It was a cold, wet and wintery night, part way through Auckland Restaurant Month. My parents, The Koala and I were in for a nice Korean meal at Faro on Lorne Street in Auckland City. First impressions: the restaurant is beautifully fitted out. There are a several dining areas and we were seated at the back in what we called a dining pit. The sunken tables hover just above be near the wooden floor, but our legs disappeared into a recess under the table. Getting up can be difficult, but made for a cozy meal. The staff were friendly and when we walked through the restaurant to our table at the back, we were greeted by many of their staff. Nice touch. The atmosphere is great here and they play modern dance music, it’s upbeat but not loud.
When dining with my family we usually share dishes. We ordered two set meals and two barbecue meals and it was the perfect amount of food. The set meals are great if you want authentic Korean cuisine without having to cook for yourself. But if you enjoy the interactive element of cooking your dinner to your preference, barbecue is the way to go. If you’ve been to a Korean barbecue before, you’ll be familiar with the permanent hazy interiors. Not so at Faro, they have a nifty retractable extractor at each table to suck up all the smoke. This is pulled right down when you start cooking and retracted out of the way when you are done.
The favourite was probably the marinated scotch fillet steak, but the pork scotch steak was also delicious. The bulgogi and the pork belly sets came out already cooked on cast iron pans and continued to sizzle at the table via their cookers. These also went down very well.
The 8 side dishes that we received were delicious. It’s always a pleasure to try little morsels of super tasty sides. Japchae which are sweet potato noodles dressed with sesame, chili and soy, was probably my favourite of the sides. I could eat a bowl of the stuff no sweat. The Koala, ever the pickle lover was keen on just about everything.
The bill for four mains came to a nice round hundred. While there are many cheap, all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurants in the area, you usually get what you pay for. We found Faro to be good quality and authentic and $25 each was not unreasonable. It is sumptuous enough for special occasions, though at these prices, you might also come for a mid-week meal. Already thinking about our next visit.Faro Restaurant
5 Lorne St
Phone: 09 379 4040