Koba KBBQ provides some excellent fusion takeaway food to go, with a blend of Mexican and Korean. Who knew the flavours would combine so effortlessly? Located in the laneways of Melbourne, it’s hard competition when Hardware Societe is located directly opposite you. However, it provides an entirely different option, more of a place to get food on your lunch break or enjoy a deliciously messy meal.
Having work myself, the only option was to visit on a Saturday and it wasn’t too busy. The small tables, benches and some outdoor seats once again suggest a takeaway feel or the type of meal where you eat and do not linger.
The menu is simple enough – burrito, tacos or rice bowl with your choice of Korean filling. You can even get kimchi fried rice instead of normal rice, however I thought this might be too chilli for my weak tastebuds, as I was already planning to try the ultimate Korean filling – spicy pork.
I ended up going for spicy pork tacos whilst my sister got a chicken burrito. It’s unfortunate you can’t get different meats in your taco set, but understable for practicality reasons. They asked if we wanted spicy sauce on either meals, but as I said, I had to give any extra spiciness a miss!
What I could not give a miss was the kimchi fries ($7, above). The fries come covered in cheese, caramelised onions, kimchi, onion relish and sour cream. This is similar to say, having nachos covered in salsa but with more of a Korean feel. For me, the flavours really worked and nothing felt unnatural. In fact my sister, struggling with her burrito, didn’t eat many fries, so I finished them off with all their cheesy kimchi goodness.
The fries weren’t really spicy but the large chicken burrito ($9.50, sorry for blurry picture) was slightly so. It was packed with fresh ingredients, evident as the ingredients were visible at the counter and we had seen them making it from where we were sitting. I enjoyed a bite and could see why my sister was getting so full.
My tacos came in a set of three ($9.90) with cheese, kimchi, salsa and more, looking tasty and fresh. I loved the fact that the cold ingredients were packed in to balance out the spicy pork and the smokey barbecue sauce was also subtle enough to compliment the tastes and not overpower the pork. However, I felt the burrito provided more value as it seemed more filling and cheaper than my tacos.
Of course it was messy – we may have used half of their serviettes, but boy it was good. If you’re a fan of Korean sauces and meat and Mexican food, this is the place for you. I think it would be great if they stayed open a bit later when they get more popular, as people like me who don’t work in the city can’t visit at lunch. But then again, the atmosphere seems to suit lunch more!
Koba KBBQ is open Mon-Sat 11.30-4.30pm. It is located at 119 Hardware St, Melbourne CBD.