Friday, 5 December 2014

Suda - #MELB2014


The original plan for dinner on Day 1 was to go to Chin Chin on Flinders Lane, but we were too exhausted from our crazy day of shopping to go looking for it and then be forced to wait at least an hour for a table. Instead, we visited Suda, a place closer to our apartment which came highly recommended by another friend who'd dined here multiple times and has never been disappointed. Looking at the menu before I was even in Melbourne, I'd say it's a fusion Korean restaurant with lots of modern takes on traditional Korean food.
The address was a little confusing, apparently located at 550 Lonsdale St which turned out to be in a lane just off Lonsdale St. It can easily be spotted by the sign out the front featuring a purple snail.

 Hot green tea

I first tried it earlier this year in Adelaide and just fell in love with it. I'd ordered green tea but found that the bag of green tea also contained brown rice. The rice gives it a really comforting, woody smell. Upon further research, I've discovered this is called Hyeonmi nokcha, a roasted brown rice infused green tea. So good!

Minty Plum Iced Tea $4

Apparently this tasted like cordial because of its sweetness!

The four of us opted for the 'Feed Me' option. For $29 per person, we had a chef's selection of 11 tapas and main dishes, as well as a dessert.

Soft tofu salad 

First up was a little salad presented in a cappuccino cup. Silken tofu sat on a bed of lettuce, topped with a creamy dressing which had flavours of soy and mustard. We all really enjoyed it and I thought it was a great way to start the meal with something light and refreshing.

Mini tteok-galbi burgers
Tteok-galbi, brioche, mayo, cos lettuce

Galbi is a marinated meat, usually beef or pork, that is very popular in Korean cuisine. The small burgers weren't that impressive, although I really liked the slight sweetness from the galbi marinade.

K-popcorn chicken
Korean style crispy chicken, peanut, spring onion, sweet chilli

I could have eaten this entire plate by myself! Perfectly sized, crunchy pieces of chicken covered in a sweet, sticky and slightly salty glaze. I feel like this would be perfect to snack on over a cold beer!

Lotus root chips and spicy mayo

These were probably the best lotus root chips I've had so far! I liked that the chips themselves weren't too salty so they tasted great with the mayo, which wasn't too spicy but still packed a bit of a punch.

Tteok & Haloumi
Crispy rice cake, grilled haloumi, plum honey, seeds

I love tteokbokki so it was different to see tteok used in a completely different dish. Tteok and haloumi is a combination I'd never even think of! The tteok was very glutinous and chewy, and had a very thin crispy skin as well as a sweet glaze of plum honey. A little odd, but I think it's worth trying!

Crumbed Seafood Pancake
Spring onion, seafood, bread crumb

Chunky bits of spring onion and squid were easily identifiable amongst the rest of the pancake. So tasty, especially with the light soy dipping sauce!

Gorgonzola garlic pizza
Gorgonzola, garlic, plum honey, seeds

I really liked the thin, crispy texture of the base but I found the plum honey way too overpowering. There was so much of it, it was dripping everywhere and eventually soaked into the base. Not our favourite dish of the night.

Bulgogi pasta
Bulgogi, shiitake mushroom, shredded egg

Our first main dish of the night and I really liked it! The pasta was cooked al dente and was coated in a delicious, slightly sweet savoury sauce. The bulgogi was also delicious, very tender and full of flavour. I could've finished this entire plate!

Tteok-galbi & kimchi gratin
Kimchi pilaf, cream sauce, mozzarella

The slightly spicy kimchi rice under the layer of galbi and mozzarella was ridiculously good. It packed the perfect amount of punch and I feel like it would be perfect on a winter evening. Also, the galbi was so, so tender. 

Kimchi pork belly stew
Slow cooked pork belly, kimchi, potato, tteok, a bowl of multigrain rice

This reminded me a lot of the tteokbokki I make at home using gojuchang, which is a Korean red pepper paste. This stew had a very obvious gojuchang base, and the pork belly was very tender and fatty. It was a pretty chilly night so this was perfect to have just before we headed out the door!

We'd originally chosen desserts to finish off with, but we were just so full after the mains. We ended up paying only $26 each. We loved almost all of the dishes, finding that our least favourites were all a little too sweet. The service was nothing special, but I do have to point out that they weren't very subtle at checking whether or not we had finished with each course. I guess I can't complain though, because everything was perfectly timed as we were brought out dish after dish. The 'Feed me' option is such fantastic value for money and I will happily come back here the next time I'm in Melbourne to try out more of their menu!

Suda on Urbanspoon

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