Miss Korea Kitchen located along Burke Road in Camberwell, serves fresh, healthy and authentic Korean cuisine. They offer the typical Korean dishes such as Korean Fried Chicken, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Korean BBQ with customers being able to choose their protein (e.g. chicken, beef, pork or veg) with many of their offerings.
The Japchae at Miss Korea Kitchen is one of the better Japchae’s in Melbourne. It’s closest competitor and reigning champion is Don-Udon‘s flavourful Japchae. Here, the Japchae has that subtle work flavour with fresh vegetables and crispy lotus root on top. The flavour is a bit more subtle overall as compared to Don-Udon’s version but it’s tasty nonetheless. You can order their Japchae with Beef, Pork, Chicken, Tofu, Veg or Seafood which are pretty much all the options you could think of.
The best Cheese Buldak or Chicken and Cheese Bulgogi Hotplate is CJ Lunch Bar‘s offering. Here, I found the chicken to be overcooked and the seasoning unbalanced with the sauce being overly salty and needing just a bit of sweetness and more depth in flavour to match CJ Lunch Bar’s. The richness of the cheese though, helps complement the spiciness so that’s a definite plus.
I’m going to again, compare Miss Korea Kitchen’s Stone Pot Bibimbap with Don-Udon (Box Hill) where their Don-Udon has such amazing flavour to it from how they cook each of the components and the addition of the chilli paste. Miss Korea Kitchen’s Bibimbap isn’t bad, each element has flavour to it but it’s definitely not as flavourful as it could be.
I saw this Mini Patbingsu on the menu, which is basically a Korean version of an Ice Kachang or Japanese Kakigori. Their Patbingsu comes with chopped fruit, red bean, fruit syrup, condensed milk and wafers. For $8 it’s actually quite small and flavour wise it’s quite lacking. The shaved ice is very coarse with not enough condensed milk to add that richness it needs. The whipped cream topping lacks flavour as well so the overall result is a pretty bland and expensive dessert.
Ignoring the Patbingsu dessert, I found Miss Korea Kitchen to have overall tasty Korean dishes and it’s one of the better ones I’ve been to in Melbourne.
845 Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
CJ Lunchbar situated on the corner of Little Lonsdale St and Hardware St is a popular little eat out for those wanting a taste of Korea. CJ Lunchbar doesn’t just open for lunch like its name suggests, so you can get your Korean fix for dinner as well. What’s great about this place is that the food is good, very good and the servings are generous and value for money and their menu offers bento boxes, rice dishes, and a wide selection of hotplate and soup dishes to choose from.
Their Stonepot Bibimbap has all the ingredients for a tasty Bibimbap but it doesn’t come with the chilli paste that you’d often find provided with other Korean restaurants. Sometimes you find that the Bibimbap can be very bland, but fortunately this isn’t the case here.
One of their popular items is the Cheese Chicken Bulgogi, one night I saw like the majority of tables order it. It’s a little bit spicy, but the combination of melted cheese and marinated chicken on a hotplate is one of the best dishes you’d find around. So good.
CJ Lunchbar won’t win awards for being a relaxing dining experience, the tables are small and service is so-so but the food here is worth it.
Shop 2/391 Little Lonsdale Street (entrance on Hardware Street)
Melbourne VIC 3000
We actually stumbled upon Pocha Restaurant as we initially wanted to dine at the Thai restaurant next door but being such a petite space, it was unfortunately full. Luckily enough we looked next door and saw this Korean restaurant opened. From the outside, Pocha didn’t really seem open. It was very dark inside, and no signs it was open. Somehow being desperate for some place to dine we walked in and found this very interesting restaurant. There is a long walkway with each side having this little covered/tent-like dining spaces. It looked like you were in some sort of food market and these were the outside tents to eat in, but somewhat private.
The menu was slightly on the pricer side of things, and we didn’t really know what to order. We ended up ordering meal combo, choosing from the four dishes (you can select two). We ordered the spicy pork bulgogi (pictured above). Lovely flavours, subtle spiciness and a tad sweet marinated pork cooked with onions and carrots. Although, it was on the oilier side of things. It was very tasty.
The other beef dish was also nicely cooked, and again with onions and carrots. Meat just cooked right but I preferred if they used less sugar on the sauce/marinade. Not too exciting but it’s still satisfying.
The tofu soup was very light in flavour or seasoning but with the more robust flavours from the two meat dishes I think it complements each other well.
