As Melburnians continue to hunt for the best Korean fried chicken and kimchi pancakes our city has to offer, The Dokboki Box seeks to broaden our knowledge of Korean street food while telling us a story too.
Running as part of Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival, The Dokboki Box is set in a cosy, street-vendor tent known as a pojangmacha, typically found on the streets of Seoul. Audiences are invited to come into the aromatic space and share some traditional Korean dokboki, a snack food made up of rice and fish cakes covered in a spicy sauce, while listening to stories.
Performers Park Younghee, Nathan Stoneham and M’ck McKeague have travelled between their homes in South Korea and Australia for the past decade to entertain a variety of punters, realising that no matter where you are, laughter and food transcend all international borders.
Stoneham says, “I’ve always loved the street-food culture. Something I wanted to create was this space where people could come together over food and make new friends and hear stories and have a nice time together.” Raising big questions, such as: what does it take to be a good person in a corrupt world?, Stoneham and Park tackle these issues via ‘90s pop and ‘80s karaoke numbers that entertain as well as get people thinking.
Park hopes audiences will leave seeing more similarities with each other than differences. “Hopefully Australians will think, ‘we look different and we live in a different country, but there are lots of common things we can share and think together’. I have no intention of educating people; I just want to share what I’m thinking and how I live.”