The Haunt: Joomak
Location of the Haunting: Basement 407-409 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD
A Korean friend once told me that all Korean food is either too spicy, too salty or too sweet. I decided to check out his hypothesis once and for all without leaving Melbourne.
I must have walked past Swanston Street a hundred times over, but I’ve never once stopped to look at this place. Probably because it’s hard to spot from the outside.
Don’t you just love it when the city surprises you?
A short walk down the stairs of this unassuming building and you’ll find yourself at Joomak. I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Sometimes it’s best to have no expectations… I really didn’t have any.
And that’s when I saw the maroon walls, the intimate booths for pseudo privacy and mood lighting.
I’m not that familiar with Korean food, so I asked the friendly waitress to recommend a few dishes. There’s stuff like chicken giblet and what not on the menu, but I’m not fond of chicken insides, so I ordered something slightly less adventurous.
On a rainy winter day, there’s nothing that quite hits the spot like a nice hot soup, so I decided on the kimchi soup with pork ($16). It was warm, spicy, delicious and exactly what the doctor ordered. The heat resonated inside me before heating up my outsides. The cabbage was delicious, the tofu was soft, and the pork slow-cooked to perfection. I reckon it was just spicy enough. It didn’t get me crying.
The second dish I ordered was the cheese eggroll with fish roe ($13). My fellow food lover and I contemplated how this dish was prepared but couldn’t arrive at an amicable agreement. I thought it was oven baked. My fellow foodie thought otherwise, but still couldn’t come up with a satisfactory explanation as to how the chef managed to get this omelette looking thing so perfectly rectangular.
All in all, a good dining experience. The food wasn’t too sweet, too salty or too spicy. Not for my taste buds, anyway.
I’ll definitely head back there for the Kimchi soup with pork. It was just…perfect.