Food & Drink

Nine and Three Quarters | The Verdict

By Emma Bangay
4th Aug 2015

With an external nod to Mondrian tones, the High Street Prahran apartment building above Nine and Three Quarters may well be a fresh new visual landmark, but it’s the new Melbourne restaurant lying beneath that is sure to bring the crowds.

Brought to you by the team behind Lights In The Attic, this Korean cafe/kitchen proves once again that the true heart and soul of a new residential build is best served via an onsite eatery.

This fabulously cute Asian infused space is super new—yet to even have phone connection, let alone mass social media marketing at the time of my visit—but that doesn’t mean its fare should not be sought out STAT.

In the A.M, Nine and Three Quarters offers the commuter and bleary-eyed Swinburne student a bevy of crisp and creamy espresso blends and single origin serves, but it’s the bespoke sipping selections such as Café Saigon—a Vietnamese iced coffee—and the array of organic teas within test tubes, which can be brought to your table for a little sniff prior to selection, that really set this morning stop apart.

The lunch and dinner menu is sure to really draw the Asian dining aficionados, particularly as they serve some of the best bibimbap in MelbourneThis signature Korean dish literally means “mixed rice” and, when done well as it is here, is edible Nirvana!

Warm white rice dish is served with seasoned and sautéed vegetables, fried egg and meat (optional) stirred through and head chef Oggie Choi puts so much love into the variation—even serving smaller sizes in the ‘Cup Bap—that it is most definitely worth the visit.

Like the modernised Korean-inspired menu, the interiors at Nine and Three Quarters are also contemporary. The paneled plywood square feature walls are inspired by Minecraft, and an engulfing harmonious piece by local artist Sam Kenneally of Cortex Brand Studio keeps the space fresh. All pale timber and hints of pastel, thick glass, octagonal white tiling and ghosted up-lighting adds to the successful transition from cafe to Korean restaurant, no matter what time of the day you dine.

And if the name is anything to go by, the bar will continue to be raised. ‘Nine and Three Quarters’ refers to the universal desire to score a ten out of ten right out of the gates. Time will tell if this Prahran Korean restaurant hits double figures, but if you are a fan of contemporary, clandestine cafe spaces or super delicious and healthy Korean street food, Nine and Three Quarters may just prove the perfect score.

Image credit: Sabine Legrand for The Urban List

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