Chick In

Korean fried chicken has taken Melbourne (if not the world) by storm. Tucked away in a laneway off Little Collins Street, Chick In is cosy and offers the usual suspects in terms of Korean fried chicken as well as a broader menus of stews, salads and dumplings.  We found the fried chicken moist on the inside, crispy on the outside and well seasoned. A relative new comer to the Korean fried chicken scene, Chick In is a compelling option to satisfy your fried chicken cravings and we would return.

Chick-in Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Finding a home on Abbotsford’s Victoria Street, Arisoo exudes a casual and welcoming environment.

In line with its social setting, the menu items are primarily designed for sharing, with dishes divided into user friendly sections. The menu is abundant with options and features authentic Korean combined with modern techniques and twists alongside excellent service.
The home-made banchan are extremely addictive condiments. Each wonderful in its own right, they were a brilliant accompaniment to our enlivening culinary journey at Arisoo.
Assorted Korean pancakes

We enjoyed the assorted Korean pancakes comprising of a few kimchi pancakes, seafood & chive pancakes and mini seafood nuggets. The seafood & chive pancake was of particular note, boasting a crispy and light texture courtesy of being made from wheat flour and pan-fried with the perfect amount of heat. 
Spicy Japchae

The Spicy Japchae noodles were an absolute stand out. While many Korean restaurants in Melbourne serve Japchae, Arisoo’s variety are a cut above. The slippery stir-fried sweet potato starch noodles had the perfect balance of sweetness, savouriness and umami flavours and were enhanced by just the right amount of spiciness. Highly recommended!
Spicy soft tofu stew made with seafood and egg
Army base stew - Ham and sausage stew with kimchi, assorted vegetables

Arisoo are also famous for their delicious stews which are a labour of love and made from scratch. The resultant stock used is unsurprisingly a concoction of decadently rich, unadulterated flavours. We loved sampling their Spicy soft tofu stew and Army base stew - Both unctuous liquid gold which went well with either noodles or rice. 
Three flavours of fried chicken - Original fried chicken, Sweet and Spicy Fried chicken and Soy garlic fried chicken

The meaty fried chicken morsels were each crusted with a flavoursome spice mix and then perfectly fried to achieve a moreishly crunchy exterior.  Each flavour was delicious and distinct. A must-order when visiting Arisoo.
Marinated pork belly with chilli sauce base
Marinated pork belly with soy sauce base 

Our final savoury dishes were plates of glistening pork belly slices. Plates that evoked excitement upon arrival, each slice of pan fried pork belly consisted of perfectly delicate layers of pork fat which exploded with intense porky goodness with each bite. Both the chilli sauce base and the soy sauce base delivered - merely a matter of preference for more of a spicy kick or an umami hit. 
Hoddeok A-La-Mode

The hoddeok took us back to the streets of Korea - Wonderfully crisp on the outside and filled with gooey melted sugar, aromatic cinnamon and crunchy nuts. 
Banana flambé served with vanilla ice cream sprinkled with ground peanuts and slivered almonds

For the less adventurous, the banana flambé will ensure your visit to Arisoo ends on a delightfully sweet note. Arisoo’s banana flambé is a classic French dessert done well. 
Arisoo delivers high quality Korean cuisine and assimilates perfectly in Melbourne’s casual dining scene.  The food produced adheres to a very high standard and looks to both surprise and please.

Location: 285A Victoria St, Abbotsford
Phone: (03) 9943 5615
Link: Facebook 
Cuisine: Korean

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Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Arisoo.

Koba Korean Street Food

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Koba.
Korean-Mexican fusion has taken off in the United States and it seems only a matter of time til it does the same here.
In the meantime, leading the charge is Koba, a unique representation of Korean-Mexican fusion in Melbourne. 
The menu is simple and to the point. You pick your burrito, taco or rice dish and pick your choice of protein and order some sides to share.
The korritos are a whole lot of yum.  Imagine a heap of savoury caramelized kimchi, a mound of sizzling bulgogi, cheese, tomato salsa all topped off with a generous drizzle of mayonnaise (plus more kimchi).
The kimchi fries are wildly popular. Like chilli fries but with an addictive twang, it is a great side dish to share or have on your own.
Koba’s rendition of the bibimbap is another winner. Not quite fusion but certainly hits the spot with crisp fresh vegetables, gochujang (chilli pepper paste) and goes extremely well when paired with their beautiful spicy pork.
Jump on board the Tex-Mex Korean fusion bandwagon at Koba:  fresh and original food in a joyful setting at an affordable price.  

