16 Sep Suda, Melbourne CBD
Relatively young, Suda is a modern Korean restaurant tucked away inconspicuously into Healeys Lane. Suda also has a very simple and modest frontage, so the easiest way to identify it is to look for the large purple snail logo on its shop sign. It’s quite a small, cozy place so bookings are recommended, especially for large groups.
Suda’s menu combines tapas-style dishes alongside more substantial options such as pasta, rice and meat dishes and a fair variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. We were recommended the $25 banquet because there were so many of us and it would relieve the pressure of deciding on dishes to share. I was pretty happy because it meant I could try much of what was on offer! I didn’t actually know how many courses were included in said banquet, so once we got beyond 8 dishes I was pleasantly surprised each time a new one was brought to the table. All together we had seven tapas dishes and five mains. Many of the dishes, especially the mains, had a spicy kick. No dessert was included in this particular banquet, though there is an option that has dessert if so desired.
The brioche bun in the mini tteok-galbi burger was quite airy and crispy, reminding me of the small, round and puffy biscuit cookies I so often ate as a kid. The tteok-galbi was sweet and savoury at the same time and the fresh lettuce helped offset its strong flavour.
We received enough popcorn chicken for one plate between two or three people, which was more than the portion size for the other courses. The waitress’s rationale was ‘because it’s very popular’. Indeed, it was consumed rapidly because of its juicy, tasty goodness. The crispy seafood pancake was one of the other favourites from people around the table, the crispy breadcrumb topping making for something different and obviously crowd-pleasing. The tteok and haloumi was an interesting combination. We were instructed to eat the chewy yet crispy rice cakes and the grilled halmoumi at the same time.
Though quite a number of us were pretty full after our seven tapas, mains were also well received. Of note was the kimchi gratin with tteokgalbi, which was like a lovely hot, cheesy comfort food.
I’m no expert on Korean food, but all the dishes today were very good and everyone felt that the banquet presented great value, both because of the quality of the food and the quantity provided. Suda is certainly one to be earmarked for a return visit.
Dishes included in our 12-course banquet:
– Soft Tofu Salad – Silken Tofu, Sesame Dressing, Spring Onion, Chilli, Tomato
– Lotus Root Chips w. Spicy Mayo
– K+popcorn Chicken – Korean-style Crispy Chicken, Peanut, Spring Onion, Sweet Chili Sauce + Tteok & Halloumi – Crispy Rice Cake, Grilled Halloumi, Plum Honey, Seeds
– Tteok & Halloumi – Crispy Rice Cake, Grilled Halloumi, Plum Honey, Seeds
– Gorgonzola Garlic Pizza – Gorgonzola, Garlic, Plum Honey, Seeds
– Crumbed Seafood Pancake – Spring Onion, Seafood, Bread Crumb
– Mini Tteok-Galbi Burger w. Brioche, Mayo, Cos Lettuce
– Tteok-Galbi & Kimchi Gratin – Kinchi Pilaf, Cream Sauce, Mozzarella
– Bulgogi Pasta w. Shitake Mushrooms, Shredded Egg
– Bibimbap – w. Vegetables, Chili Paste, Egg, Bulgogi
– Kimchi Pork Belly Stew w. Potato, Tteok
– Spicy Tteokbokki – Rice Cake, Spicy Soup, Boiled Egg, Dumplings, Panko Prawn