying new things, new things should just be introduced slowly. The texture isn’t too strange, the pancake is familiar to most, and the chikuwa tubes aren’t rubbery at all (unlike some other surimi products).

White tomato 2

Name: White Tomato
Location: Russell/Bourke St (160/162 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000)
Price range: See first entry about White Tomato

I did mention the wallpaper, and the fumehoods for every table. But did I mention the ceiling? I have now.

Rose stained glass ceiling/ So pretty and Korean/ But I don't know why

We went back to White Tomato to make further progress in my quest to review every lunch menu item. We were also hungry.

Beef Bulgolgi (with rice)
Sizzling beef on a slab of blistering hot stone. Oh yeah. There’s some cabbage and onions too. It still spits oil and emits plumes of lunchy steam when its set on the table.

Sizzle, crackle, pop/ No, it's not them Rice Bubbles/ It's Beef Bulgolgi

I found it to be bland for a bulgolgi though. (Not necessarily a bad thing! Sometimes you want to keep it simple and regain your sense of taste.) Overall, 7/10

Spicy soft bean curd and seafood hotpot (with rice)
We’ve seen this one before. This one is also still bubbling away when it arrives.

Soft bean curd in soup/ This is one of my fav'rites/ Good start to the day

It’s not as spicy as it looks, and is just about as spicy as I like any food to be. It is the sweet Korean kind of spicy. The bean curd is ace, as always, and there’s some seafood floating around somewhere in there. Prawns are good. Squid is also good. Mussels are small and stringy, but acceptable.  8/10

Spicy squid (with rice)
The spicy squid is actually less spicy than the bean curd and seafood hotpot.

The squid is actually a bit disappointing, because the bean curd and bulgolgi were so good. It’s slightly crunchy, and kind of creamy, a meeting point for the different cooking methods of squid. I think it could have been more crunchy, and spicier. Though, if you do want spicy squid on a hot stone with rice, go to the Korean place near Flinders’ St station. That one does a fantastic very-spicy squid. Take care though, the air itself is spicy and might make you shed tears before you can order. White tomato’s squid score, 7/10


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