Location: 119 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9973 8425
Cuisine: Korean, Asian, Mexican

KOBA on Urbanspoon

Mamame - Korean & Japanese food with a modern twist

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Mamame.
Finding a home on Richmond’s Church Street, Mamame exudes a spacious, casual and welcoming environment set against a bar setting.

In line with its social setting, the menu items are primarily designed for sharing, with dishes divided into user friendly sections. The menu is abundant with options and features authentic Korean and Japanese flavours combined with modern techniques and twist alongside excellent service.
Each dish is a work of art and strives to break the norms whilst retaining the heart and soul of traditional Korean and Japanese cuisine.  

The restaurant also offers a good selection of wine, sake, umeshu and several Asian-inspired Cocktails.
Seared scallops with creamed cauliflower, soy shitake, crispy rice & bacon

The scallops were nicely seared and showcased the requisite sweetness that comes with being fresh. The accompanying creamed cauliflower was a traditional and beautiful combination while the crispy rice added a desirable crunch.
Cured kingfish with wasabi pea puree, chili pickled daikon & compressed cucumber

The cured kingfish was a standout. The delicate slices of very fresh kingfish were served with an amazing wasabi pea puree, chili pickled daikon and compressed cucumber. The dish was notable for the quality of the kingfish and the interplay between the tartness of the pickled daikon and the richness of the pea puree. It was a clever dish that was very well executed.
Steamed prawn dumplings with sliced rare beef in fragrant broth

The prawn dumplings boasted clean flavours and fresh ingredients. The velvety dumpling skins were beautiful in texture and the accompanying sea umami-laden broth was pleasantly appetising. 
Baked prawns stuffed with Tobiko mayo (flying fish roe)
Steamed Buns with Grilled pork, kimchi, cucumber & Ssam sauce 

The grilled pork buns were an absolute winner. The fluffy, moist and slightly sweet buns were filled with an addictive medley of cucumber, ssam sauce and kimchi which possessed a refreshing, yet subtly different, balance of sweet and sour elements. Sitting alongside this was the wonderful pork belly. Having truly mastered the art of pork roasting, each pork belly slice had been succulently roasted to retain a porky juiciness, thereby achieving a healthy layer of melt-in-the-mouth fat in the process. The feature item was the crackling which possessed the ultimate crunch and acted as an ideal seasoning for the pork meat. 
Braised beef short ribs with black daikon & pickled mustard

The braised beef short ribs were tender and delicious, with caramel undertones courtesy of being slow-braised in rice wine. Paired with an earthy Asian braising sauce, the ribs fell away at the weight of our spoons whilst still retaining their integrity. The pickled mustard and tender black daikon was the perfect accompaniment. It was a magnificent dish.
Slow cooked Berkshire pork belly with fried kimchi & tea egg

Mamame’s iteration of this classic Korean dish was sublime. The large nugget of moist pork belly contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat, imbibed with caramelised soy sauce. Each bite truly gratified the palate in both texture and taste. This dish is a must try for the non-health conscious.
Pumpkin pannacotta with salted caramel syrup

The pannacotta was textured perfectly - barely, but surely, holding its shape. Mildly flavoured with sweet pumpkin, the creamy pannacotta was cut by the lovely hint of saltiness from the decadent syrup and dried goji berries. A welcome departure from the mundane dessert items usually found at Korean/Japanese establishments, this dessert offered its own unique characteristics. We loved the familiar yet different flavour combinations.  
Mamame delivers high quality Japanese/ Korean fusion cuisine and assimilates perfectly in Melbourne’s casual dining scene.  The food produced adheres to a very high standard and looks to both surprise and please.

Location: 460 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 8394 7856
Cuisine: Asian, Korean, Japanese

Mamame' Eatery and Bar on Urbanspoon

Shinssi Hwaro Korean BBQ Restaurant

Location: 535 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9670 2466
Cuisine: Korean, Barbecue, Buffet
Overall Impression: 6/10
Shinssi Hwaro offers reasonably priced and authentic Korean Barbeque.
We loved their delicious sauces (which we are told are house-made). Certainly a great place for a casual catch-up while barbecuing away your meal. The service is consistently polite, friendly and helpful.

Shinssi Hwaro Korean BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Suri Suri

Location: 601 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9629 9797
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean
Overall Impression: 6/10
Suri Suri is a relatively new Japanese/Korean restaurant located right next door to the very popular Brim CC Cafe.

The menu features a good variety of Japanese and Korean favourites and is well priced (with most dishes around the $10 mark). The service is prompt and friendly.

Suri Suri on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Darac Bar and Grill

Location: 51 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9662 2441
Cuisine: Korean, Japanese
Overall Impression: 6.5/10 
Hidden along A’Beckett Street in what appears to be an old warehouse, lies Darac - a trendy little eatery serving Modern Korean cuisine.

