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This is another gem in the city that is not located where anyone can spot it right away. In fact, without much digging around on the WWW, it may be a wee bit hard to find this place — It is located on Little Lonsdale Street, but not on the main stretch — it is actually between William and King Street, where the crowd does not usually gather. But who knows this is actually such a good place to have some pretty authentic Korean Guk Bap.

Literally, Guk Bap means ‘soup with rice’. It can be soup with soondae (something like blood sausage – acquired taste as it is made of intestines of pigs/cows), soup with kimchi, soup with beef…. you name it. It is a pretty popular dish in Korea from the Joseon dynasty and the culture was retained to this very day. I was surprised to find a place in Melbourne city itself that does guk bap, so naturally I was attracted to it.

gukbap

gukbap

Never once when I patronized the place it was crowded with people. Neither was it deserted. It is pleasantly occupied without being too intimidatingly bustling. You order from the nice little wooden plaques on the wall where all the items in the restaurants were neatly written on them. I thought this is a pretty creative and environmentally friendly idea though the only setback is they are all written in Korean, so they would still need printed menus to aid people who can’t read Korean.

menu on the wall

menu on the wall

Eating guk bap is a little different. You don’t expect the taste to be all nicely ‘flavoured’ that you can gulp down your soup immediately upon being served. You need to add in your own salt, pepper, shrimp and chilli sauce according to your own preference. If not, your soup will taste really bland. The sundae guk bap, after adding in the additional condiments, tasted really good. Many people hate sundae, but I like it for some reason. You really can’t feel or taste the intestinal bits of it. It tastes just like a normal sausage, but with added flavour.

Sundae gukbap

Sundae gukbap

We also ordered dumplings. Their dumplings are not too bad, though not too far from being ‘normal’.

pan-fried dumplings

pan-fried dumplings

Both Japanese and Korean beers are available in Guk Bap.

Cass, which is a Korean beer, and Asahi, a Japanese beer.

Cass, which is a Korean beer, and Asahi, a Japanese beer.

Their bibimbap was not too bad too. Though I did not order that ,my friend praised that it is actually better than many other Korean places out there.

bibimbap at guk bap

bibimbap at guk bap

Their Veggie soup was really refreshing.

seafood soup

vegetable stew/soup

Kimchi pancake tasted good too~

Kimchi pancake

Kimchi pancake

All in all, everything was good. It is really hard for me to say how good. Just GOOD, and will recommend this place to anyone who would like to try out Korean food, or simply want to try a different Korean restaurant. It is in the city so definitely not hard to get in there. The nearest train station would be Southern Cross, where a 5 minutes walk would take you to Guk Bap.

The only thing I would want to complain would be its slightly slower-than-average service. They are not very attentive to new tables who would possibly be ready to order, but once they got the food on your table this will change.

The details:

Guk Bap

Shop 1, 535 Little Lonsdale Street. Melbourne 3000

(+61)(3) 9939 0380

 

Hours:

10.30AM to 11PM everyday

 

The Verdict:

Service: 3.5/5

Food/Taste: 4/5

Coffee/Drinks: 4/5

Ambience: 4/5

Convenience: 3.5/5

Price: 4/5

Total: 23/30 

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