WHERE can you go for the best in Korean shops and restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD? Trinity College Foundation Studies students Kash Ngan, Nathalia Sendjaja and Haojie Wang investigate.
Korean pop culture, well-known for its TV dramas and K-Pop music, has firmly planted its roots in Australia and around the world.
In Melbourne, it isn’t that hard to find the growing influence of South Korea in the city but where are the best places to go for those wanting to get their Korean fix?
If you want to eat out…
160/162 Bourke St, Melbourne
White Tomato’s cute and cosy brick interior makes for a welcoming atmosphere and a nice place to eat and chill with friends.
Its signature dish, the kimchi pancake, is spicy, soft and definitely appetising. An average meal would cost around $12.50 per person, but their sizzlers and hot pots can go from $17.50 – $42.50 per person, suitable for those coming in with larger groups.
254 La Trobe St, Melbourne
Oriental Spoon is known for its authentic, traditional Korean cuisine. This spacious restaurant boasts minimalistic decor and is capable of holding with large groups of diners at the same time.
They offer BBQ sets, stone bowl dishes, soups, noodles, and basically every kind of Korean dishes you can think of. The price is comparatively higher than other restaurants though, and can average around $18 – $50 per person.
169 Bourke St, Melbourne
Who doesn’t love fried chicken, especially Korean style? Da Rin offers one of the best tastes in fried chicken anywhere in Melbourne.
The restaurant offers three types of fried chicken: Original, Sweet & Spicy, and Honey & Garlic. You can choose your own combination and even the parts of the chicken.
The crunchy, crispy chicken, combined with different kinds of sauce will definitely bring you an excellent dining experience. Their price is around $12.50 – $18 per person.
Shop 9, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne
This Korean fusion restaurant is very affordable for students – an average meal will set you back $13 – $18 per person.
One of their most popular dishes is the customised bowl, in which you can choose your main, sauce, type of rice and cooking style. Check out their crispy and spicy kimchi pancake as well.
If you want to eat in…
600 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
This newly opened grocery store is where you can find really good bargains on Korean food, snacks and even cosmetics and household supplies!
A 400g can of kimchi only costs you $4.80, while their cooking pan is priced at $35, which suits many Asian cooking styles.
Wellbeing Korean Grocery
198 La Trobe St, Melbourne
This grocery store, which is just a short walk from Melbourne Central, is literally a paradise for snack lovers. Expect to find lots of Asian snacks at a reasonable price here.
For everything else in fashion, beauty and music…
Melbourne Central (211 La Trobe St, Melbourne)
If you’re looking for Korean casual or street styles, visit Pado Fashion in Melbourne Central. Most girls can find something to buy there, and with a summer dress costing around $60, you won’t go broke!
The Paramount Centre (19/108 Bourke St, Melbourne)
Happy Town is your one stop shop for all K-Pop albums and merchandise, including posters, light sticks and postcards. You can find various music from some of K-Pop’s biggest groups such as BTS, EXO, GOT7, BIGBANG and Girls’ Generation. Like most albums, they start from $20. Posters meanwhile are $7 each.
317 Swanston St, Melbourne
This beauty shop stocks various Korean skincare and makeup brands that you can hardly find anywhere else in Melbourne. These includeEtude House, Laneige, Mamonde, Innisfree and more! The best part? Their products are reasonably priced and affordable to most students!
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.