The décor at Darac is eclectic and quirky. The environment is relaxed and the service is prompt and friendly.
Chicken Bibimbab 
Beef Bulgoki 
Teriyaki Chicken 
Unagi Don 

The Darac menu is well-priced with most dishes under the $15 mark and the servings are generous. We found the food of a good standard – simple and packed with flavour.
Yakult Soju

The bar serves delicious soju-based cocktails which are a delight. I ordered a Yakult soju cocktail which was lovely with its milky undertone and slight twang.

  Darac Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Melba Brasserie

Location: 1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 18 0064 1107
Cuisine: Buffet, International, Asian
Overall Impression: 6/10

Melba Brasserie serves what is arguably the most highly regarded buffet in Melbourne. Incorporating food from a diverse range of cultures and various interactive features within the dining experience, it is easy to understand why Melba Brasserie has become as popular as it is.
The ambience is surprisingly informal although the waitstaff sincerely try to provide an elegant dining experience. It is however, due to the plain fact that guests are for the most part up and about, not easy to be attentive. We had to request for our wine glasses to be filled a few times over the course of the evening. Whilst this would have been unacceptable at a fine dining establishment, as it is a buffet it is difficult to be too critical.
There is an elevated platform at the centre of the dining hall which features a good variety of seafood and salads. In terms of quality, these were of a high standard.
There are a few “interactive cooking stations” that are a popular choice among diners. These stations are interactive in the sense that you can choose what you would like prepared for you. We were spoilt with choice – on offer were hand rolled sushi, sashimi, Asian stir fries, dumplings, pastas, various curries, roasts and much more.
The sashimi and sushi served were of a particularly brilliant quality. They tasted very fresh and were all sliced perfectly with skill and precision.
The dessert bar also featured a wonderful array of choices.
Located within the Langham Hotel, Melba Brasserie has stunning panoramic views. As you peer out the large glass windows you see the beautiful glistening Yarra River and the city skyline.
Our dinner costs us approximately $130 per person (the buffet itself, excluding drinks, costs $94.90 on a Friday night). While the value for money proposition is questionable, Melba Brasserie is certainly the best buffet I have ever been to. All in all, it was an enjoyable dining experience although given the accolade that the restaurant has received, slightly underwhelming. 
Melba Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Oriental Spoon

Location: 254 La Trobe St, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9654 9930
Cuisine: Korean
Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Oriental Spoon is a delightful Korean eatery in the CBD. Authentically good, it takes J and I right back to the time we spent in Seoul together.
The condiments are the part of the Korean meal that I love the most. Although they provide more of a supporting role, the humble Kim chi is what makes my meal.  
Korean Casserole with dumplings, assorted vegetables, kimchi and tofu
Seafood pancake
Jap Chae
Clear sweet potato noodles pan-fried with thin slices of marinated beef and assorted seasoned vegetables in sesame sauce oil
Finely sliced beef marinated in Korean Bulgogi sauce, cooked with vegetables and served on a hot sizzling plate
Korean Fried Chicken
Each dish was incredibly flavoursome. The portions were also incredibly generous. Those 5 dishes fed the 7 of us (with a whole heap of fried chicken left over which KC took home for lunch the next day). It ended up costing us less than $25 each including drinks, offering the soundest bang for your buck.

Oriental Spoon on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Ga mi

Location: 535 Lt Lonsdale St Shop G, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9670 3232
Cuisine: Korean
Overall impression: 7/10 
I have never eaten a plate of Chicken anus before. Nor have I thought it would ever be necessary. That was, until that ill-fated night, when I lost some weird game we were playing at the table at Ga Mi and I took my first bite. To be honest, it really did not taste as bad as I had thought it would. It was foreign and strange, as opposed to gross (taste-wise, that is...). The plate of chicken anus that Ga Mi had plated up was filled with flavour, so I don't blame the chef for the unpleasant experience I had. It was the textural elements of the anus itself that I had a problem with. I don't think I have ever tasted anything quite so muscle-ly, sinew-y and packed with cartilage. Like I said, it was strange.
But the chicken anus dish is not what Ga Mi has gained a cult following for. The reason I love Ga Mi is for its fried chicken. It comes in three varieties- original, sweet chilli and garlic. Personally, I prefer the original (sans sauce) chicken. Crunchy and tasty. It is kind of like KFC, but for the fact that it taste a lot less artificial. Its hard to describe but I'm sure you will understand once you've tried it. And how could you ever go wrong with a nice bucket of fried chicken. Yum!
Gami on Urbanspoon