Diner On Franklin, Melbourne CBD

MELBOURNE | Diner On Franklin is a small 20 seat Korean restaurant run by husband and wife duo Dominic and Stella Kim that I recently visited for What’s On Melbourne.

Hailing from Suwon, a town known for its galbi, just a short drive from Seoul, Stella moved to Australia in 2005 to study English. Dom was doing his military service in South Korea at the time, and also worked as a chef in the army. When he finished his service, the following year, Dom moved to Melbourne to train as a chef, while Stella studied hospitality management.

After working for a few years at some of Melbourne’s top restaurants, the duo decided to open their own restaurant, Bebu. Unfortunately, construction of the Metro tunnel disrupted their business to the extent that they had to close. About a year later, in 2019, once Dom was able to convince Stella that opening another restaurant was a good idea, they opened Diner on Franklin. And then COVID hit.

Stella and Dom stuck with it, and today, Diner on Franklin has a dedicated customer base of regulars, plus those who manage to find it, housed on an unassuming part of Franklin Street. Stella runs front of house, while Dom cooks everything in the open kitchen. It’s no mean feat, with quite a large selection of Korean favourites on the menu. When you’re seated, you’ll hear the sounds of multiple timers going off at various times, ensuring Dom’s able to stay on top of it all.

The most popular item on the menu is the babsang. It’s a typical Korean meal set, named for the traditional Korean table setting for meals to be enjoyed. There’s your choice of protein, things like fried chicken, soft tofu seafood soup, and bulgogi. Along with this, it’s an assortment of banchan like fried cauliflower with spicy mayo, twigim, tteokkochi, kimchi, and fresh fruit. You also get rice and salad, and a small burnt Basque cheesecake.

Other dishes include things like tteokbokki, bibimbap, and ramyeon. It’s tasty stuff, and I was very impressed by the lightness and vibrancy of it all. To drink, it’s things like Korean sodas, fresh juices, and soju.


Diner On Franklin

1/245 Franklin Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: n/a
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Tue – Sun: 11:30am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 8:00pm

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