Frying Colours, 520 Macaulay Road, Kensington. Phone: 9939 9679
Frying Colours does Korean food with an upbeat, swish attitude.
The long room, which formerly housed a noodle shop, has undergone a substantial refit that cleverly combines a hip suaveness and the feel of a more traditional Korean cafe, especially thanks to the old-school wooden tables.
On a Friday night, the place is humming.
The staff are everywhere and very good at their jobs.
The open kitchen/servery takes about a third of the space.
We’re very happy that our food arrives in approximately the same amount of time it takes us to work what we are going to order – bravo!
For tonight, Team CTS numbers four, so we expect to make merry with the menu.
Everything we have is good.
There’s a couple of major hits and a minor mis-step that has more to do with our ordering than the food.
Just for fun and to experience as much of what’s available as we can, we order a couple of skewered starters.
“Mouth-watering chicken skewers” ($3 each) are good in a kind of Korean satay fashion.
Eggplant skewers ($3) are way better – they’re tender, juicy and with immense smoky eggplant flavour. We’ll be ordering a stack of these next time.
We order a whole fried chicken. They’re $32; $19 for half.
There’s something enormously liberating and reckless about ordering a whole fried chook – or the equivalent bits there-of.
We split our order 50/50 between “spicy” and “sweet soy” (there’s also “original” available).
Our selections turn our expectations upside down.
Expecting the sweet soy pieces to be the more moist, we find them instead to be the most like orthodox fried chicken. They’re fab.
The “spicy” pieces, by contrast, are moist with a glaze that seems almost Chinese. The spice levels are modest for this table-full of western heat hounds.
But still, this is great stuff and the other big hit of the night.
We’d do it again in a flash.
We’ve accesoried with “wasabislaw” ($5) and kimchi ($5). Both are good and well-priced for the serve sizes.
Bulgogi hot pot ($36) is one of a handful of dishes to share.
It’s of a more traditional Korean bent, with sweetish stocky broth, sliced beef, two kinds of onion, heaps of glassy noddles and some nice slithery mushrooms.
It’s nice enough but is, we suspect, not really what this place is all about or well worth visiting for.
Christine eloquently sums up our collective feelings: “This would seem really good if we hadn’t ordered the chicken!”
We reckon stuff such as the fried chicken or the “FC mixed grill” to share ($40) are the go here.
On the way home, we make a West Foostray stop for peanut butter and vanilla ice-cream courtesy of tonight’s dining companions. They’re both so very, very fine. The ice-cream AND the companions.
Check out the Frying Colours website, including menu, here.
Kenny, if you get a chance check out the ‘bloody sweet chicken’ at Chimac in North Melbourne. Had it Saturday night and loved it. The Korean tacos are cool too.
Thanks for the tip!
Maybe we were unlucky with the dishes we ordered when our family visited here, but we were unimpressed. We had fried dumplings which were oddly deep-fried instead of pan-fried, rendering them very dry and overly crisp. The bulgogi was bland, and the pancake was (again) over-fried and dry/crisp. For the price we paid (including $5 for kimchi which traditionally is complimentary at Korean restaurants), it doesn’t make us want to rush back when there are so many other great Korean options nearby in North Melbourne.
Fair comment, Juz. Our meal – including three soft drinks – cost $93, which I thought was pretty reasonable.
I went to this place last night on your recommendation Kenny.
You’ll be happy to know that my wife (who is South Korean) loved it.
The spicy fried chicken you had is known as yong yam chicken in Korea and it is really hard to find a good one in Melbourne. There are one or two places that do it justice in the CBD.
To find some this good in the West was awesome. It was almost as good as the stuff you get on almost every street corner in Korea.
Thanks for the tip, we will definitely return.
Uhh finally some korean closer to home.