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A Royal Commission into industry scandals
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Businesses in Docklands March 2013

04 Mar 2013

Throw another kimchi prawn on the barbie

Koreans love their kimchi and Aussies love their barbie.

So what do you get when you take traditional Korean cuisine and add some flavours of Australia? You get SuRa Korean Restaurant, at Waterfront City in Melbourne’s Docklands.

Fusion dining, especial east meets west, has been around for the best part of a decade. But what SuRa offers is a first for Docklands … and for Melbourne, for that matter.

Manager Jennifer Kim describes SuRa as a fusion of Korea and Australia, of old and new, in the décor and the cuisine.

On arrival, diners are greeted by a traditional Korean setting, designed by architect firm Arkin, with a cool, moody darkness, a long bar with stools, and “teppanyaki-style” barbecue grill.

There is a central, interactive designed kitchen, so head chef Hyun Sub and his team can be viewed at work from pretty much any seating area.

Along one side, tradition combines with modern technology, where the tables for barbecue dining each have a large, retractable hose, not unlike an elephant trunk, descending from the ceiling, to suck away the smoke.

Each table also has a touch-screen monitor, with food descriptions and so diners can place orders directly with the kitchen.     

Look a little longer and you notice recycled local timber – weatherboards and planks still sporting their original, bright, seaside paint colour of orange, blue or yellow – lining sections of the roof and walls.

An old, glazed timber door and frame, that could have greeted visitors to great-grandma’s seaside cottage, now leads to an exterior balcony setting with individual timber “huts” for groups of diners. This area looks directly out to the Southern Star Observation Wheel.  

And the fusion continues with the food.

“We want our diners to enjoy the traditional tastes of Korea, but mixed with some modern Australian flavours and ingredients,” Ms Kim said.

“Crab salad is a traditional dish in Korea, but we have included a soft shell crab which is caught locally,” Ms Kim said. “So, this is a fusion of traditional Korean food and modern Australian seafood.”

“Another signature dish of Korea is bibimbap, which is rice mixed with vegetables, and traditionally with seafood, chicken or pork. We also offer beef bibimbap, and we’ve fused it with a smoky, charcoal, barbecue flavour – to give it a modern Aussie touch.”

Ms Kim said Docklanders were keen to try many of the traditional Korean flavours and combinations.

The menu is seasonal, but you will find vegetarian, tofu, chicken, pork, beef, dumplings, mari (Korean rolled egg omelette), seafood such as prawns, scallops and mussels; barbecued, wok tossed, poached, tempura fried; spicy and non-spicy.

 “Glass noodles are a long-time favourite all over Korea, and are popular with locals here,” Ms Kim said.

“Bulgogi rice cakes are another traditional Korean method of cooking a spicy, marinated meat and vegetables, which is served with a soft and chewy rice. Translated, bul means fire, and gogi means meal – so, ‘fire meal’.”

“Bulgogi is usually also served with a side dish of kimchi”.

Kimchi is a ubiquitous Korean meal of fermented, pickled cabbage or similar type of vegetable. In Korea, it is seemingly a component of every meal, from soup to a burger topping.

At SuRa, kimchi is served mostly as a condiment in a small side dish. Like everything in SuRa, it seems to fit in nicely.

The name SuRa means “King or royal meal”, but the price range is remarkably affordable. A main serve for lunch is only about $16, has an abundance of ingredients and, with rice or noodles, is filling.

SuRa Korean Restaurant is open 7 days from 11.30am-3pm and dinner from 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. It is on Level 1, Harbour Town, next to Carpark North ($6 flat rate) in Docklands. Call 9670 0708, http://www.facebook.com/surakoreanrestaurant

Got a pet? It’s a sure bet you will need a vet

Thousands of inner city apartment dwellers own a pet. But when little Fido or Fifi isn’t feeling too flash, it can be difficult to access veterinary care.

This is where a mobile vet may come to the rescue. Albert Park couple Chris Gleeson and Natasha Watts have started Bayside Mobile Vet, and are only too happy to happy to provide house calls.

“There is no vet in the CBD, Southbank or Docklands, and most vets in nearby suburbs don’t like making house calls to here because of the lack of parking,” Dr Gleeson said. “But we have a commercial van, so it’s not a hassle for us.”

“Of course, most inner city residents don’t have a car, so it is not easy for them to transport their pet to a vet. And many pets, especially older dogs and cats, become extremely anxious when dragged into a clinic. By treating the pet at their own home, it is much less stressful for them.”

“For example, I just now gave a little puppy his first vaccination and health check, in an apartment at Lacrosse, in Docklands’ LaTrobe St.”

Dr Gleeson and Dr Watts, who each graduated from Melbourne University with Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Bachelor of Science, have 20 years of veterinary experience between them, including in the United Kingdom and at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, in North Melbourne. Dr Gleeson has further studied in the fields of small animal dermatology (skin disease), ultrasonography, animal hydrotherapy and rehabilitation.

“We have access to a veterinary clinic, should a surgical procedure be necessary,” Dr Gleeson said. “We also provide referrals and transport, should your pet need to see a specialist.”

Dr Gleeson and Dr Watts have two young children, Toby, 3, and Sophie, 12 months, so they know how important your pet is to the family, especially children. “Owners with multiple pets or those with young children also value the convenience of having the vet visit your home,”

Dr Gleeson said. “There are many routine services that we can provide at your home including vaccinations, health checks, medical consultations and pre-surgical exams. “We are able to deliver flea and worming preventatives as well as food and medications if it is pre-arranged.”

Sadly, sometimes euthanasia is required. “We understand that when the time comes it is more comfortable for you and your pet to be in a familiar surrounding when you have to say good-bye,” Dr Gleeson said.

“At BMV we are able to provide a service where you can say a final good-bye to your pet at your home. If you are unsure about whether the ‘time has come’ we may be able to give you some guidance with your decision-making process.”

“We are able to help organise burial or cremation for your pet if this is required.”

For more details, visit http://www.baysidemobilevet.com.au, or call 0488 061 444.  Mention this story to receive free worming treatment for your pet.

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