Korean Food Trail

1. Korean fried chicken (KFC) at Seocho-Dong Incredible Chicken

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With a restaurant with incredible chicken in its name, I just had to order the fried chicken and, it was one of the best I’ve had in Sydney. Korean fried chicken (KFC) is different from its American counterpart as it is double-fried, with a more light and crispier skin, eaten either plain or coated in sauce.

Seocho-dong is a Korean Dining Pub that reminds me of my first ever visit Seoul, freezing and hungry on a -6°C night. Fried chicken is a Korean anju meaning it is a perfect accompaniment to beer or soju and with this joint closing at 12am, it’s perfect on a night out. Its fried chicken comes in both boned and boneless (I’m team bone-in as it retains the juiciness and flavour of the chicken), I was surprised it remained crispy on the second day despite being smothered in sauces. It’s sweet and spicy chicken was like that of BHC and KyoChon chicken.

Shop 2/465 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

 

2. Ox bone soup (Seolleongtang) at Myeong-dong Chatswood

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Myeongdong in Chatswood have an extensive menu but one thing I love about this joint was being greeted with a table selection of 11 side dishes (banchan). There is a well-known saying - you judge a Korean restaurant by its side dishes.  With rice is the main part of most Korean meals, it’s the side dishes that contrast it, and complement it.

It was a cold night, so I had to get soup! Koreans love their soups, especially the local favourite: ox bone soup (Seolleongtang). In Korea, you’ll often spot restaurants solely specialising in and serving just this one dish which consists of boiling down a beef broth over an extended time (in large pot-like cauldrons). The soup at Myeongdong comes pre-seasoned but my tip to make it taste even better is to add the kimchi and kimchi juice to the soup when you’re almost done, the best.

1/5 Railway St, Chatswood 2067 NSW

 

3. Fish cake at G&A Food

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This is one for those who love Korean street food. If there is one place in Sydney that reminds me of my travels to Busan and Myeong-dong street food, it’ll be G&A food. Its pop-up stall opens from 9am-9pm on Thursday and Friday during the Chatswood Mall Markets and serves eomuk-  handmade Korean fish cakes, odeng (the ones on the skewers) and other must-try Korean street food items.

I ordered their fish cake in 3 flavours: original, prawn and hot chilli at $5 for one skewer (and you can watch the lovely couple make it!). I also got their Korean-style corn dog with mozzarella cheese and a rice cake stick. The rice cakes were sweet and chewy with a slight crunch, pan-grilled and brushed with an addictive, sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce.

Chatswood Mall Market, Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

 

4. Tteokbokki, gimbap twiggim at Park Bong Sook (PBS) Chicken

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A hidden gem for Korean food is Park Bong Sook located in Chatswood's Lemon Grove shopping centre. It’s a great place to get your Korean cravings satisfied and with the take-away option, it’s the perfect feed for binge-watching a Korean drama.

I’ve tried most of its hot stone-bowl soups and fried chicken but was craving a Korean street-food type meal (delicious, affordable and quick!). I got the snack meal which included a portion of tteokbokki (rice cakes), gimbap (Korean seaweed rice rolls) and twiggim (fried assorted tempura) which you can swap out for soondae (Korean blood sausage). It’s a meal that reminds me of Jaws or Sinjeon in Korea. Their tteokbokki is solid, the rice cakes were soft and chewy, and the sauce was sweet with a spicy kick that even those with low spice tolerance would find enjoyable. Tip from me: dip the gimbap and fried tempura into the rice cake sauce for added spice.

Shop 13, Lemon Grove Shopping Centre, 427-441 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

 

5. Mul Naengmyeon (Korean buckwheat noodle) at Joomak

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Mul Naengmyeon is a popular Korean buckwheat noodle soup dish that is eaten cold. I often saw locals lining up for this dish in the hot summer months and surprisingly also into the winter months. There is a science to perfecting these cold noodles and the process starts by cooking them in hot water (for exactly 80 seconds) before being washed three times in cold water.

Joomak is a Korean restaurant specialising in noodles and their cold noodles hit the spot. You can have the noodles with, or without the spicy sauce (adds a kick!). The noodles are chewy and refreshing with subtle flavours of sweetness, tanginess, and savouriness. The noodles at Joomak are topped with sliced cucumbers, Korean pears, pickled radishes, and a boiled egg. Be warned though as the noodles are long! (use the scissors to cut the noodles as you eat).

Shop 7, 18-26 Anderson Street, Chatswood 2067 NSW

 

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