High-definition Korean food is the focus at Doju, a sleek diner by chef Mika Chae (ex-Sezar, Attica, Launceston’s Grain of the Silos), who happens to be the distant cousin of esteemed chef Jung Eun Chae. The bar, which runs the length of the restaurant, has seats for six and the dining space seats an additional 40.
Here, Chae says he makes a Westernised style of Korean food, but Korean condiments and flavours are definite heroes. These include ganjang (a Korean soy sauce that’s lighter than Chinese or Japanese styles), doenjang (a fermented soybean paste) and gochujang (a fermented chilli paste).
There’s plenty of modern Australian influence, too. You’ll find dishes like lamb rump, cooked on the custom-made charcoal woodfired grill, and marron served with garlic butter. There are also more typically Korean dishes, like hwae (a Jeju Island-style raw fish dish that Chae likens to sashimi) and ojingeo-jeot (a spicy fermented and salted calamari number that is typically served as a banchan or side dish). Chae has played with ojingeo-jeot, turning it into a small snack that can be eaten in one bite.
The cocktail list prominently features Korean soju and incorporates flavours from the country’s cuisine. There’s a spicy Korean Margarita, which is mixed with house gochujang and yuja-cheong (a marmalade made from yuja, a citrus fruit otherwise known by its Japanese name, yuzu), and a Spiced Pear Sour, which blends Korean pear juice with soju and is infused with star anise.
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