Monday, September 29, 2014

Suda, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Suda is one of the growing number of Korean or Korean influenced eateries appearing around Melbourne.  At dinner time the menu is Korean inspired tapas (or maybe tapas inspired Korean), but we were looking for a quick and convenient lunch.  We’d recently been to Mr Nice Guy, and while we considered the interesting looking 68 Degrees (crab laksa!), Suda it was.

Given its location in Healeys Lane, the Laneway where promising eateries go to die, it was a bit concerning to see just how quiet Suda was when we entered.  A few more turned up looking for lunch while we were eating but still quieter than you’d really expect for a Thursday lunch.  Nice looking place though, lots of light coloured wood and industrial lighting, with the kitchen towards the back.  Our friendly server handed us the fairly straightforward menus so it didn’t take us long to order – Snooze the fried chicken on rice, me the bulgogi bibimbap.

Hmm, fried chicken at a Korean CafĂ© or restaurant or dinner is definitely one of the finer things in life.  Suda’s was good, juicy and flavoursome if not necessarily the best going around.  The item that Snooze complemented the most was the sesame topped rice (I think from memory, as I didn’t try it).  

Unfortunately though we didn’t like the fried dumpling served with this meal.  I’ve only had Korean style dumplings (Mandoo) a handful of times, so it may not be a comprehensive sample, but my impression is that the steamed version is better than the fried.  It’s to do with the texture of the dumpling skin.  I like the combination of softness and crispness or Japanese and Chinese dumplings, but fried mandoo have a very different texture, for me almost like cardboard.

I decided on the beef bulgogi bibimbap, a dish of rice served in a bowl with lots of different types of vegetables and grilled meat.  Before eating you mix all the ingredients together.  Some places offer the option of a stone bowl version of this dish which is my preference, often served with an egg over the top which cooks in the heat coming off the bowl.  At the bottom of the bowl the rice crisps up, kind of like a good paella.  This version though was served luke warm, and while I enjoyed it I can’t say I was overwhelmed by it.

Cute place for lunch, good enough without being outstanding.  It’s clean, it’s comfortable, the staff were friendly and prices are reasonable.

Food – 7
Ambience – 7
Service – 7.5
Price – 7

Healeys Lane, 550 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9942 6422

Suda on Urbanspoon

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