Dari Korean Cafe, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Dari Korean Cafe is a hole in the wall eatery on Hardware offering a take on Korean food that’s a bit different than most people in Melbourne are used to.

Owner Yoon-Ji Park, who grew up in the Korean countryside, just outside of Seoul, and moved to Melbourne as a teenager, wanted to open a venue that served both the food that she grew up with, and the sort of food that’s popular in Korea at the moment. Dari (다리) means ‘bridge’ in Korean, and Park sees Dari as a bridge between Melbourne’s cafe culture and South Korea’s flavour and style. Park recently invited us in to take a look at the cafe and, being lovers of Korean food, we decided to give it a go.

One of the most popular items on the menu is the Idol sandwich. It’s based on a sandwich that K-pop stars would eat before they appeared on the music show Inkigayo and is now popular across Korea. Sandwiched in between four large white bread slices, the sandwich combines Mexican salad (cabbage, ham, surimi, egg), jam, and potato salad. It’s an odd combination of flavours that people love when they give it a try.

As well as the Idol sandwich there’s a few buns and sliders filled with things like beef bulgogi and spicy pork, along with sweet options like sweet soy and rice cake toast. It’s two thick slices of white bread layered with rice cake, condensed milk, sweet soy, and honey. For drinks it’s things like Hong Cho, a fermented kombucha-like drink, pumpkin malted rice drink, coffee, and an assortment of creative lattes.

We actually visited during dinner, when the menu switches to one that offers things like savoury pancakes, rice bowls, and sliders. Highly recommended are the Green Gram pancake, filled with pork and kimchi, and the Mushroom pancake filled with shitaki mushroom, pork and beef mince. All of the pancakes are delicious and wonderfully textured, but those two really stand out. Make sure you try one of the sliders too – both the beef and pork are very good, served simply inside a milk bun with lettuce and specially made sauces.

Also highly recommended are the soy sauce marinated beef ribs with radish and carrot. The tender, flavoursome meat falls off the bones and the delicious sweet sauce works well not just with the meat, but with the radish and carrot too. Grab some of the house made puffed crispy rice and dip them in the sauce at the bottom of the rib bowl. For drinks a few cocktails and local craft beers are on offer. Try the “This is so sik-hye:, with its blend of sikhye (a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage), lemon and ginger syrup, vodka, and sake. Also tasty is the Hong & Van, a sweet and sour cocktail which combines the sour notes of hong cho with the Australian botanical flavours of Australian spirit Vantage.

Korean food is becoming increasingly popular in Melbourne, and it’s great to see places like Dari opening that are doing their bit to introduce dishes and flavours that most Melburnians haven’t seen before.

Dari Korean Cafe

27-29 Hardware Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9917 2299
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Tue – Wed: 11:00am to 3:00pm
Thu – Sat: 11:00am to 3:00pm; 5:30am to 10:30pm
Sun: 11:00am to 2:00pm

Dari Korean Café and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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