Hold on to Your Bibimbap: Top 10 Places For Korean BBQ in Melbourne

Let’s talk about Korean BBQ in Melbourne

So, what’s the deal with Korean BBQ in Melbourne? For the past few years, Korean food has slowly but surely been making its way to the top of the food chain. Well, Melbourne’s food chain anyway. While there’s a lot that makes up this multifaceted cuisine, we’re currently obsessed with all-things Korean barbecue, which is all about succulent meats grilled at your table. Possibly the most fun way to eat ever.

Melbourne is certainly not shy when it comes to cool and trendy ways to dine. So it’s no surprise that Korean BBQ is taking the city by storm. Perfect for groups, you can order a range of meats – typically bulgogi, thinly sliced brisket, spicy pork bulgogi, chicken and strip loin – as well as a heap of sides called banchan, and a giant bowl of kimchi. Then, pile your plate high with whatever takes your fancy, and wash it all down with a few soju bombs.

Wait, what on earth is bulgogi?

A fair question because it’s often confused with either bulgur or Korean bibimbap. In reality though, bulgogi is the star of the Korean barbecue show. Made from thinly sliced beef sirloin or tenderloin, the cut is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and pepper. It’s then cooked using gridirons or griddles at the table and served with whatever banchan your heart desires.

The ins and outs of Korean barbecue in Melbourne

Here are some things we recommend you take note of when tucking into Korean BBQ. Firstly, don’t eat all the banchan early on. Mostly they include a lot of vinegar and acid that cuts through the rich meats, making them essential to have throughout the whole meal. Also, using wooden chopsticks is critical because you need that extra grip to hold on tight – you don’t want a slippery meat situation now do you? Also, definitely order the marinated short ribs and pork belly as most often they’re the most delicious of what’s on offer. You can thank us later.

Succulent meats cooking on the grill & a range of banchan. Delicious. Source: Shutterstock \[…\]

In terms of drinks, we recommend the soju – Korean rice wine – or any of the refreshing Korean beers. Or, go wild and make yourself a soju bomb and put a shot of soju into a beer. It’s delicious and somehow matches the meats perfectly.

Healthier than other Asian cuisines, Korean food is taking the dining scene in Melbourne by storm, and we have well and truly joined the party. So, if the idea of trying something new appeals to you, pay any of these Korean barbecue spots a visit. Be sure to bring a large group too, so you can sample as much as possible.

Top 10 Korean barbecue places in Melbourne

1. G2 Korean BBQ

Where better to start than with G2 Korean BBQ. Edgy in all the right ways, this spot boasts copper exhaust fans coming from the ceiling in a rather dramatic fashion, exposed brick walls, booth seating and a whole lot of industrial-chic charm. As for the food, you’ll be in for succulent meats (obvs), flavoursome broths and kimchi with plenty of punch. Also, make sure you try G2’s signature homemade sweet soy sauce and the seaweed salad.

We love: The thinly sliced beef brisket.

301 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD 3000

Lunch: Mon – Sun: 12 – 3pm

Dinner: Mon – Thurs: 6 – midnight, Fri – Sat: 6 – 3am, Sun: 6 – 2am

2. Mun Korean Kitchen

Located in Williams Landing, Mun Korean Kitchen combines Korean barbecue with design. Featuring a futuristic wooden installation on the ceiling, low hanging lights and metal art adorning the walls, this Korean restaurant ticks all the right boxes for us. Offering a Korean barbecue menu alongside classics like kimchi fried rice, bibimbap, sliders and their signature Korean fried chicken, all your food dreams will come true here. It’s fab.

We love: SSAM platter with caramelised kimchi, steamed rice, ssamjang sauce and spicy chicken marinated in gochujang sauce.

Shop 25A / 100 Overton Rd, Williams Landing, Melbourne 3027

Lunch: Mon – Sun: 11 – 3pm

Dinner: Mon – Sun: 5 – 11pm

3. Zen Charcoal BBQ

Ahh Zen Charcoal BBQ… This Korean food haven is an institution and features some of the best takes on barbecue in Melbourne (in our humble opinion). Located on Toorak Road in South Yarra, dining here is all about eating as much as possible. Which means rounds of entrees, crispy chicken smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce, beef scotch ribs and more kimchi than you can shake a stick at. Cook it over your own charcoal grills and settle in for a tasty night.

We love: Australian Wagyu scotch fillet (marble score of 6+)

306 Toorak Road, South Yarra, Melbourne 3141

Lunch: Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 2:30pm

Dinner: Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 10pm

4. Subi Q Korean BBQ

Differing to most Korean barbecue restaurants, Subi Q Korean BBQ is chic, stylish and a bit rustic. You’ll find all the good stuff on offer here, by which we obvs mean bibimbap, bulgogi, karaage and more. But our top pick has got to be the Seoul BBQ set for two people. You get two different types of meat, heaps of veg, rice dishes and sides. So it’s ideal when you and your bestie or date feel like eating til you pop. All the time, amiright?! Subi Q is located on Malvern Road in South Yarra, and we’re all about it. So why not try it for yourself?

