KOBA is looking fresh. After nine months, owner Rosa Kim felt that the humble takeaway spot she’d created needed to offer more than the basic Mexican-Korean menu it started with. Not only has Kim upgraded the menu, the Korean CBD street-food joint now sports a new retro arcade-themed interior.

Expanding on the existing cast of burritos, tacos and rice dishes, KOBA’s new menu (designed with help from Grand Hyatt chef Ken Kim) now features Rosa’s upgraded version of kimchi fries, with cheddar béchamel sauce alongside sliders, corndogs and an improved korrito (Korean burrito).

“Everything inside the burritos is Korean; it was just a different vehicle to transport the Korean food,” says Rosa. “Having everything quite traditional and authentic, but with a bit of a twist, is what we are aiming for.” Fermented kimchi in the sauces works well to add that extra kick to each item without being overpowering.

The kimchi is made daily by Rosa’s mum, who uses a recipe passed down from her own mother. The fresh, house-made Korean staple also features at Wonderbao and Hero Subs.

Korean favourites such as bibimbap (rice bowl with seasonal vegetables, kimchi, and meat) and tokpokki (stir-fried rice cake covered in chilli sauce) also feature on the new menu, alongside what will undoubtedly become a KOBA signature dish, the crispy Korean fried chicken wings. The wings can be smothered in a soy garlic or sweet chilli sauce, and are topped with fried quinoa instead of the typical sesame seeds, giving them an added crunch.

With nothing over $10, it’s the place to fill up when you’ve only got a handful coins in your pocket or a few minutes left on your lunch break.

119 Hardware Street, Melbourne
(03) 9973 8425

Mon to Wed 11.30am–4.30pm
Thurs to Sat 11.30am–9.30pm