How to Korea in Sydney
Updated: Mar 21, 2018
Sydney (now Seoul) adoptee Blossom Perriard takes us through the best places to find your inner Korean in Sydney.
If you are a Korean adoptee new to the community or are just interested in exploring your ‘inner Korean’, it is becoming increasingly easier to get a taste of Korean culture here in Australia. Due to the popularity of K-Pop, K-Drama and all things Korean, finding a little slice of Korea, in most capital cities at least, is an easy feat!
Sydney offers tons of Korean restaurants, supermarkets, hairdressers, Noraebang (Karaoke) and make-up stores scattered through the CBD and the suburbs with large Korean populations. These places can only provide a somewhat satisfactory stand-in for the “real thing”, and those in the know will walk away asking, “Did I really just pay 3 times what I would pay for that in Korea?!” However, there’s no denying that when you’re craving the warming effects of a kimchi jjigae, a restock of your favourite ramyun or a digital perm for your lovely locks, a trip to Koreatown can be everything you need!
SEOULRIA | GEORGE STREET, SYDNEY Lively atmosphere, almost too many options on the menu, all basic Korean staples are there as well as BBQ and Chinese Korean options. A great opportunity to practice your Korean with the waiters! Seoulria on Facebook
NARUONE – PITT STREET, SYDNEY Really good fried chicken and budaejjigae, has a very Korean vibe inside (feels like they’ve imported all their interiors from Korea), all the basic Korean dishes – jjigaes, bibimbap etc are available. Naruone on Facebook
MOON PARK – REDFERN A little more expensive than most but the prices are reasonable and the food is amazing. There is a Korean chef and Ben Sears, who used to be the head chef at Claude’s. Moon Park website
DANJEE – ALBION PLACE, SYDNEY This is my new favourite Korean restaurant in Sydney! It has a slightly more upmarket feel with wooden floors, more stylish interiors and mood lighting. The waiters are professional and proficient in English and they have a decent wine list and most of all the food is delicious!! A good spot for a date. Danjee website
OBALTAN – PITT STREET, SYDNEY This place specialises in BBQ. Pretty good meat (I always scoff at the prices, but it is what it is). Good atmosphere. Very smoky. Obaltan feels like you’re in Korea. And that’s a good thing. Obaltan website
ARISUN – DIXON STREET, SYDNEY Reminiscent of a Korean hof (Korean pub/soju and beer drinking place). Lots of unusual bar food like sausages, fruit salad and dried squid. There are also a few Korean Chinese dishes like Jjajangmyun and Champong. It’s very lively and convivial and sitting outside on a warm night with fried chicken, beer and friends is a wonderfully Korean thing to do. Arisun on Zomato
HAN HO GROCERY | PITT STREET, SYDNEY I get all my supplies here. It’s a smaller place, but they have everything you need. Their kimchi is locally made and pretty delicious. I get a kilo bag for around $12. They also have a pretty good range of frozen mandu and meat (kalbi, bulgogi etc).
KIM SUN YOUNG | SYDNEY Kim Sun Young has several locations in Sydney CBD and suburbs. This place is huge. They have a nail salon as well as the hair salon and apparently a jjimjilbang sauna. They offer a pretty good range of services – Magic straight, volume magic, digital perm and colouring. I am yet to have anything beyond a haircut done there. But will report back if I do get my next perm there.
CALLA | LIVERPOOL ST, SYDNEY I used to go here all the time as there was a fantastic hairdresser called Nancy. No more Nancy now though! They offer all the same services as Kim Sun Young but are cheaper. They do a decent digital perm and straightening. From memory, I paid around $160 for both.