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Chronicle Finds Famed Korean Noodle Dish Hidden in a Strip Mall

Austin Monthly explores Filipino cuisine at Be More Pacific

Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Chronicle restaurant reviewer Emily Beyda visited the unassuming Hunan Restaurant in a strip mall on North Lamar and found one of her favorite bites of the year. Though she noted the restaurant is a little too well-lit, everything was “clean and cheerfully no-nonsense, a reflection of their approach to Korean-style Chinese comfort food.”

Beyda started with the “crispy-skinned” pan-fried dumplings and vegetable fried rice, which was elevated with black bean sauce. Inspired by other tables, she and her dining companion ordered the sweet and sour pork, only to be disappointed by meat that was “intensely lemony” in a “gloopy cornstarch-laden sauce.” She also sampled the mapo tofu, which, though garlic-heavy, had “a complexity of flavor.”

However, the reason Beyda visited Hunan Restaurant was for its jajangmyeon, a Korean-Chinese dish of noodles “served in a sticky-sweet mixture of soybeans and flour.” She was not disappointed. The restaurant has three iterations of the dish, and while she enjoyed the pan-fried version (which she found reminiscent of spaghetti bolognese), the gan janjaemung was her favorite:

[...] with sauce thicker and sweeter than the sautéed jajangmyeon’s, shrimp joined with gingery little crumbles of fatty pork. The side dish of daikon and raw onions offered a burn that cut through the rich sweetness of the noodles, and the crunch complemented the elasticity and woke up our palates. It’s one of the best things I’ve eaten all month, maybe all year.

Megan Kimble visited Filipino restaurant Be More Pacific for Austin Monthly and left with mixed takes. She noted that the restaurant’s “spacious second-floor interior, ample seating, and bright decorations” will appeal to fans of the truck.

Food was more of a mixed bag. Kimble’s favorite dish was the spicy curry coconut lime bacon fried rice, which had “just enough heat.” However, the second dish was disappointing.

We tried the Kare Kare, a brisket-based stew served with bok choy, long beans, and eggplant. The brisket was tender and melt-in-your-mouth rich, and the veggies were well-cooked, but the creamy peanut sauce that covered it looked more flavorful than it was.

ON THE BLOGS: The Honest Shruth found that brunch at well-designed Eberly was more style than substance, literally — the portion sizes were too small. In good news, ATX Brunches is a fan of the Dutch Baby at The Hightower’s brunch.

Hunan Chinese

9306-D. North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78753 Visit Website