I have always wanted to try out this restaurant every time I drive past King William Road. I wanted to see why it was awarded the best Asian restaurant for 2013. With all the busy eateries on King William Road, Giwa appeared to be one of the more quiet ones, with only two tables including us tonight. Menu at a glance was on a slightly expensive side. Three dumplings were almost 16 dollars.
The food took a long long time before arriving at our table, I wasn't sure why that was because the restaurant had only two tables of patrons. I agreed that all the dishes were presented very nicely and very detailed. At first I thought the Kimchi tofu would be in a stew with soup. This was the first time I had kimchi and tofu on a dried plate. The tofu was warm and didn't have much taste, the kimchi to me seemed like it was cabbage that was lightly fermented and cooked like a stir fry. Although you could taste little vinegar and perhaps a little chilli in it.
One of the most popular Korean dishes was the Bibimbap, rice cooked in a hot stone pot with vegetables, beef, and shredded egg. The ingredients should be mixed with the rice, with chilli sauce mixed in and the rice should turn brown and crispy when you get to the bottom. This bibimbap was covered in shitake mushrooms and there was little rice which was way too moist. I couldn't even taste the crispy rice even right at the end. For $26 I expected some amazing bibimbap, it was a big fail.
Whilst we were still dining and it wasn't even late, only 8:30pm. We could hear that staff were already cleaning the kitchen very loudly. The girl was already cleaning out the coffee machine and it made a loud noise when she was flushing the steam wand. They were all talking very loud in Korean. When we left the chef didn't engage with us. He was just on his lap top at the front of the restaurant.
For the price I had higher expectations. The servings were small, and there were no side dishes. A lot of the items had vegan options next to them, I much prefer eating Korean in the central market, for $10 or less I could get an amazing Korean meal.
Visit Giwa Korean Restaurant - 113-115 King William Road, Hyde Park, SA 5061 - (08) 8373 3114