Jang Go Mama, Melbourne CBD

MELBOURNE | This city is full of unassuming spots to eat, places that fly under the radar, with a loyal following of locals, that grow by word-of-mouth. Cafes and restaurants that get the essentials of hospitality right. They’re places that you may have walked past countless times without even noticing that they were there. One such venue is Jang Go Mama, which I recently visited for What’s On Melbourne.

Jang Go Mama was opened eight years ago by Korean couple Eunjo and Oryun. Originally offering an assortment of traditional Korean dishes, the focus switched early last year to gimbap/kimbap, with a few other favourites from the old menu. Walk through the front door and you’re transported to Korea.

There’s just a few seats inside, with Eunjo at the front rolling gimbap to order and Oryun running the floor and serving other dishes from the rear kitchen. The duo are super friendly and passionate about what they do, and make you feel right at home.

Gimbap is made from bap (cooked rice) and other ingredients that are rolled in gim (dried sheets of seaweed), and served in bite-sized slices. It’s similar, but not the same, as sushi. There are two main differences between sushi and gimbap. Whereas sushi commonly uses raw seafood as a filling, gimbap is filled with things like danmuji (yellow pickled radish), ham, beef, imitation crab meat, egg strips, kimchi, bulgogi, spinach, carrot, burdock root, cucumber, canned tuna, and kkaennip (perilla leaves).

The second difference is the use of sesame oil to season the rice of gimbap, as opposed to the vinegar used for sushi. At Jang Go Mama, you’ll find all sorts of gimbap. Flavours like spicy fishcake, beef, and kimchi. It’s all exceptional quality.

Other dishes include things like naengmyeon (cold, starch-noodle soup), Shin Ramyun, cheesy teokbokki, and kimchi manduguk (dumpling soup). To drink, it’s a few Korean drinks like Woongjin Morning Rice and sodas. If you call ahead for take away, Eunjo and Oryun will make sure your order is ready to pick up when you arrive.

Jang Go Mama

147 Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000

Telephone: (03) 9663 1224
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sat: 12:00pm to 4:00pm, 5:30pm to 9:00pm



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