MELBOURNE | Seven Star Pocha is a laneway Korean restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD that will transport you to the streets of Seoul. I recently visited for What’s On Melbourne to see what it was all about. “Pocha” is short for “Pojangmacha”, and translates to English as “covered wagon”. It refers to the small tented carts and stalls in Korea popular for serving quick, affordable, and delicious bites and drinks.
Seven Star Pocha aims to capture the spirit of a Pocha, and from its laneway location to its interior fitout you feel like you’ve been whisked out of Melbourne, into the heart of Seoul. The bustling restaurant has a no bookings policy, but tables turn over fast enough that you’re never waiting too long for a table.
A great fitout and bustling vibe is nothing without great food to go with it, and on that, Seven Star Pocha passes the test. The menu is diverse, with something for all tastes and budgets. Start with quick to the table favourites like teokbokki (cheesy Korean rice cake), spicy chicken feet, and Korean fried chicken with a variety of toppings (try the creamy onion option).
The food here is designed to share, and take-away containers are available if you over-order. Several varieties of army stew are available (go for the spam version), along with an assortment of other stews. Served bubbling on a hot-pot, they’re a great option for sharing with friends.
For fans of seafood, there’s and assortment of kimbap (A Korean dish similar to sushi) and hoe (raw dishes, not just seafood), similar to sashimi. Seafood is of the highest quality, and is super fresh. For something raw but not seafood, the yukhoe is a must.
Similar to beef tartare in the West, or Levantine kibbeh nayeh, the version at Seven Star Pocha is the classic one. Lean strips of sliced beef, seasoned with salt, sugar, sesame oil, pepper, and garlic, and generally served with Korean pear, raw egg yolk, and pine nuts.
To drink, it’s Korean beer, soju, makgeolli, and Korean sodas. Try the “Yogurt Soju”. It’s a blend of Yakult, soju, and Chilsung cider (a Korean soda similar to Sprite) that has a unique flavour that you can’t stop drinking.
Seven Star Pocha
Sun – Tue: 5:00pm to 12:00am
Wed: 12:00am to 12:00pm; 5:00pm to 12:00am
Fri – Suat: 5:00pm to 1:00am