It also comes with a salad that is dressed with a vinaigrette. Very strong dressing and with the lettuce in large chunks, it was more difficult to eat. I would have liked the Korean/Japanese sesame seed dressing that is creamier and light brown in colour.
Overall, I didn’t mind Pocha Restaurant. It’s not the best Korean food I’ve tried but not the worst. The quaint dining atmosphere is certainly a plus, along with the food. Good service too on that quiet Tuesday night.
1221 Thurlow St
Vancouver BC V6E
Seoul Soul, can easily be missed by passers-by. It is this extremely tiny restaurant, almost hidden on the always populated Victoria Street, Richmond, near The Hive Shopping Centre. In between The Hive SC entrance and a corner cafe, you’ll find this little gem. Only housing less than 20 people, it is always popular inside and waiting around lunchtime is common.
As you may have guessed from the name, Seoul Soul serve Korean cuisine from their most commonly known dishes such as Bulgogi, but also the more obscure and spicy dishes. Typically, they also do BBQ/grills so it really caters for most.
I’ve previously had the Spicy Tofu bulgogi and that was a delight to eat. It comes with stir fried tofu with a spicy sauce, salad and oddly enough a slice of orange. You’ll find this is common for most of the bulgogi’s served. The spiciness of the sauce is fantastic but isn’t too spicy, just enough to give the always bland tofu some flavour and kick.
The salad is very similar to the Japanese salad dressing you can buy in Asian supermarkets, it has that slightly sesame taste to it. I really do love this dressing so it’s always appetising.
You might be saying, Denny, what is that delicious dish you ordered that is pictured. Well, my friends, this is their Special Stone Pot Bibimbap. It comes super sizzling hot and crackles with delight as it’s served. It’s primarily a vegetarian dish with the bean sprouts, carrots, beans and capsicum. There are a couple of stone pot bibimbaps, prawn and beef. I’m uncertain if there was a stone pot vegie bibimbap but it doesn’t seem out of plausibility.
I ordered the beef, which comes with minced beef and cannot currently be seen as it sits underneath that sunny side up egg. The yolk that oozes out just binds everything together. It is simply a refreshing and satisfying meal.
Seoul Soul is quite a treat if you can get a table. Well presented food but leaning on the pricier side of things but it’s okay here because the food here is tasty and doesn’t disappoint.
323 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
I’ve always walked passed Dae Jang Geum in Chinatown but never had the temptation to go in. I couldn’t really gauge the popularity either because it has stairs going up. One day we suddenly though why not, I’ve always liked Korean cuisine. I’ve dined in a couple around the city (mostly Korean BBQ) but I’m not sure why I don’t jump at the chance to try another place.
Dae Jang Geum when you finally walk up all the steps is surprisingly large. I was taken aback at how many tables they had, and a large kitchen. So I’m presuming they must get a lot of customers during the night. Their Lunch menu is has quite good variety of Korean food, from Teriyaki Chicken, Bulgogi, Soup, rice and noodle dishes.
My first picture is the Bulgogi Set Menu that I ordered, and I quite enjoyed it. It is again, surprisingly filling. The rice that they give you is in these seemingly small stainless steel bowls but actually they had packed all the rice in tightly. The beef was nicely flavoured and cooked well. The chinese cabbage and capsicum made the dish overall enjoyable.
The Chicken Teryaky with vegetables is definitely not like the usual Japanese Teriyaki you’ll find. This was more akin to a Sweet and Sour Chicken dish, without much of the sour. So it was slightly disappointing, but still decent enough if you like a sweet sauced dish to go with your rice.
Dae Jang Geum also provides an assortment of sides, with the usual kimchi, fresh salad and a sweetened sliced cold potato dish (pictured at the back).
Might I add I also had a chance to try a bit of the Spicy Beef Soup and that had a fantastic punch to it. It felt so homely, having soup and rice. Homely, certainly isn’t a bad thing. Not at all.
Dae Jang Geum’s lunch experience is mostly positive. The staff are quite friendly and efficient, and the food arrives quickly (Maybe we ate before peak hour but nonetheless is was good). Although their restaurant lacks much natural lighting, it is still a welcoming atmosphere. Would I come here again? Yes definitely, there are plenty of other dishes to try for lunch and we haven’t even attempted to try their Korean BBQ.
Dae Jang Geum
235 Little Bourke St
03 9662 9445