After a sweaty afternoon of rock-climbing, a group of friends and I find ourselves at Céci to fix our collective hunger. I have been recommended this Korean eatery by multiple sources, mainly for its value-for-money large serving sizes. The décor is decidedly eighties with many splashes of peach and floral prints but what we’re here for is the food.
Mistress and I are the first to arrive after parking her car and we are lucky to secure a table for eight after the staff ask a couple to relocate to a table elsewhere. Following our being seated, a queue quickly begins to grow at the doorway. The eatery is small and the service swift. We are asked several times how long our friends will be and whether we would like to order first. I leave the ordering to Mistress as she has eaten here previously. We decide to choose a few items and double up on serves so as to cover our long rectangular table.
As usual, there is an array of Korean side dishes but I’m disappointed that there’s no cold, creamy pasta. Something I like to eat on its own and also something that helps take the heat away from other dishes!
We start the evening with ‘Spicy Dumplings’ and ‘Seafood Pie’. The dumplings are large, plump and filled with minced pork and vegetables. They taste to have been deep-fried prior to being stewed in a spicy sauce.
The ‘Seafood Pie’ is your usual Korean seafood pancake but is thicker and features a lot more filling than I’m used to seeing elsewhere.
Up one end of the table we have a serve of ‘Barbequed Beef’ where thin slices of beef are brought out to be cooked atop a hotplate on an individual gas burner. Up the other end of the table we have the ‘Barbequed Chicken’ (not pictured) which is in a spicy sauce. Both feature a mixture of vegetables as well as curiously thick slabs of white onion.
Mistress tells us the ‘Sweet & Sour Chicken’ is quite a well-known dish at Céci but what surprises us about it is its resemblance in taste to Cantonese-style sweet and sour pork! The chicken pieces are encased in batter before being tossed in a sticky sweet and tart sauce.
And, our only dish devoid of any heat of the evening is the ‘Japchae’ (potato noodles) which is a lovely mix of springy noodles with crunchy vegetables, including my favourite cloud ear fungus, and thin strips of beef.
The food was served in quick succession and we barely had enough room to put all of it. Despite our rock-climbing induced hungers, there was too much food to finish and two plastic containers’ worth were taken away. And like normal, sane people full of dinner, we ventured to the Gelatissimo nearby for dessert almost immediately afterwards!
37 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW
Tel: (02) 9746 7710
Opening Hours: 7 days 10:30am-10:30pm