Nightlife in Melbourne comes in the form of Korean (BBQ) Suppers

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We have a very different nightlife... the delicious kind.

Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga

Shops close at five in the afternoon, and when the sky goes dark, it seems like the city falls into a deep slumber before the next day comes along. No nightlife, really?! I was very surprised to find human hot spots in Korean restaurants, with small parties of people feasting on what looks like fried chicken, spicy ramen hotpots, and seafood pancakes. It seems like if you don't indulge in some of these... you're missing out. Where to go? What to eat? Let me break it down for you:


1. Jang-gun
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga

Opening hours:
5pm to 4am

Seating area:
Small
Caters to aspiring vampires that do not require sleep, Jang-Gun provides all that you may crave for post-dinner. It is set in the core of Melbourne's very own Korea town, with finger lickin' good sweet and spicy fried chicken that will send a certain fast food restaurant packing real fast. Their seafood dukbokki (see the top image) was an impressive arsenal of mussels, eggs, prawns, and squid. Don't forget the beer! We overestimated ourselves. Try not to commit this same mistake even though you just might. Who could resist ordering this much?
Jang-Gun
500 Lonsdale Street, Healeys Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

2. Changgo
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga

Opening hours:
5.30pm to 1am

Seating area:
Medium
In all honesty, I was never a fan of Korean food despite tons of attempts to change my impression of it. Changgo was my first Korean BBQ restaurant experience in Melbourne, and a great initiation it was. The freshness of the meats for the barbecue was unrivalled, tender yet chewy, juicy yet retains a lot of its original flavour. Sauces are passed around to dip for the meats, but they were really good on their own already. Then I met my new love in watermelon soju. I never turned back.

Changgo
70 Little La Trobe Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

3. Joomak
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Joomak Facebook

Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Joomak Facebook
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Joomak Facebook

Opening hours:
Mon: 5pm to 12mn
Tue & Wed: 5pm to 1am
Thu & Fri: 5pm to 3am
Sat: 5pm to 5am
Closed on Sundays

Seating area:
Large
At this point in time, I have given up taking photos during these suppers because (1) People are often very hungry, and photography becomes very tough on a table of temptations (2) These places are very, very dimly lit, making it very difficult for food photography unless you have a ring light - and then refer to (1). I suspect that the dark lighting helps to conceal unglamorous acts of gobbling down food and ballooning tummies. To me, Joo Mak was very similar to Jang-Gun in what they offer on the menu, much to my amusement when I saw the dishes. Except that their opening hours are different, and Joo Mak is a lot bigger to accommodate large groups. Joo Mak is also the place for the younger, university crowd. It was also then I had my first makgeolli and it feels like seeing the ocean for the first time. It tasted so divine.
Joo Mak 
Basement 407-409 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

4. Woo-ga
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Woo-ga Facebook
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Woo-ga Facebook
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Photo credits: Woo-ga Facebook
Korean Suppers in Melbourne (CBD) - Jang-Gun, Joo Mak, Changgo, Woo Ga
Image credits: epicureantravel
Opening hours:
Mon: 5.30pm to 11pm

Seating area:
Small
I haven't been to Woo Ga, but it is located next to Queen Victoria Market and somehow you know, there is so much procrastination when it comes to places near where I live. I've gone past it countless of times and it is always jam-packed with a queue outside. Reading the reviews online, it seems like it is a hot favourite in the league of Korean restaurants in Melbourne! People are simply crazy over it and now I'm regretting not going for it. It sure is going on my to-go list for my next trip to Melbourne. Tell me if you do go okay?

Woo Ga
270 Victoria Street
Melbourne VIC 3003

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