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Korean Restaurant Visit – Maru in Brisbane

Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu (Pork cutlet with black bean sauce served in a hot stone pot) | My Korean Kitchen

I have a monthly play date day with my sister. We live in the same house but we don’t actually get to spend much time together, so we started this play date thing about two months ago. We go out for brunch or lunch and chat for 2-3 hours without any distractions. (Though on this occasion, I was quite distracted as I was busy taking multiple photos of food as it was arriving. *guilty*…Perhaps we should go to a non-Korean restaurant next time to spend real quality time together. :))

A few weeks ago on our play date day, we decided to go to a Korean restaurant in the heart of Brisbane CBD. I didn’t have any particular food that I craved for as I’ve been cooking and eating Korean food for most of the meals since I came back to my blogging again, but my sister said she wanted to eat Sundubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew). While each restaurant might sell the same food, they all have different strengths in different food. According to my sister (who often visits various Korean restaurants here), soup & stew is best at Maru. So off we went. While Maru’s been around for a couple of years, this was my first visit. It was just after half past one, so it wasn’t as busy as it could be, but still tables were reasonably filled up.

Maru from outside & inside

As soon as we sat down a waiter brought us a menu. My sister ordered Sundubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew 순두부찌개) as she planned but I still couldn’t decide what to order. My sister then added that another of Maru’s specialties is “house made pork cutlet (Tonkatsu)”. Also it was a few days after the black day (14th April) and I missed having my Korean black bean noodles then. So I was determined to have something black as well. So here, I ordered Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu (Pork cutlet on rice in a hot stone pot with black bean sauce,  돌솥 짜장 돈까스). I know quite a long description, right? (Unfortunately I didn’t get to take a picture of the menu because the waiter took it away while I was visiting the ladies room). Anyway, the lunch menu is fairly reasonably priced – mostly just under AUD $10. (Also tips are not compulsory in Australia and people rarely tip here.)

The food arrived fairly quickly. We waited less than 10 minutes.

Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu

(Pouring the Jjajang (black bean) sauce onto my dolsot tonkatsu)

Sundubu Jjigae (Uncurdled Tofu Stew)

(Sundubu Jjigae: Soft Tofu Stew – served with a separate bowl of rice)

Humble side dishes

(Humble complementary banchan (side dishes) – pickled onion, Kimchi and spiral pasta in sweetened mayonnaise sauce)

My pork cutlet was quite big. It was very meaty and tenderly cooked. I had to give some to my sister as I couldn’t eat it all. The quality of the pork cutlet was certainly better than I can ever make myself, at least for now. 😉 While the rice, pork cutlet and black bean sauce combination created quite an interesting fusion dish, I think it needed some stronger flavour to rule down the slightly bland overall taste of the dish. Yellow radish pickle perhaps? I also tried my sister’s stew and it was nice but I think my version tastes better. Haha… Though I have to admit, it was my first time having soft tofu stew again in 6-7 years, so I really appreciated the flavour. (When I wasn’t blogging, I lived on stir fried dishes with some boring vegetables and soy sauce.)Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu mixed

 (Rice and pork cutlet well mixed with black bean sauce)

Prawn in the Sundubu Jjigae (Uncurdled Tofu Stew)

(Large prawn from the tofu stew)

 If you are visiting Brisbane and don’t know what to eat, why not try the affordable lunch menu at Maru?


  • Address:157 Elizabeth St, Brisbane QLD 4000
  • Phone: (07) 3012 9912
  • Opening hours (open 7 days): Lunch till late
  • Price: From AUD $9.90~

Written by: Sue

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Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!


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22 thoughts on “Korean Restaurant Visit – Maru in Brisbane”

  1. Hi Sue,
    I found your site while doing some research as I am helping Nick promote Maru.

    What a great review you did and what a great site I have wanted to try a bit of Korean cooking myself as my wife and I are big fans of Korean food. Thanks for your generous sharing of your experience I will be sure to link up with you via social media.

  2. I love tonkatsu & I love sharing a meal with my sister too. I did not realise that the Koreans do a version of tonkatsu – so I would love to try it. These days I pressed to get to Brizzy but I always try to grab a meal with my sister it is the only time we can catch up.

    • Oh yes, there are so many food with similarities between Korea, Japan and China as we’ve been influenced by each other for centuries. It sounds like a lot of people need to schedule to talk to their siblings! Thanks for your comment Lizzie!

  3. I wish I could go there for dinner tonight… We don’t have such cheap Korean or Japanese restaurants alas… Especially Korean ones are very expensive and never give free side dishes. You have to pay dearly for each of them. (This is one of the reasons I started to cook Korean, so such a situation has also good sides 😉 ). I love tonkatsu (one of my favourite Japanese dishes) and am really surprised to see it on a Korean restaurant’s menu. The tofu stew looks fantastic too. Lucky you!

    • Tonkatsu is very common in Korea. I’m not sure where it originated from. Asian/Korean food is relatively cheap here compared to modern Australia/French dining. I can’t believe you have to pay for the side dishes there!! I completely understand why you love cooking Korean food now. 🙂

  4. How nice that you two spend time out together over nice meal. Picture of dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu looks so good but Rice and pork cutlet sounds and certainly looks delicious too. Great review, made me very hungry! 😀

  5. I have to schedule time to do things I want to do, too! It’s the only way I ever get around to doing things – like seeing friends – that mean a lot to me (so much other “stuff” comes up). Anyway, sounds like a great restaurant! And a fun review – thanks.

    • I definitely have a lot of “stuff” to do and it’s quite challenging to make direct contact hours even with my family! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I’ve never heard of Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu. It sounds pretty good tho. I love jjajangmyeon and tonkatsu separately. So I should doubly love them together right? 😉 Actually, everything looks pretty yummy there. Happy Monday Sue!

  7. The Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu looks and sounds interesting! I’ve never heard of it! The food looks decent, but nothing beats homemade!

    We lived in San Francisco for a few years and surprisingly there were not many Korean restaurants and of the few, there was nothing good (compared to the restaurants in NYC where I lived for a long time). That is when I really started cooking Korean food at home.

    One day I would like to visit Australia!

    • I haven’t heard of Dolsot Jjajang Tonkatsu before I went to this restaurant either. It was interesting, not in a bad way. I would thought there would be a lot of Korean restaurants in San Francisco. Anyway, let me know when you come to Australia. 🙂

  8. I have no trips planned for Brisbane but I would definitely love to eat here. I moved to ST Louis a year ago and haven’t found any Korean restaurant that resembled my favorite Korean restaurants in San Diego or LA. Something that resembles Muru. And yes coming over wasn’t a good idea at all because your pictures are soooo yumza looking I can’t help but think KOrean food right now!

    • Thanks Malou, Yes it can be really hard to find a good local Korean restaurant anywhere. When I first came to Australia, I refused to eat at any Korean restaurants. It was far off from being real Korean food.


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