As part of my belated celebrations for my birthday, JT, SH & WP (studdedsilk), JW, and CA (yoitabi) and I were off to Donwoori for some Korean BBQ. However, the place was packed. So we ended up at Hallah, which was a few doors down…
Address: 268 Victoria St, North Melbourne, VIC 3051
Monday - Sunday: 5.30pm - late
What we ordered
- Kimchi (complimentary)
- Kimchi stew
- Spicy pork and kimchi stirfry
- Dragon Chicken
- Fried chicken with marinade sauce
- Hodduk with ice-cream
It didn’t take long for us to pick up that our waitress was in a bad mood. She glared at us and was quite intimidating as we placed our order, and to top it off we didn’t get water when we asked for some. I really would have appreciated some water, especially since we had ordered a meal full of spicy dishes.
Since there was six of us, we got to try quite a number of dishes. I can safely say, the food was’t great. Hallal brand themselves as a fusion korean restaurant, but I didn’t notice anything particularly fusion in the menu. The mains were nice, nothing was particularly outstanding and portions were small.
When we finished our mains we decided to order dessert. Each table at Hallah had a buzzer, so we assumed it ran by a restaurant paging system of sorts. Basically, if you want service, press the button and wait to be served. We pressed the buzzer and chatted for a while, expecting our waitress to come over once she was free. In the end, we waited for so long we resorted to waving the waitress over to place our order.
Our waitress wasn’t familiar with the dessert menu, which only consists of Hodduk and three flavours of ice-cream (black sesame, red bean and green tea). We also had to ask the waitress to clear our table so that there would be room for dessert when it came.
Dessert was most disappointing dish. The black sesame ice-cream we ordered with our Hadduk was tiny and flavorless - no hint of any flavour whatsoever. JT and JW said it tasted like cold butter. At $3.50 a scoop, it really wasn’t worth it.
When it was time to leave, we were confused about what to do when we paid our bill, as the waitress seemed too busy to pick up the bill from our table. Not wanting to stick around for any longer than we had to, we decided to leave our bill on the table. On our way out we realised that we were meant to pay at a tiny window that we walked past as we entered the restaurant. One of us went back upstairs to collect the bill and we paid downstairs. It would have been handy if someone informed us.
Overall, the Hallah experience was an unpleasant one. It suffered from terrible service, unimpressive mains, and overpriced desserts. There are plenty of Korean options in Melbourne. Hallah is definitely at the bottom of my list.
In the presence of great company, any meal can become an enjoyable one. Although the service and the food were not that great, I still had a great time catching up with my friends.