After two decades of living on this planet, in a society with so many cuisines to choose from, you’d think I’d have tried Korean by now. In high school, almost half our school was made up of Korean kids (our sister school is in Korea, or so we’ve heard).

It’s a tad daunting for me to get out of my food comfort zone and any cuisine whose repertoire includes chilli as a main ingredient usually make me flees without second thought. But the time had come for food fate to direct me towards the fascinating world of Korean food. I was out with a few friends for a birthday lunch and we decided we wanted hot pot. The only problem was, the place we had planned to eat at opened at 2 and we were already ravenous by 1. So we walked through Chinatown and nothing really seemed of interest that day. That is, until we landed at the fringes of Chinatown and encountered Arisun.

Searching through the menu, we noticed a small section dedicated to hot pot so that was all we needed as persuasion. Arisun’s layout includes a spacious outdoor area, an indoor dining space with dark timber seating and a bar. Through another door you will find even more seating and yet another bar (okay, now they’re just showing off!).

How cool are those long-handled soup spoons!

We were swiftly seated and begun our challenging quest to find anything on the menu that didn’t include the fermented chilli paste, Gochujang, which is so ubiquitous with Korean cookery. After some time trying to find the word ‘mild’, we ended up choosing a safe option, the Marinated Beef Hot Pot ($35) to share between three.

It was a choice that paid off; the rapidly boiling pot’s thin shavings of tender meat, glass noodles, enoki and vegetables in a sweet and salty broth was heart-warmingly satisfying. Maybe next time we’ll be a bit more adventurous though, a little chilli never hurt anyone now, did it?

Arisun, 1 Dixon Street, Sydney NSW. (02) 9264 1588, find Arisun on Facebook

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