Suda, CBD

Suda is a modern Korean/Australian fusion restaurant located in the CBD on Lonsdale Street, between King and William Street and close to Flagstaff Station. The eatery specialises in tapas dishes with a modern take on traditional Korean food, and prides itself on friendly service and an ambient dining atmosphere.

The restaurant is dimly lit, with quirky Alice in Wonderland artwork drawn in chalk on blackboards on one wall, and a bookshelf and black and white movies playing on the other. The atmosphere is lively from the sounds of the kitchen and chatter from the customers, contrasting with the slow, soft music that plays in the background. The staff were indeed friendly and very attentive, and gave us great details about the dishes we ordered when they arrived, with not too long a wait for food either.

There's a great range of entrees and mains at Suda, and we couldn't decide what we wanted so went for the 'Feed Me' options, which consisted of 6 tapas dishes, one main dish of your choice per person and one dessert per person, at $36 per head. This was a really filling option, but gave us a great variety from the menu that was more value for money than ordering individual dishes.

The first tapas we had was the lotus root chips, which were surprisingly crunchy despite having no batter covering the lotus roots, and was also very light. The aioli sauce that came on the side gave the chips a spiciness, but they were delicious on their own as well.

We also had the broccolini and tomato salad with creamy sesame sauce, which was refreshing and light. The broccolini was crunchy, contrasting nicely with the soft, acidic tomatoes and the peanut dressing for a good entree dish.

The kimchi tuna quesadillas were an interesting dish, with the use of Mexican and Korean elements combining for really delicious, strong flavours. The crunchy kimchi contrasted nicely with the soft tuna and copious amounts of melted cheese, and the quesadillas themselves were lovely and crunchy.

Another tapas dish we had was the Korean BBQ sliders, which used bulgogi beef in the patty, together with crisp, fresh lettuce and a soft burger bun. The patty was lovely and juicy and everything balanced out really nicely.

No modern Korean dining experience is complete without fried chicken, and this was no different. The K-Popcorn Chicken was sweet and tender, with rice bubbles added on top for extra crunch, and actual popcorn bits in between. It wasn't oily at all, and again was a great entree dish.

My favourite tapas of the night would have to be the crispy rice cakes served with grilled halloumi, which was drizzled with maple syrup for added flavours and sweetness. The rice cakes were crunchy on the outside from being fried, but maintained its traditional texture of elasticity and softness at the same time.

For mains, we went with the beef bulgogi bibimbap and the cheesey Korean Fried Chicken. The bibimbap was different to traditional ones with the use of 7 kinds of vegetables and a poached egg, with mild chilli sauce on the side. It didn't come in the sizzling stone pot that we usually associate with bibimbap, and was lighter and more refreshing to eat.

The cheesey chicken came with rice and kimchi on the side, and was a really spicy dish. The spiciness took over all the other flavours unfortunately, and that was all you could really taste, despite all the vegetables in the dish as well. The chicken was tender, but there was nothing wow about this. The cheese added texture as did the crunchy vegetables, but even with the rice on the side to balance everything out, was overpowered by the spicy chicken.

Dessert wise, we went with a mini cheesecake and mini pancakes. The yuzu cheesecake was served with a peanut crumble and berry compote, and came in a shot glass. The yuzu flavour came through strongly, though the cheesecake itself felt quite runny/liquid-y. Perhaps this was the point though, as it was served in a shot glass - maybe you're meant to drink it! The acidic berry flavour balanced out the sweet yuzu taste, though I would've like to have more crunch and sweetness in the dish.

The mini pancakes were served with vanilla and drizzled in peanut butter sauce and berries on the side. The pancakes were nice and fluffy but literally bite size, so we felt a little underwhelmed as we finished it so quickly! The vanilla and peanut butter flavours mixed together really well for a sweet and savoury balance, with the sour berries to bring the dish together nicely.

It was a really enjoyable experience at Suda, and I'd definitely recommend coming, in particular if you've got a larger group of people. The Feed Me option works really well to give a range of dishes, allowing you to try a variety of things from the menu.

Ambience: 8/10 
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10

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