Dari (meaning ‘bridge’ in Korean) marries Melbourne’s foodie scene with South Korea’s eclectic flavours and style. Tucked down Hardware lane, the cafe is tiled and painted green from top to bottom and resembles a takeaway sandwich bar (although there’s seating both inside and outdoors). When owner Yoon-ji first moved to Melbourne as a teenager, she fell in love the city’s laneways and envisioned her own café among them one day. Now, the dream has become a reality and Yoon-ji delights in sharing the street-eats and tapas from back home in Korea.
With influences from Japan and America, Korean cuisine has some whacky flavour combinations blending both sweet and savoury elements – think sweet mochi vs Mexican tacos. If you’re not familiar with Korean casual dining, you may find the menu somewhat peculiar, especially with dishes like the ‘K-Pop star recommended’ Idol Sandwich. There’s plenty to idolise in this epic sanga: Mexican salad, egg potato salad and strawberry jam layered between 4 slices of bread. It sounds weird but trust me, it just works.
Leaning towards the savoury side, there are a selection of toasts and sandwiches, as well as the crowd favourite: Spicy Pork Bulgogi Burger Bun. The only dilemma is trying to fit the enormous stack in your gob – I recommend a fork and knife. Wash it down with a traditional Korean beverage like Korean Kombucha, Job’s Tears Latte and Mi-Su-Ga-Ru (similar to a rich Vienna), and perhaps dabble in one their fusion desserts like Korean Soy Tiramisu and Red Bean and Fruit Jelly. Try something new on your next lunch date or visit for dinner – their new dinner tapas menu has just launched and is available from Thursday to Saturday.
As featured in Onya Magazine.