7 Sydney Restaurants That’ll Give You an Authentic Taste of Korea

Korean cuisine in Sydney still has a long way to go, although thanks to a recent boom in the presence of Korean culture Down Under, we now have Korean BBQs and delis popping up all over the city.

If you think Korean cuisine is just bibimbap, kimchi and fried chicken, you’d be wrong. It’s about quality ingredients, respect for cooking and bringing the heart of the country to its dishes. And Sydney is slowly by surely nailing that.

So, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in Korean culture without having to buy a flight, here’s where to find the best Korean restaurants in Sydney.

best korean restaurants sydney
Photo: Funda

Funda, CBD

Funda is a funky Korean restaurant on the corner of Pitt Street, boasting a funky 120-seat setup with Y2K aesthetics. It features a unique cocktail menu, an uncommon find in Korean eateries, emphasising both flavour and presentation as colourful as the decor. One standout is “Open Sesame,” made with black sesame ice cream.

The culinary team is led by Executive Chef Jung-su Chang, formerly of South Korea’s two Michelin-starred Jungsik Seoul, and Head Chef Chris Kim, known for Tetsuya’s and Sepia. Together, they ensure top-notch cuisine akin to a Michelin restaurant, without the stuffy white tablecloths.

Their menu creatively fuses Korean and European influences, offering dishes like creamy mushroom tteokbokki and must-try Korean Fried Chicken with a signature sauce. There is also a Korean potato pancake topped with saucy bulgogi and parmesan. If you’re looking for something casual with Michelin-quality flavours but at an affordable price, nab a table at Funda. 

Arisun Korean restaurant Sydney
Image: Arisun

Arisun, Chinatown

Arisun is one of the Sydney’s longest-standing Korean eateries. It relocated from its Belmore location to Chinatown in 2007. It’s best known for its Korean Fried Chicken and Pork Belly Black Bean Noodles, best consumed with a highball, soju or beer tower. Though the menu offers Korean dishes, it also has hints of Japanese flavours. Enjoy dishes designed to be shared, while K-pop music videos play on TV screens overhead. Come for lunch, dinner or late-night.

best korean restaurants sydney
Photo: SOUL Deli

SOUL Deli, Surry Hills

SOUL Deli is your neighbourhood Korean Deli, cafe, eatery, homewares shop, and more. Here you can go for breakfast or lunch, pick up a jar of kimchi to take home or browse locally-made ceramics and fashion. The modern layout is fresh and flooded with light. Stay for breakfast, where you will find a kimchi bacon and egg roll, omelettes, Korean pancakes and more. A visit to this deli is guaranteed to inject some K-culture into your life.

best korean restaurants sydney
Photo: SOUL Dining

SOUL Dining, Surry Hills

SOUL Dining is the older sister of SOUL Deli, presenting Korean food with modern Australian techniques. Dining here is more formal than the deli, but expect the same great taste and quality dishes. Expect roasted cauliflower, Korean spicy charcoal chicken, wagyu steak, and kingfish in kimchi water. There is a tasting menu for $79 per person, designed to share. The menu features wagyu tartare, prawn Tteokbokki, burrata, and purple sweet potato pastry for dessert. You can upgrade to the steak for an extra $20 per person.

best korean restaurants sydney

SOOT, Barangaroo

SOOT is anything but ordinary when it comes to Korean restaurants, more specifically KBBQ. Step into a realm where the traditional Korean BBQ experience intertwines seamlessly with the classic ambience of an Australian steakhouse. Prepare to be delighted by an extensive selection of local and imported wines, premium imported Korean liquors, and expertly crafted bespoke cocktails. With smokeless DIY grills adorning each table, savour the essence of Korean BBQ favourites alongside a variety of delectable sides. SOOT takes it a step further by offering premium and aged wagyu cuts, ensuring a steakhouse experience with a distinctive Korean twist.

best korean restaurants sydney
Photo: Kobo

Kobo, CBD

Embark on a culinary odyssey as Chef Jacob Lee takes you on a Korean journey through seasons, provinces, and the rich history of Korean cuisine. Chef Jacob creates a harmonious fusion of authenticity and modern flair with a blend of imported ingredients and locally sourced produce. Immerse yourself in a captivating Korean drama of food, art, nature, and fire, expertly orchestrated by Chef Jacob Lee.

best korean restaurants sydney
Photo: Honey

Honey, Haymarket

Honey serves up Pocha-style shareable dishes, copious amounts of Korean Fried Chicken, soju, and fun Korean-style cocktails. The menu consists of Korean Fried Chicken options, including soy garlic; sweet chilli, creamy onion; flaming; and jalapeno. Other notable menu items include spicy grilled pork, Bulgogi Pizza; clam tang soup; Yukhue beef tartare; seafood Ttoek Bokki; and Tonkatsu. To wash it down, there’s a range of beers on tap, cocktails, wine, soju, and their famous Honeycomb Magkoli (Korean Rice Wine).

Related: Where to Find Sydney’s Best Specialty Food Shops, From Italian to Korean

Related: What’s Behind the Korean Cuisine Boom in Sydney?

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.