MELBOURNE | Oppa Kitchen is a Korean restaurant on Swanston Street that draws your attention with its eye catching clean exterior, modern signage, and neon. The inside follows the same pattern, and is a long, narrow space with a modern, clean interior across two floors.
The menu features a range of Korean favourites like bibimbap, fried chicken, dosirak, and some sides. Kimchi doesn’t come out automatically, but if you ask the staff will bring you some. The ordering system is very efficient – each table has a holder with some ordering papers and a pencil. You write down which items you want going by the menu code, how much you want of each item, and any comments. When you’re done you hand it to one of the wait staff walking around and that’s that.
When we visited we went for the boneless original fried chicken, crispy seaweed rolls, bulgogi beef bibimbap, and tofu and mushroom noodle soup. The fried chicken was juicy and nicely crispy, but could have been seasoned with some more of the Korean spices that Oppa use. The crispy seaweed rolls were an interesting side, while the noodle soup packed a lot of flavour and was probably one of our favourite dishes of our order.
For those who aren’t aware, bibimbap is as a bowl of warm rice topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables with chilli paste and meat of your choosing. We went for the classic beef bulgogi, and went for the hot stone option, which is the best way to order bibimbap as you get so much more flavour and a nice layer of crusted rice at the bottom. The version here is tasty, but not the best we’ve had in town. There could have been a more generous serving of meat too.
Despite a few misgivings, overall Oppa Kitchen isn’t a bad option if you’re in the area as the low prices do mean that you can get a decent feed at an affordable level. Approach Oppa Kitchen with the view of it being more of a Korean fast food joint rather than the best Korean in town, and you’ll know what to expect. We probably wouldn’t make a considered effort to venture here, but if we were in the area and in the mood for Korean, we’d be totally fine with eating here agin.
271 Swanston Street
Telephone: 0405 347 195
Sun – Wed: 11:30am to 10:00pm
Thu – Sat: 11:30am to 11:00pm