Photographs: David Straight
Sometimes you go looking for one thing and find something else – especially in the highly excellent stretch of cheap and cheerful restaurants along Khyber Pass in Newmarket. And so it was that we stumbled across Kabo Rae for lunch one day – a spare, white-and-timber space in a small shopfront. Service is friendly, the place is spotless and there is Korean beer in the fridge. A couple of weeks later, another lunchtime, a return visit.
There’s a menu of Korean classics – a good bibimbap and some truly excellent sizzling soups: the pork bone soup ($13.50) has big chunks of pork in a boiling broth loaded with kimchi. There are excellent handmade dumplings ($10), better steamed than fried. We’re quite fond of the chicken katsu donburi ($10) – yes, it’s Japanese, but it works. But we really return for the ginseng chicken soup ($13.50) – a delicate chicken broth, simple and aromatic, with chestnuts. It’s a classic Korean dish, homestyle and hearty, and somehow it just defines this joint. SFG
HOURS Monday to Friday, 7am to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to midnight
ADDRESS 475 Khyber Pass, Newmarket.
IMPORTANT DETAILS There’s a lunchtime menu too – everything for $10.