Gukbab, Melbourne CBD

MELBOURNE | I was recently gifted a delicious selection of Korean dishes from Gukbab in Melbourne. The family run restaurant relaunched in the CBD a few months back, after celebrating 10 years of operation, and have obviously been hit hard by Melbourne’s recent lockdowns.

What do you need to know about them? They’re open for pick up and delivery across Melbourne during lockdown, with a pretty extensive delivery radius for a centrally located, CBD based restaurant. The menu is full of Korean classics, and I selected a few of my favourite Korean dishes. Crispy kimchi jeon (pancake), LA galbi (short ribs), beef bulgogi, and bibimbap.

My highlight is their gamjatang. It’s a spicy pork stew made from the spine or neck bones of a pig. I first tried it at Buchun Gamjatang in Los Angeles’ Koreatown back in 2019 on a hot tip from Eric and Mike at Tactile Coffee (which unfortunately closed down because of the pandemic led downturn in business).

After that meal, gamjatang immediately rose to the top echelons of my favourite Korean dishes. As well as the super tender, full flavoured pork, the stew also contains potatoes, cellophane noodles, dried radish greens, perilla leaves, green onions, hot peppers and ground sesame seeds. Don’t let the bones and talk or spines and necks dissuade you from trying this. The meat is fall off the bone tender, and it’s such a tasty dish.

If you’re looking for a meal full of Korean classics done right, Gukbab is worth considering, both during lockdown, and in person at the restaurant when Melbourne opens up again.


1/535 Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000

Telephone: (03) 9939 0380
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sun: 5:30pm to 8:00pm

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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