We love: As well as the Seoul BBQ set for two, we love the beef bulgogi bibimbap.

407 Malvern Road, South Yarra, Melbourne 3141

Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 10pm

5. Noda Grill

Noda Grill is the brainchild of the talented team Jinhee Oh and Yeji Kim, who set out to change the face of Korean dining in Melbourne. Realising that Korean cuisine was vastly underrepresented in Melbourne, the two drew on their extensive experience to create one of the coolest venues in town. The name, translating to precious and unique in Korean, suits the space perfectly, which is designed with mismatched hanging lanterns, copper exhaust fans spiralling down from the ceiling, and wooden furnishings. With classic dishes alongside the signature barbecue menu, you’ll be in grilled meat heaven here.

We love: The beef and seafood barbecue set for two that comes with Scotch fillet, LA galbi short ribs, tiger prawns and squid in gochujang sauce.

144 Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne 3121

Lunch: Mon – Sun: 12 – 3pm

Dinner: Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 10pm

6. Towoo Korean Charcoal BBQ

Tucked away in Surrey Hills, east of the Melbourne CBD, Towoo Korean Charcoal BBQ knows how to whip up a succulent, charcoal-grilled storm. Sleek and stylish, this spot is ideal for celebrating special events with your best buds, and trust us when we say that you won’t leave this Whitehorse Road restaurant wanting for more. The menu is large, the vibe is buzzing and the food is damn delicious.

We love: The premium Wagyu beef set served with pork belly.

603 Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills, Melbourne 3127

Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 11pm

7. Bornga

Tucked away on Lonsdale Street in the city centre, Bornga is a curious looking restaurant that serves up some seriously bang-on food. The menu is impressive here and boasts seven different barbecue banquets, traditional Korean dishes and some delish desserts. The signature smoked duck is a must-try without question, as is the beef bulgogi, and the banchan up for grabs are outrageously tasty. This stylish spot is popular for good reason and is one you don’t want to miss out on.

We love: The signature smoked duck dipped in salt and wrapped in a crunchy lettuce leaf with spicy red kimchi, pickled bean shoots and caramelised lotus root.

258 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000

Lunch: Mon – Thurs: 12 – 3:30pm; Fri – Sun: Midday onwards

Dinner: Mon – Thurs: 5 – 10pm; Fri – Sat: Midday – 11pm; Sun: Midday – 10pm

8. Guhng

Probably the most extraordinary Korean restaurant in Melbourne, Guhng occupies four levels at its McKillop Street location, with each level having its own distinctive vibe. The lower-ground floor is for cosy nights with bibimbap and kimchi stew; the ground floor is for elegant affairs (i.e. date night); the upper is where all you after-work drinkers should be heading, and the top boasts a private space for over 15. For Korean BBQ, your sights should be on the ground floor where the grills are sizzling, the banchan is spot on and the atmosphere is perfect. Do we need to say more?

We love: The charcoal BBQ set menu with Wagyu cube roll, bulgogi, pork belly and chicken thigh.

19 McKillop Street, Melbourne 3000

Lunch: Mon – Fri: 12 – 2:30pm

Dinner: Sun – Thurs: 6 – 10pm; Fri – Sat: 6 – 10:30pm

9. Hwaro Korean BBQ

When you think of barbecuing delicious cuts of Korean-style meat in Melbourne, Hwaro should definitely spring to mind. You can of course opt for the staff to grill it all for you, but where’s the fun in that? Another CBD favourite, the quality here is unlike anywhere else – and yes, the Wagyu has a grade of 10+. Everything is cooked over charcoal grills and the space has a distinctive industrial-chic decor, matching the atmosphere down to a tee. As Melbourne as it gets, eat your way through the menu here – you won’t be disappointed.

We love: Beef bulgogi and the kimchi.

Ground Floor, 562 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000

Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 10pm

10. Mrs Kim's Grill

Ah Mrs Kim’s. Passion for Korean barbecue runs in the veins of this favourite Melbourne group and we’re stoked about it. All the meats are marinated the Mrs Kim’s way, and there’s no preservatives or nasties hiding anywhere. You can select from the a la carte or the set menu, with each option coming with a variety of side dishes and dipping sauces. Korean barbecue is done a bit differently here and we’re head over heels about it to be honest. With three venues throughout Melbourne, there’s literally no reason for you not to pay one a visit. Go on, you know you want to…

We love: The famous marinated galbi beef ribs, and the smoked salmon and onion salad.

Carnegie: 136 Koornang Road, Carnegie, Melbourne 3163

Richmond: 258 Swan Street, Richmond, Melbourne 3121

South Melbourne: 179-181 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne 3205

Lunch: Mon – Fri: 12 – 2pm; Sat – Sun: 12 – 3pm

Dinner: Mon – Sun: 5:30 – 10pm