Considering that the pandemic, South Korean expats Songi Heo and Kev Choi have been unable to stop by their households in Seoul.
Heo, a pastry chef, and Choi, an engineer, are Australian long-lasting residents who have been utilizing FaceTime to talk with their mom and dad in South Korea for much more than a year.
They’ve also missed cultural nuances that are really hard to locate in Adelaide, which has a somewhat modest Korean neighborhood.
Locating there to be a deficiency of Korean food stuff choices in the town, the pair has introduced their very own restaurant named Mekom – which means “a little bit spicy” – which opened very last week at the former Bike Society cafe on Pulteney Avenue.
Mekom characteristics a very simple menu that heroes the Korean road-food dish topokki, alongside enjoyment sweets and snacks, together with a quirky just take on corn canine.
“It is complicated to check out our country proper now,” states Heo.
“Other people today from Korea are also missing the street food that’s why we wanted to start off the cafe.
“I studied to be a pastry prepare dinner in Melbourne. I would have preferred to open a cafe but there are so several cafes about in this article so we assumed we would cook dinner Korean food stuff.”
The few has current the store fitout, while keeping the helmet light-weight shades earlier mentioned the counter – an homage to The Motorbike Culture, which continue to operates a workshop at the rear of the building.
Observed on just about every street corner of South Korea, topokki is a sweet and sour dish that has exploded in acceptance and is permeating into other Asian and western nations around the world.
Topokki is produced with tube-formed rice cakes – called tteok – broiled in very hot pepper gochujang paste and served with eggs, toppings, noodles and fish cake.
“For so prolonged, we have been searching for a topokki cafe to consider, but we haven’t been in a position to locate one. We missed it, so we believed we’d make our have,” suggests Heo.
“In Korea, topokki is now a lot more well-known than ever with younger folks.
“Because of the COVID-19 limitations, numerous persons are employing Uber Eats and this dish is incredibly effortless to produce.”
In Adelaide, some restaurants serve topokki as just one factor of a broader menu, but at Mekom topokki is the aspect dish.
With a history as a welder and engineer, Choi is a lengthy-time foodie and now head chef at Mekom.
“Kev analyzed engineering, but he’s very passionate about cooking and he’s a pretty fantastic cook dinner he’s the main chef now,” states Heo.
Attendees can pick to have topokki ready for them, or they can cook it on their own at their desk applying a equipped butane gas cooker.
“We can provide it all in a pot that you can cook on your table oneself, or we can put together it for you.”
There is also a ‘snack’ menu and a ‘sweets’ menu.
The snack menu characteristics the immediate noodle dish jjapaguri, which gained a cult subsequent from a scene in the 2019 Korean motion picture Parasite.
Mekom’s corn canine are anything else: a sausage encapsulated in gooey multi-coloured mozzarella cheese inside a parcel of dough.
“We have had corn canines in Korea for a very long time and they are quite popular,” suggests Choi.
“They’re a deep-fried scorching puppy. In The usa, they use batter, but we’re generating it with doughnut dough.”
There are 4 corn pet options, which include a no-sausage alternative crammed with colored cheese.
The sweets menu features bingsu, which is a milk-based snowflake ice product topped with purple beans.
“After you complete topokki, you take in the bingsu, which is refreshing,” claims Heo.
The alcoholic beverages also offers a kick of Korean nostalgia, with Korean beers and soju offered. There is also tender drinks and juice to decide on from.
“Normally Koreans drink soju combined with a Lager beer – we get in touch with that somac,” suggests Choi. “It’s a famous cocktail in Korea.”
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