270 Victoria St
North Melbourne VIC 3051
+61 3 9328 1221
I had cousins visit us from Indonesia in July and as well as showing them a thing or two about Melbourne (how shit the weather is in winter and my favourite places to drink and dance), my brother and I took them some of our favourite dining spots.
The plan was to meet at Melbourne Central at 5:45 pm one rainy Friday evening. Unfortunately, my cousins brought jam karet with them to Melbourne and subsequently did not show up until close to 7 pm. This meant that a lot of restaurants within walking distance were unable to accommodate a group of six people at the very last minute.
The weather gods may not have been on our side that night but Lady Lucky must have been because Wooga, one of my brother’s favourite Korean restaurants, had a table big enough to fit six crazy Indonesians. Not bad given that they’re usually booked out, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Like most Korean restaurants in Melbourne, Wooga specialises in Korean BBQ so you select your raw meat from the menu and watch it cook in front of you. At Wooga, several combos are available and we chose Combo D ($119), the largest combo of them all. In addition to various cuts of beef (rib, topside, Scotch fillet and tongue, yo!), we also got two seafood dishes, a pork dish, a soup and four portions of rice (which was more than enough given all the protein we were getting).
Gotta love free-flowing banchan.
My cousins love their meat well-done while my brother and I prefer ours just cooked. Thus, coordinating the cook took some getting used to – especially after all the plum wine we had just drank.
We were given spicy pepper sauce and garlic oil to dip our meat in. They were great but they meat was so flavoursome that we probably would have been fine without the sauces.
‘Slaw was provided but for some reason, it mostly remained untouched. It wasn’t because it was awful (in actual fact, it was fine) but because my cousins love their meat so much.
The seafood pancake was very well done. In addition to being decently-sized, it was also dense and packed with generous doses of octopus, prawn and calamari.
Our pan-fried squid was also delicious with the right amount of spiciness to appease my sambal-loving cousins. While other Korean restaurants tend to make this dish a bit too sweet, I thought that this version was just right.
Yesss, more meat.
My cousin Jess loves pork so we ordered pork belly ($14) as an extra dish even though we were pretty much verging on full at this stage.
Oh, not to mention that we still had to finish the cooked pork dish that came with the combo. The menu said that it came with bok choy but bitch, that green stuff ain’t bok choy! Anyway, it may not have been the best dish of the night, but it was nevertheless still good to eat a meat dish that didn’t have to be cooked on the barbie.
Our final dish was a heart-warming spicy soup containing prawns, squid and those really nice and chewy disc-shaped rice cakes. Unlike the pan-fried squid, the soup wasn’t overly spicy which was fine and all – in fact, I liked the delicate tangy broth.
Given that Wooga’s Combo D banquet comfortably fed six people, it was a pretty cheap meal. And while I liked it, my cousins couldn’t stop talking about it for days on end – I’m not sure if it’s because they’re easily pleased or because of the lack of good Korean restaurants in Jakarta. Either way, they definitely want to return to Wooga the next time they’re back. As for myself, I can definitely see myself coming here for dinner after work given that it’s not too far from the office. Hell, I’d come here for lunch if the jam karet concept applied at work and we didn’t have to rush back to our desk!