At 25 Grenfell St you’ll find an imposing black glass building that you may recognise as the black glass building fronted by Hugo Boss, Georg Jensen and Rhodes and Beckett. Down the side of this building is a cosmopolitan plaza dotted with tables and chairs with a water feature taking pride of place. Saunter past a few restaurants and you will come across new Korean Street Food hot spot; +82 Pocha. It’s a great place to go for quick eats, or make a night of it and enjoy what I consider to be one of the most underrepresented cuisines in the Adelaide food scene. Adelaide Food Central dined there a couple of weeks ago for dinner and this time we headed back to check out their lunch menu.
Despite its size, the small lunch menu offers great selection. The first options are a choice of a Bibimbap or Burrito (yes, you read that right, Burrito) in a design your own style. A choice of fillings; lettuce, tomato, baked beans, corn salsa, fried kimchi, red slaw and pickled jalapeno and choose to add a protein; Bulgogi (Korean sliced beef with sweet soy sauce) Je-Yuk (Korean stir-fried pork) or homemade vege-balls and dress it up with your choice of ranch, smoke bbq, sweet chilli, apple cider vinaigrette, Korean chilli, chipotle mayo, yuzu dressing and sweet soy sauce.
We opted for a Bibimbap – with all the salads with Bulgogi, yuzu dressing and Korean Chilli Sauce. The meat was melt in the mouth tender and had that familiar fermented flavour that is present in Korean fare. The bowl is lined with fluffy white rice and our mixture of salad layered on top. A couple of sauces presented on the side allow for customisation of flavour and heat. You can see by the rainbow of colours in this dish that it is fresh and vibrant and it is tasty, healthy and satisfying.
Not your typical sighting on a Korean menu this take on a Burrito turned out to be a delicious lunch. We ordered all the fillings and chose the Je-Yok (Korean stir-fried pork) with sweet chilli sauce. The tortilla is toasted to a crisp golden finish. The burrito is built with the meat at one end and the rice on the other bookending the assorted fillings. I found this lead to an evolving flavour experience, each bite tasting different depending on the angle and part of the burrito you bit at the time.
For me going halves in a burrito and sharing a serve of popcorn chicken is a perfect lunch. We chose Korean Popcorn Chicken with homemade garlic honey sauce. The other sauce available is homemade sweet chilli sauce. The small chicken pieces are coated in a thick beer batter and twice cooked to given them their almost biscuit like crunch. The sauce is light and delicate in its garlic and honey flavours, perhaps a little too much restraint used. A generous handful of fresh salad leaves with a creamy dressing makes the dish a little less guilt ridden and pairs nicely with the chicken.
For those after something a little more filling the Dak-Dori will satisfy. A stir-fry of chicken thigh with a medley of cabbage, capsicum and onion and chives. A strong presence of kimchi resonates through the vegetables and there is a decent kick of chilli in the thick dark red sauce. Authentic Korean Street food at its best.
Now that you are well and truly convinced to head to +82 Pocha for lunch I must let you in on some other exciting news. They are open late! Now by late I mean early – a closing time of 2AM on Friday and Saturday means midnight munchies can take the form of something other than greasy burgers and fries. On that note, I must comment on Pocha’s small but very appealing wine list that has a local focus and decent mixture of varietals.
That leads me into the next important announcement – Happy hour on Friday’s from 4-6pm. Each week they will offer a different Korean Beer for $5 and local wines can also be purchased for only $5 a glass. You’ll need something to nibble on and +82 Pocha’s Chicken Wings will hit the spot at 70c a wing. A super sticky Korean chilli paste coats the crunchy fried wings. The glaze has a delightful warmth that tingles the lips and dances on the tongue. What a way to finish the working week!
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 3/25 Grenfell St, Adelaide