Quinni – A Korean Trend Setter

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by Mantis Kane www.zantidote.com

I can’t understand why Korean food hasn’t taken off in Melbourne. It has all the hallmarks we so desire in our dining experience. It’s inherently healthy, with fermentation taking a front seat (Kimchi, pickles etc). It’s fresh, with emphasis on seasonal produce. It’s complex yet accessible, the traditional dishes are ancient recipes that combine perfect taste symmetry. And it’s quirky, the Koreans aren’t scared to throw in something lavishly indulgent or attempt outlandish fusion.

Beef in the Oak

Beef in the Oak

A little over a year old, Quinni fills a gap in the Ormond Road strip with Korean cuisine. Owner Jester is from Seoul. He learned to cook authentic Korean back home, before moving to Melbourne nine years ago. His mission statement is simply Quinni’s definition, roughly translating to: quality and fresh ingredients, cooked from the heart.

Quinni incorporates traditional strong flavoured dishes with some fun and daring fusions. Well loved staples like Hot Stone Bibimbap and Bulgogi sit alongside K-pop chicken. One of the signature dishes is KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), throwing down the gauntlet to the Colonel, offering up three credible variations of deep fried chicken. It’s fun, tongue-in-cheek and tasty, plus you can guarantee the free-range chicken’s backstory is a little more rosy.

Mixing the full spectrum of the flavour palette is key, and many of the dishes are a cauldron of heavy aromas and healthy ingredients. The Spicy Beef In The Oak and Sweet Chilli Chicken balance slow cooked meat with rich sauces and fresh vegetables.

The list of smaller dishes is vast, with some weird and wonderful incantations. Highlights were the Chubby Pork – parcels of crunchy pork belly with Korean sweet soy sauce and pickled radish. The Dragon Balls are all balls and no dragon, thankfully. Croquettes filled with deep fried kimchi and organic tofu with a broccoli and parmesan puree.

The asian dessert fascination is catered for with a wickedly creamy Green Tea Cheesecake that matches the perfect sweetness against the tea’s bitterness. There’s a ginger flavoured soft cream pudding that’s appropriately gelatinous, with a few toffee and chocolate surprises.

Overall, Quinni is well worth a visit. The food is interesting without being pretentious, the wine list well sourced and the Korean hospitality in full flow.

100 Ormond Rd, Elwood, 3184

http://www.quinni.restaurant

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