Korean food has been gaining popularity over the last two years. A cuisine that used to be quite foreign to many Adelaidians three, four years ago, has now made its own unique mark known in this city. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese are the top cuisines many people would come up with when it came to speaking about Asian cuisine. Now, Korean cuisine is quickly becoming a well-known and liked cuisine on its own. There is even a Mexican-Korean fusion restaurant in Adelaide now (Hispanic Mechanic on Glen Osmond Road).
Situated on Leigh Street among the bars and cafes on this quaint little English-inspired cobblestone street in the west end of the city, is Koreajung. Price-wise it sits the same at many other similar Korean joints. Around $10-15 for entrées and $15 to $30 or so for main dishes. The restaurant is quite big, much bigger than what you would expect from just looking on the outside. Korean people are known to be quite warm and friendly and this was the case here also, as the service was adequately friendly and diligent.
I loved all the dishes in particular the kimchi pancake which was absolutely delicious. Kimchi is a spicy, fermented pickle that is traditional ina Korean diet. They make this pancake dish quite differently from other places I have had it. There was an addition of sliced pork and squid in the pancake and I prefer this version over others because of it. It was also much more crispier and less oily.
Although, I found it strange that the number of meat dishes were only available during lunch times and not dinner. This was quite disappointing as we were not able to order any meat dishes along with our meal. The ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake in red pepper paste sauce) was also quite expensive at $25 a dish. The portion size did not seem to justify this price in my opinion. Other Korean restaurants I have been to, this dish would have a maximum asking price of $15.
The best part about eating at Korean restaurants are all the side dishes you get with each meal and Koreajung was not exception. Here the wait staff rolls out your side dishes on a cart. It is an assortment of different Korean pickled vegetables that includes pickled bean sprouts, cucumber, braised potatoes and of course the signature kimchi pickles.
Koreajung is located on 13 Leigh Street in the city and is open seven days a week, 11:30AM to 2:30PM for lunch and from 5:00PM until 10:00PM for dinner.
Images and words by Linh Nguyen