While Abbotsford is famous for being the home of what was once one of Victoria’s largest convents, as well as Carlton and United Breweries, the whiff of hops in the air is these days interspersed with the aromas of inviting Thai curries, beef sizzling on a Korean barbecue and fragrant ramen fresh from the pot.
Jinda Thai Restaurant
Set in a converted warehouse, this authentic Thai restaurant wins on the funk factor. BYO and super casual, it’s certainly not laidback on the flavour front. The Crispy Pork Belly is incredibly tasty, as is the Duck Curry (especially if you like a hint of spice), while the Fish Cakes and Green Chicken Curry are crowd favourites. Speaking of which, it gets busy, but the service is quick and friendly.
1-7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford
Originally Ying Thai, Thaiger Rabbit is another favourite for its authentic Thai cuisine. Deliciously affordable, it offers an extensive menu featuring all the favourites. But what really sets it apart is the long list of salads on offer. Highlights include Papaya Salad with seafood, Crispy Salad with your choice of deep fried fish or pork skin, and warm duck, chicken or pork liver salads served with onion, spring onion, chilli and crushed ground rice.
391 Victoria St, Abbotsford
If the plethora of Thai choices on Victoria St don’t float your boat, head to Seoul Soul for a Korean feast. Given its owner’s former life as an architect, the interior is uber cool with an industrial aesthetic. There’s a barbecue focus, but all the favourites are there with Beef Bibimbap, Kimchi Pancake and Pork Belly particularly delicious. Described as a little gem providing an escape from the throngs outside, it’s only small and doesn’t take bookings, but arrive early and you’ll be sweet.
323-325 Victoria St, Abbotsford
Shizuku Ramen & Craft Beer
This Japanese restaurant lays claim to making “the best ramen in Melbourne”. Their range of ramen is certainly extensive with an innovative inclusion of ingredients, such as “specially imported genuine Hokkaido organic red and white miso”, “scallop infused oil” and “broth made from Kurobuta Berkshire pork bones.” While ramen is the specialty, there’s also shared plates featuring sushi, sashimi, spring rolls, octopus balls, gyoza and 10 different types of rice. Plus, as per the name, there’s a craft beer to match every menu item.
309 Victoria St, Abbotsford
FOF Rotary Hot Pot
Based on the sushi train concept, except with hotpots instead, this is a cheap and cheerful all-you-can-eat experience. You start with a broth, with choices including Tom Yum, kimchi and miso, then as the train comes around, you select from ingredients, such as deli-style meats, vegetables, fish balls, noodles and prawns. You can also choose from a small selection of sushi and fried rice, plus ice-cream is included in the price—just under $35 per person. It gets busy, so book if you can, especially at the weekend.
481 Victoria St, Abbotsford