Nestled away in the CBD on Grenfell St lies a small Korean tapas style restaurant, +82 Pocha. It opened around two months ago, and has already gained immense popularity for its social and bar-style Korean menu. The unusual restaurant name has an ingenious Korean association, with +82 being the international dialling code, and ‘pocha’ meaning street food vendor. The owners have no doubt brought the best of Korean street food to our lucky city. Owned by four Adelaide residents with Korean heritage, Hae-Ah Lee, Steven Lee, Jang-Hoon Choi and Hyun-Woo Kang, who all felt that Adelaide was missing an authentic piece of Seoul. The menu samples the best of Korean cuisine and a vibrant and social restaurant. So grab some mates, and have a meal and share Soju – the peach flavour is the best just FYI!
Gogi Wanza – For all you gluten-free diners, this beef and pork Korean meatball starter, filled with seasoned vegetables marinated in Korean spices is the dish for you. Coated in a sweet and sticky chilli sauce, these meatballs will be gone easily in under a minute. They are simply divine; I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to share.
Manddo Bumbuk – This vegetarian Korean dumpling salad is accompanied with crispy egg noodles and a sauce which is sure to make you salivate. The dumplings are light, so as not to ruin your appetite for your meal, and easily shared. The only thing I can say is, move over Dumpling King, some of the best dumplings in Adelaide are tucked away at +82 Pocha.
Bulgogi Arancini – Just when you thought bulgogi couldn’t get any better, +82 Pocha managed this feat by combining it with arancini. Korean spiced powder, chives and parmesan cheese intensify the bulgogi flavours in the arancini, and make for a winning starter. The crispy fried arancini is a starter you’ll not want to miss out on, so be sure to experience it for yourself!
Bul-Dak – Colloquially known as ‘volcano chicken’, this spicy grilled chicken dish is served with an assortment of seasonal vegetables and sprinkled with sesame seeds for an earthy flavour to counterbalance the volcanic heat. Served on a piping hot plate, this dish is for fans of spice. It gives a new meaning to the name Scary Spice, because the heat doesn’t hit you until the last minute. Add some pickled radish to your order to cool it down – trust me, it works better than milk!
+82 Tteok-Bokki – This is a Korean restaurant staple, with spicy rice and fish cakes mixed through with onion, cabbage and carrots. Similar to kimchi, but packed with heat – of both kinds – this is your ideal Korean dinner, or topped with cheese it is everything your 1am drunken night on the town is looking for. This cheesy, chilli dish is the epitome of Korean cuisine; so it’s an absolute must-try!
+82 Kim-Chi Jeon – If you’re looking for something to share, look no further than this kimchi pancake – the size of a medium pizza – filled with spring onion, and topped with crispy bacon and an aioli sauce. If you’ve ever had a Japanese Okonomiyaki, the Kim-Chi Jeon is very similar to that, only with incredible Korean flavours instead of Japanese. Cabbage is wrapped in the savoury pancake mixture for a unique flavour and texture combination, which surprisingly works. The French seem to think they’ve got savoury pancakes all worked out, but after trying the Korean version I’d say there’s some fierce competition in town!
Bulgogi – This stew-like Korean beef dish is tossed with seasonal vegetables, including enoki mushrooms. It is unlike anything I have tasted before, and surprisingly, was my favourite meal of the night. It’s not something I would have chosen off the menu myself, but after sampling it, I’d have to say it’s my favourite Korean dish. Nuts, garlic chips and sesame seeds are sprinkled over the top for a to-die-for crunchy element.
Je-Yuk – This spicy stir-fried pork is served with kimchi flavours and seasoned vegetables. Not quite as spicy as the Bul-Dak, it’s the safer option for those who can handle a medium spice level. Served in a piping hot oven pan, the stir-fry looks absolutely delectable, and with the addition of pork crackling it is sure to be a winner dish!
KFC: Korean Fried Chicken – Just like the name suggests, these wings are finger lickin’ good! Choose your own flavour to season the wings, however the best two are the sweet chilli sauce and the garlic-honey sauce. The sweet chilli is a crispy and sticky batter, and the garlic-honey is sprinkled with nuts with a drizzling sauce which is incredible. The succulent and crunchy wings are a signature bar-style meal in Korean cuisine, and have made appearances on shows recently such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules. Served with a sweet pickled radish, these wings are worth every penny!
+82 Fries – For only $8 you can buy an insanely huge bowl of Korean spiced fries, which are also vegetarian friendly for those of you who are wondering. Chives and Parmesan cheese are sprinkled over the super crispy seasoned fries for an even more intense flavour and texture combo. The aromatic seasoning is the first thing you will smell and taste, but then dip it in the accompanying aioli and you’re in for a taste sensation! If you’ve ever had shaker fries, these Korean style fries are seasoned very similarly – you’ll be devouring the whole bowl in no time.
+82 Pocha is open for lunch Tuesday – Friday from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday 5:30pm to late. Fridays and Saturdays are open especially late, until 2am, so you can order food for your drunken weekend crusades. Skip the Zambreros line, and head straight to +82 Pocha for a late night meal you can’t beat!
Located on Grenfell Street, the restaurant rests right in the heart of the city. Make sure to grab a Seoul-ful bite this Silly Season at +82 Pocha, you won’t regret it!
Words by Erin Gear
WHERE: 3/25 Grenfell St, Adelaide