Once upon a time the only reason to brave Salamanca Market was to acquire a Gypsy Roll. Now there’s something even better.
Seoul Street is easy to miss, a small food van hidden among many market stall sites all vying for attention. What to look for is the orderly line of patrons who have made the pilgrimage to sample its wares, either for the first time through word of mouth or, like me, returning yet again for another round.
The food here is exciting, there’s no better description for it. An intoxicating array of new flavours and combinations that satisfy yet make you yearn for more. It’s the freshness juxtaposed with the fermented, the chilli complimenting but never overpowering and the textures working in harmony. I’ll say it now: This is, in my opinion, the best food van in Tasmania. I’ll even go as far to say it’s some of the best food in Tasmania.
Bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish of rice, vegetables and fermented chilli and here it is served shaped into a ball and fried with a crispy coating. It’s the well thought out condiments that really push this dish into excellence though with a mild chilli sauce, tangy fruit pickle and leaves dressed with sesame, allowing for an assortment of flavours each mouthful. They have a large amount of vegetarian meals on offer and this is one of the standouts.
Of course the dumplings are excellent! Pan fried to crispiness on both sides with a great filling they are so very moreish. There’s a selection of sauces and vinegars to accompany but I’d really suggest paying the extra for a tub of their kimchi for the full experience.
Kimchi is a condiment that can divide a group but I’m one who loves it. A glorious ferment of cabbage, daikon and chilli it adds character to every dish. They make there own in house and while not as spicy as I prefer it is still most excellent. Do give it a try.
On previous visits I’ve greatly enjoyed the sticky, spicy popcorn chicken, fantastic seafood pancakes and an amazing dessert of a fish shaped pastry filled with custard and jam. For a small van run by 2 people the menu really is quite extensive and ever changing and the service fast and extremely friendly. While wanting to try different things each visit there is always one dish that is on my list for a repeat.
Incredibly tender, marinated meat (pork or beef) in a steamed bun with Korean style coleslaw and spicy sauce. It’s perfect street food with great texture, flavour and a big hit of chilli. Delicious.
Seoul Street can be found at Salamanca Market in Hobart every Saturday. Prices are very affordable around the $5-$8 mark allowing for a selection of different dishes or just a snack. Well worth battling the crowds for.