Chae at The Lincoln Arms

Sun 3rd April, 2022 – Sun 31st July, 2022
The Lincoln Arms
138 Queensberry Street, Carlton
Price: $85 – $95 (food only)
The lauded Korean restaurant has moved from a six-seat experience in the chef’s Brunswick apartment to an intimate pop-up in the pub’s private dining space (with a bigger diner in the works).

One of 2021’s most coveted, hardest-to-book restaurant seats was at Chae, chef Jung Eun Chae’s eponymous restaurant inside her one-bedroom apartment. She’s slated to reopen the restaurant in her new home in the Dandenong Ranges but, until then, you can get a taste of her Korean cooking at a pop-up in the inner-city.

The chef cut her teeth at Cutler & Co and Lume before cooking under Chef’s Table star Jeong Kwan in South Korea. When she returned to Australia, she struck out on her own with the intimate apartment concept. There were only six seats spread across a kitchen island, facing shelves of Chae’s own homemade ferments (gochujang, soy sauce, orange vinegar, kimchi and makgeolli, or sparkling rice wine, among them) and with a full view of her in action: cooking, plating up, serving, cleaning and hosting all at once.

While permit issues are being sorted out for the Cockatoo restaurant, she’s bringing the Chae experience to Carlton in Hotel Lincoln’s private dining space (where Super Ling used to be).

“Our fundamental concept remains the same – a private dining experience for up to six guests per session,” she tells Broadsheet. As in her apartment, there’s a strong focus on Korean cuisine and traditional fermentation. Both lunch and dinner sessions will include five to six courses, with dinner a more substantial affair featuring more meat and seafood.

Lunch bookings cost $85 and dinners cost $95 for the food, with an option to try Chae’s home-distilled makgeolli to pair with the courses. Seasonal herbal tea is also available throughout the meal, or diners can order wine and beer directly from the Lincoln Hotel.

Bookings open on the first day of the month for seatings the following month – that means July seats will be available to book on June 1. They go live at 7pm.

Sun & Mon, lunch at 1pm and dinner at 6pm