When I’m in the mood for some hearty, Asian food, I find that many Korean restaurants in the Melbourne CBD can deliver this. This year, I’ve discovered my new favourite Korean restaurant – Warra Warra, stealing the crown from the past winners of my heart, CJ Lunch Bar and Darac Grill and Bar.
In fact, I find Warra Warra a little similar to Darac, purely because of their lunch ordering system with pieces of paper and boxes to tick what you would like in your meal. It has less options and variations than Darac, but that’s OK, because too many options often makes me more indecisive.
If you’re not sure what I mean, check out an old version of their menu here. Their updated menu has options to choose what sides you want with your meal (eg. takoyaki, gyoza) and I also saw a sign indicating that they will be adding a few more things to their lunch menu starting from today.
It’s also quite hidden, in the back alleys and laneways between Little Collins and Bourke St. It’s small and cute, another one of those hidden Melbourne places that you feel proud to discover. Despite its size, the seating is more spacious than most cramped Asian restaurants, and another point of difference from Darac is their food bar. They have small pre-cooked dishes that you can simply take from the display and pay for it with your meals.
Warning – they disappear quite quickly! I saw a box of takoyaki (octopus balls), and after turning around to get my wallet, looked back to see that they were gone! So I went for some chilli Korean fried chicken – as I’m a bit behind in this KFC craze.
Unfortunately, they had evidently been sitting there for a while thus it was a tad soggy and not crispy. It’s probably better to go for the cold food, such as salads, as it won’t lose its quality.
What we really go to Warra Warra for though, are the lunch meals. Last time I had the beef japchae with rice, whilst my friend had the mild pork bulgogi. The pork was tasty but wasn’t spicy at all, so this time I thought I’d discover what their spicy pork bulgogi tastes like, whilst my friend ordered chicken teriyaki. We also both ordered takoyaki as our sides, considering the food bar version disappeared! Our two meals plus the fried chicken only cost about $23.
The presentation of meals also added to the “cute” feel, with the meat being served in little pans. The pork was just spicy enough for me, as I’m not too chilli-tolerant. My friend’s chicken teriyaki was also rich in flavour, not your usual teriyaki taste, a hint of sweetness, almost like plum sauce – and we loved it.
This place does not disappoint. The staff are cheery and friendly, and they are still playing around with the menu to satisfy their new following. I will have to try it sometime for dinner too – and perhaps try one of their fruit + soju cocktails hehe!
Warra Warra Korean Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner, Mon-Sat. For more details see their website here and checkout their map below for their location.