Melbourne's friendliest Korean restaurant is opening a bigger branch in Northcote
Hot corn tea. It’s a real thing and it tastes just as husky and buttery as it sounds. Sweet little pitchers of the stuff are on hand to temper the spicy bulgogi burn at the newer, bigger, pinker branch of Seoul Soul.
There’s a little extra space here – two long communal tables run the length of the room with little block partitions separating couples like groceries in the supermarket. Most everything else you love about Victoria Street’s friendliest Korean restaurant has made the trip on High Street Northcote.
Meal buckets are just as charmingly named and just as impressive: big wooden vessels packed with rice, salad, thinly sliced and sizzled meats or tofu (which they grill in the kitchen – there are no table barbecues which means your clothes remain smoke free) and plenty of pickles plus spring rolls. Kim chi and extra pickles are served in cute little jars for embellishing.
Whenever we come, though, we can’t go past the bibimbap, if only for the fact that they always ask with such excitement whether you’ve had it before. We always say no, which results in someone slathering the hot stone bowl of rice, meats, pickles and sunny-yolked egg with plenty of fiery hot sauce before mixing it all together for you, just like your mum.
At lunch, they’re pushing delicate dumplings, while at night it’s all about things off the kitchen grill like barbecued prawns. It’s a dry house, but that just serves to make the experience sweeter.