MELBOURNE | Korean food has gone from strength to strength in Melbourne. Barely a decade ago, there were only a handful of Korean restaurants in town. Gami, the Korean fried chicken specialists, were still a novel concept. Today, it’s easy to find an assortment of Korean places specialising in different things across Melbourne. One such concept is pojang-macha, or ‘pocha’ for short.
Literally translating as “covered wagon”, pochas are street food vendors that serve Korean comfort food or market food. In Melbourne, the term is used by small Korean restaurants that serve the kind of food that’s commonly found at pochas. Gangnam Pocha was one of the first on the scene in Melbourne.
Owners Chelsea Kim and her partner In Le opened Gangnam Pocha on Bourke Street in 2013, relocating a few years later to King Street. Back then there weren’t many Korean restaurants in the area, today it’s Melbourne’s unofficial Koreatown. I recently popped in to grab some photos for What’s on Melbourne.
This isn’t a place that’s trying to reinvent the wheel. It’s all about tasty versions of the classics, designed to share, in a casual space with K-pop tunes. In a sign that the CBD’s night-time hospitality scene continues to recover well from lockdowns, Gangnam Pocha is open until until the early hours of the morning (2/3am), every night except Sunday.
On the menu, you’ll find favourites like tteobokki (spicy rice cake with noodle, fish cake, boiled egg and vegetable), Korean fried chicken with assorted coatings, cheese buldak (spicy pan fried chicken with mozzarella cheese), and pork gukbab (boiled pork belly with bone soup & steamed rice).
To drink, it’s towers of Orion beer on draught, assorted flavours of makgeolli and soju, and Korean juices and soda. If you’re looking for something sweet, there’s a few different bingsu flavours to round out the menu.
1/270 King Street
Mon – Tue: 5:00pm to 2:00am
Wed – Thu: 12:00pm to 2:00am
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 3:00am