Kimchi is to Koreans what a snag is to an Aussie. In South Korea, dedicated kimchi fridges are stockpiled with these sour spicy fermented vegetables through the warmer seasons. Running out (or low) of kimchi is not an acceptable way of life.
The ever-present side dish to any (and every) Korean meal, Melbourne might not have jumped on the kimchi bandwagon just yet, but if you’re chasing this addictive pickled side dish—here are the best places to get your kimchi everything.
SFC Burger at The Lilydale General
Sesame mayo, spiced fried chicken and homemade (the way it should be) sour kimchi is sandwiched between two toasty black buns to create the ultimate modern Korean kimchi burger. We wouldn’t tell you unless it was worth the drive.
KFC burger at Sir Charles
Korean fried chicken is layered with house made kimchi, cos lettuce and a burnt chilli mayo on brioche at Sir Charles. In case that isn’t blowing your spice-loving socks off – the KFC burger comes with a side of kimchi fries.
Gangnam Style at Lt. Oscar
Between Little Oscar’s Gangnam Style sliders boasting tender, crispy Korean fried chicken with an Asian slaw and kimchi; and their Kim Jong-Un Chips featuring caramelised kimchi, these guys have got spice more than covered.
Kimchi Jji-gae at GUKBAB
GUKBAB is the real deal. From Korean-style blood sausage to Teok-bok-ki, a dish of strangely addictively chewy rice cake, fish cake and eggs cooked in Korean chilli sauce, they’ve got every kimchi base covered. Kimchi & bean sprout guk bab (a soup), kimchi seafood pancakes and a kimchi-dedicated Dol-sot Bibimbab are a few of your fermented options, but our pick is the homemade Kimchi Jji-gae with vegetables and pork. You’ll be kimchi-ed out.
Kimchi Pancake at Gami
If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting kimchi in the form of a veggie-stuffed pancake, you’ve been missing out on maximising your kimchi intake at Gami. Delicately pan-fried and served wafer-thin on a hot plate, pickled veggies are credited with providing good gut bacteria, so it’s totally healthy right?
Aged Kimchi at Chimac
The Aged Kimchi pancake at Chimac is loaded with well-fermented cabbage kimchi, onion and scallions. Fried until golden brown and optimally crisp, you won’t be able to stop at one kimchi-loaded bite.
Kim-cheese Fries at Gorilla Grill
Shoestring fries are loaded with extra stringy, melted Monterey jack cheese, kimchi salsa and ground pork to create the ultimate Korean-style cheat meal down in Maribyrnong. Gorilla Grill’s kimchi salsa, made from pureed kimchi and Korean gochujang chilli paste, means these fries packed an expected punch.
Trio of Kimchi at Kong
Kimchi, times three. Get into Kong.
Kimchi Jji-gae at White Kimchi
Dishing out traditional Korean street food favs, White Kimchi’s kimchi Jji-gae soup is a mouth tingling combination of tender pork and loads of kimchi cooked in a spicy broth. Load up on a variety of kimchi sides including white kimchi (milder than usual), red kimchi and traditional kimchi.
Smoked pork belly with cooked kimchi at Bistro K
These are a few of our favourite things, combined into one kimchi-filled dish at Bistro K. If beef is more your style, there are super tender, slow cooked kimchi beef ribs on offer.
Hochi Banh Bao at Hochi Mama
Expect your choice of Hochi fried chicken or pork belly in a pillow-soft bao bun crammed with kimchi, fermented beans and Kewpie mayonnaise. The perfect combination of soft bao and crunchy fermented veg, we could easily fill up before dinner at Hochi Mama.
Kimchi Dragon Bowl at Yong Green Food
If you want your kimchi without the calories, Yong Green Food’s vegan-friendly bowl of healthy goodness features biodynamic brown rice topped with fried kimchi, coleslaw, micro-salad, cucumber, sliced tofu, cashew cream, sesame oil and kizami nori.
Nori Taco at Mr Miyagi
It’s time to get your priorities in order if you haven’t tried Mr Miyagi’s internet-famous nori taco with grilled salmon belly, sushi rice, spicy napa cabbage, Japanese mayo, chilli oil and LOADS of kimchi.
Looking for more Korean food? Check out Melbourne's Best Korean!
Image credit: via The Woks Of Life.