Restaurant Shik, Melbourne CBD (Closed)

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*Note: Restaurant Shik has closed down. The space is now home to Cafe Lafayette.*

MELBOURNE | Restaurant Shik is the first permanent restaurant by Peter Jo (aka Kimchi Pete), and sees him bring his own brand of modern Korean food to Melbourne’s CBD. Prior to opening Shik, Jo was the head wine guy for Belle’s Hot Chicken and Etta, and had stints working in the kitchens at Momofuku Seiobo, Berta, as well as running his own #DinnerByKimchi popups.

Located on Niagara Lane, next door to the fantastic Sun Moth, Shik (designed by Jo’s partner, architect Yina Yun) is split into two zones – when you walk in it’s a semi-open kitchen and bar and to the side is the dining section with some small and large tables. High ceilings and exposed brick walls work well with the narrow space that uses timber, leather and white marble for a modern look. Music is old school and modern hip-hop, but never at a volume to high that it disrupts conversation.

The drinks list is a focused affair that covers all the main bases. Given Jo’s love of wine, he and sommelier Josh Begbie (ex Embla) have selected around 60 wines across a variety of styles from around the globe. There’s also a few beers, a small selection of soju and a handful of other Korean drinks.

The menu is a one page affair, and split into four sections – entree, banchan, grilled, and braised. Jo doesn’t really care for desserts, so there aren’t any on the menu. Don’t think that the small menu and lack of sweet options means you’ll run out of things you want to try though – in fact restraining yourself from over-ordering is the only issue.

To start we opted for the pig skin terrine. This has become a bit of a must-order dish amongst those in the know and when you bite into it you’ll see why. The terrine doesn’t have the texture of a usual terrine, rather it’s like a dense jelly throughout. It’s topped with garlic chives that have been tossed in a soy and salted-krill dressing. The flavours are subtle and harmonious and the texture so unique. We also tried the pork and kimchi pancakes, dense and chunky on the inside and crispy on the outside, they’re another great example of Jo’s ability to balance flavours and textures. Our final entree was the beef tartare – generously chopped chunks of Rangers Valley tri-tip with cubes of Korean pear and cucumber, sweet mayonaise and fried saltbush. A highlight of the night with, again, contrasting textures and well balanced flavours.

Moving on to the banchan portion of the menu, we opted for the namul plate. Namul are edible grass or leaves and that is literally what’s served. Some of the leaves were familiar while others weren’t, some were lightly sauteed and some were fresh. A true taste of the season, this simple selection was a surprising highlight for. In this section of the menu you’ll also find a selection of kimchi (fermented vegetables) and jangajji (pickled vegetables). Jars of the vegetables in their various stages of pickling and fermenting are visible on a cabinet in the dining room.

For mains the focus is on charcoal grilled secondary cuts of meat marinated with soy, ginger and garlic – think intercostal, skirt, and neck chain. Meat is sourced from Blackmore and Rangers Valley and is of the highest quality. We opted for Rangers Valley wagyu thin skirt, which is served with an assortment of sides – soy-pickled onions, perilla leaf, ssämjang, kimchi, coriander and cos leaves. The mean on its own is fantastic – tender and full of flavour, with that melt in your mouth fat that you can only get from wagyu beef. Wrapped in a cos leaf with some of the sides you can create a variety of different tasty bites.

For those not in the mood for beef there’s also a fish (trevally) and pork belly option in the grilled part of the menu, along with fish (barramundi) and lamb ribs in the braised section.

There is a lot of hyperbole thrown around when people talk about Melbourne’s place in the world as a ‘food city’, and it’s easy to get a bit jaded by it all at times. Eating at Restaurant Shik is not an experience that makes one jaded. It’s a reminder of what makes dining in Melbourne great – a restaurateur trying something different, something that eschews trends and draws upon family, the food they grew up with, and what they’ve learned in kitchens, and by eating, over the years. Restaurant Shik is its own unique thing, and it’s fantastic.

Restaurant Shik

30 Niagara Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (08) 9670 5195
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Sat: 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Restaurant Shik Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
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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