Around Melbourne, there's no shortage of American style burger joints. Equally, Korean cuisine is well represented in the dining stakes. The guys at Little Oscar in Brunswick East have melded these two seemingly disparate cuisines into one: Korean-American fusion. On top of that, add in an unpretentious serve of live jazz and DJs from local musicians, and a cocktails menu, and you've got a great place to hang out.
Last week we headed on over to try out a couple of the dishes at Little Oscar. The menu is geared towards sharing. So for a light lunch, the Lawyer and I picked two main dishes (or rather, larger plates) and a side dish to share.
The Gangnam style Korean fried chicken sliders were cute and super juicy. A thick chunk of tender chicken breast topped with Asian slaw and kimchi. Fortunately for us chilli wimps, the kimchi isn't like the ones you'd find in a traditional Korean restaurant - that is, the chilli quotient isn't off the charts. Rather, the pickled cabbage only has a hint of chilli spice and doesn't obstruct the flavours from the rest of the sliders.
The Korean soft taco was pretty tasty. While I'm not usually a fan of anything that's got too much sauce on top, this was a dream. The creamy Cheong-Gochu (Korean red pepper) sour cream was mellow and melded well with the savoury Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) Wagyu mince. It's messy to eat and had me licking my fingers to savour each bit. As with the sliders, despite the presence of the red pepper/chilli, the taco is not spicy - just a mild warmth coming through.
We couldn't go past the kitschily named Kim Jong-Un's chips. While I don't think there's many of us out there who would support the North Korean regime, you can definitely say 'yes' to these chips. Thick-cut and beer battered chips that are loaded with carmaelised kimchi, Cheong-Gochu sour cream and Gochujang beef. It's excessive and unapologetic (like its namesake) and is totally suited for snacking on with drinks.
And because we went to Little Oscar on Valentine's Day, all diners got a complementary dessert - a sour cherry chocolate tarte.