I’ve tried Big Mama almost three years ago and thought the food here was pretty good. Came here again recently and I found myself unexpectedly disappointed. Not sure if the quality has gone downhill since the last time I was here, or if it just so happened to be that way that particular day, or I didn’t order the ‘right’ stuff, but I’m not sure if I’ll want to come back again. Perhaps one of the only redeeming factors is its convenient and accessible location, especially since it’s a short walking distance to both RMIT University and University of Melbourne, and it’s close to the Swanston Street/Queensberry Street tram stop.
Oishi Kitchen offers pretty good quality Korean and Japanese food at reasonable prices, and it opens seven days a week for both lunch and dinner. It’s another one of those restaurants where you’re assured to be served decent meals when you’re unsure of what or where to eat. While walking around Prahran, my family and I weren’t sure of what to have for lunch and we decided on Oishi Kitchen in the end. Although there are other restaurants that may serve better quality meals or cheaper prices, Oishi Kitchen offers a wide selection of both Japanese and Korean food at pretty good values. We didn’t get to try any of the Lunch Specials or BBQ Sizzle this time, but we were quite satisfied with what we’ve ordered.
Palsaik BBQ Korean Restaurant, a sister restaurant to ChangGo, is a popular Korean restaurant located on Chinatown between Russell Street and Exhibition Street. It is highly accessible – within the Melbourne city center – and operates seven days a week. It’s famous for its Korean BBQ, especially the eight flavors of pork belly, and is a safe bet especially if you’re unsure of where to go. Walk up a flight of stairs when you reach the building, and you don’t usually have to wait for a long time to get seated, especially if you get there early. For those who love pork belly, make sure to try out Palsaik!
A friend and I decided to try out Suda, a Korean restaurant hidden along Healeys Lane (and located a little away from the heart of the CBD). The small yet well-decorated restaurant offered a selection of unique dishes, such as burritos filled with various traditional Korean flavors including bulgogi and kimchi tofu. Although I’ve only tried some of the dishes from the lunch menu, most of the portions had been quite small even though they were relatively cheap. Albeit serving mostly Korean food, the dishes at Suda resemble fusion food to a large extent and thus, taste less authentic (pretty good nonetheless). The most memorable incident I have of Suda was given one of the dishes for free as a sign of apology for their slightly crappy service initially.
Sydney, second stop – Sushi & Grill @York Street. We came here for late dinner while walking around the CBD, after we had Ippudo in the evening. One thing my cousins and I noticed about Sydney was the abundance of Japanese restaurants in the city, and we’ve spotted those in the CBD alone. Well, we’re not exactly going to complain since the Japanese food that we’ve tried in Sydney were all really good. Even though most of the dishes were quite pricey compared to the portion, we really loved the sushi that we’ve tried here at Sushi & Grill @York Street! I thought that I should eat as much Japanese food as I can before heading back to Melbourne, since I was told that Sydney has plenty of wonderful Japanese restaurants around. Bottom line? Not disappointed.
When I’m craving for some Korean cuisine, CJ Lunch Bar is one of the two Korean restaurants that I normally go to, the other being Oriental Spoon. It is located in the CBD, close to many other restaurants and right across from The Hardware Société. The restaurant is almost always crowded, especially during dinner time, where it’s common to find groups of customers waiting to be seated. But don’t be daunted by the idea of having to wait to get a table because the Chicken Bulgogi with Cheese is worth the try! It may sound ludicrous but that dish is more or less synonymous with the restaurant itself (and vice versa). CJ Lunch Bar is also very popular among university students and office workers alike, owing to their inexpensive prices yet appetizing food.
I’m finally back in Melbourne last Saturday after a nice, long summer break, and it’s now time to go back to school.
Yay. Despite all the homesickness and typical post-holiday blues, there are definitely some things that I look forward to being back here, one of them being food. Melbourne has some really nice Korean restaurants around. As a big fan of Korean food, coupled with the lack of authentic and delicious ones back in Bandung, the first restaurant that my family and I decided to go to for dinner was a Korean restaurant called Oriental Spoon. If you are hungry, be there early because it’s located in the CBD (Central Business District = crowded) and even at 8pm, you might still be put on waiting list (like how we were)! Continue reading