Friday, January 24, 2014

Ceci: A late night saviour (sort of)

It's 11pm, you're in the inner west suburbs and you've been drinking - beer, wine and sake. You're hungry and the fridge is empty. The pizza you tried to order online is in Burwood, Victoria.

This situation found us walking into Ceci in Strathfield minutes before the staff turned over the hanging sign to say 'closed'. There were a couple of other tables eating studiously - Korean students, a young family, some older Korean gentlemen - with the stone hot pots proving popular.

Banchan starter dishes at Ceci, The Boulevard, Strathfield
The menu features both barbeque and hot pot items quite extensively, but it was post drinking food and carbohydrates we were after.

The banchan starter dishes couldn't come out fast enough for us, with a quintet of mostly vegetables and a dipping sauce, presumably for one of our later orders.

Two pieces of pale potato didn't go between four people but there was nothing too interesting or seconds-inspiring among the bean sprouts, zucchini or mung bean jelly, other than the excellently chilli-spiced cabbage kimchi.

Seafood and shallot pancake
Korean seafood pancakes, or haemul jeon, are one of my absolute favourite foods so it was with some disappointment that we received a pale, soggy one.

Filled with shallots, squid and prawns, neither the soy dipping sauce or chilli bean sauce could really save the barely cooked batter.

Seafood noodles
Better were the seafood noodles, with a similar showing of seafood among the thick white rice noodles. Cooked with carrot, bean sprouts, zucchini and shallots in a plain, homely flavouring; the noodles were on the mark after a few drinks.

Fried chicken wings
Last to arrive were burning hot chicken mid-wings and drumettes. Battered and straight out of the deep fryer, the chicken wings suffered from a major lack of seasoning, salt even, and it was probably one of the few times I haven't enjoyed fried chicken of any sort.

Perhaps the restaurant's specialty is in Korean hot pots or barbeque, which are promoted on staff T-shirts. But for "where's-my-pizza"-style post-drinking eats, Ceci was a late night saviour.

Ceci on Urbanspoon


Rosa Nguyen said...

Strangely enough I have never had kbbq or hotpot in Strathfield. I've stopped by for their froyo but never what they're usually hyped most about. I love kim chi pancakes, and its such a shame you had a disappointing experience there... Looks like if I ever go for a korean food run I won't be heading to Ceci.

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Ceci is a good cheap feed but I agree with you on their fried chicken. We got the spicy one and it tasted more like sweet and sour with a very thick batter :( Their jap chae is pretty tasty though!

Sherrie Huang said...

Ah, shame about the disappointing fried chicken :(

Annie said...

the noodles looked delicious but shame about the fried chicken :(

Tina said...

Hi Rosa - I think I need to try more places around Strathfield...

Hi Helen - Their hotpots looked pretty decent though.

Hi Sherrie - Nothing more sad than fried chicken that doesn't satisfy.

Hi Annie - Oh well, we really just needed post-drinking food. It sufficed.

gaby @ lateraleating said...

I heard there's great Korean food in Strathfield, apparently this is not one of the best restaurants there.


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