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Monday, August 03, 2009

Kana Express Food, Sydney



"I'm sorry. Everything is deep-fried."

Sorry? Those two beautiful words are music to my ears. The enquiring passerby steps away, shocked and a little aghast. In the meantime, I'm dancing a little jig of unrestrained joy.


Korean deep-fried snacks

Almost everything here is served on skewers and a celebration of all that is deep-fried - it's like being at the Easter Show without having to deal with queues and hours of walking. Located on Pitt Street, down one those narrow side streets opposite the George Street cinemas, you don't have to walk far at all to satiate your deep-fried cravings.

The irony of this stall being on site that hosted the vegetarian Carruthers stall (which used to sell the best falafel rolls) and then the vegetarian Zenergy, is not lost on me. There's a similar Korean-style snack stall in Strathfield, near the train station, but the novelty of having deep-fried snacks on hand in the city CBD is dangerously convenient.

In fact not everything is deep-fried. Of the twelve options available at this Korean snack stall, two are not deep-fried: the chilli rice cake and gim bahp sushi rolls. Everything else is cheerfully baptised in the resident deep-fryer.


The deep-fryer


Dduk bok ki chilli rice cake small $3.00, medium $5.00, large $8.00


Korean sausage $2.50 and
Sausage with rice cake $3.00


Chicken and sausage $3.00 and
Chicken and rice cake $3.00


Octopus ball $2.50 and fish tofu $2.50


Chicken skewers $2.50


Dduk kochi chilli rice cake $1.50


Korean style hot dog $3.00

Oh yeah, baby, I told you it was like the Easter Show.


Gim bahp Korean sushi $3.00

Gim bahp is somewhat similar to Japanese sushi although gim bahp is not served with wasabi or pickled ginger, and never includes raw fish. "Gim" is the Korean word for seaweed sheets or nori, and "bahp" refers to cooked rice.

But why would you want gim bahp sushi when you can deep-fry it?


Fried sushi $2.50

Yes, deep-fried sushi. Be still your cholesterol-clogged artery.


Chicken and rice cake $3.00
Chicken and sausage $3.00 and

But first, let's start with the sticks. We start with skewers of chicken, with variations of rice cake and sausage. Chicken thigh fillet chunks are juicy and tender, the rice cake is deliciously chewy and the sausage soft and slightly sweet.


Dduk kochi chilli rice cake $1.50

I'm quite a fan of all things starchy. Dduk kochi means rice (dduck) on skewers (kochi). Dduk (also spelt ddeock, duk, tteok and ddeog) is a Korean rice cake made from rice. To make dduk kochi, these starchy lengths of rice cake are boiled in water until cooked then deep-fried. Upon ordering, they are deep-fried again so the surface crisps, and then basted with gochujang chilli sauce. I love the thin crunchy veneer that gives way to a sticky and chewy starchy interior.


Dduk bok ki chilli rice cake small $3.00

Dduk bok ki is another traditional Korean snack, with more chewy lengths of rice cake simmered with gochujang chilli sauce and thin slices of fish cake. It's comfort food with a kick, the starchy rice doused with sweet chilli sauce that packs plenty of punch. This one is recommended for the chilli fans only.


Korean-style hot dog $3.00

I'm like a kid in a lolly shop when I finally grab hold of the Korean-style hot dog. It's like a short but really fat pluto pup or corn dog. It's huge.


Inside the Korean-style hot dog

The Korean-style hot dog isn't as heavy or as greasy as you would expect. The sweet Korean frankfurt is wrapped in what looks like a slice of crustless white bread. The surface is encrusted with Panko-style crumbs, large bread crumbs that add extra crunch with every bite.


Fried sushi $2.50

I admit I have tried deep-fried sushi before - a late night indulgence at the Korean stall near Strathfield station. The fried sushi here is undoubtedly better. It's not yesterday's sushi, as you might cynically expect, but fresh sushi, the rice still soft and moist, in a thin coat of batter that doesn't overwhelm.

The delicacy of the vinegared rice contrasts against the crisp deep-fried batter and the slick of gochujang sauce. Its deep-fried exterior only seems to enhance the acidity of the pickled white radish and the slighty chewiness of the nori skin.

Cheap, fast and tasty. If only every day could be Fried Day.


The full menu




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Kana Express Food
359 Pitt Street, Sydney
(corner of Pitt Street and Central Street)

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday 11am-11pm

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Korean - Seoul Ria, Sydney

25 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/03/2009 12:05:00 am


25 Comments:

  • At 8/03/2009 12:26 am, Anonymous Yas@hungry.digital.elf. said…

    OH YES. Deep fry just makes everything better.
    I love the korean rice cake, not chewy like Japanese one. Chige hot pot with rice cake is awesome in this winter time!

    Hhmmm... Korean dinner coming up.. I can sense it.

     
  • At 8/03/2009 1:05 am, Blogger Peter G said…

    EVERYTHING tastes better deep fried...ooh! need to try that rice cake too!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 7:26 am, Anonymous Chris said…

    Oh dear...I'm going to have to hide this place from Tim! The rice cake does sound really interesting though...(more for me then?)!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 8:08 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Oh yes I'd be rubbing my hands together with glee at the sound of that first sentence :D That hotdog looks so yum! And deep fried sushi? Oh my...Though I'd be worried about my poor heart after eating here!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 9:26 am, Anonymous The Extra said…

    Moe: Oh, boy! The deep fryer's here. I got it used from the navy. You can flash-fry a buffalo in forty seconds.

    Homer: Forty seconds? But I want it now!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 10:13 am, Blogger FFichiban said…

    Oh be still my beating heart (this will help that happen I guess haha)!

    Hee hee "In the meantime, I'm dancing a little jig of unrestrained joy." I actually see this happening haha!

    I also like how fried sushi is cheaper than sushi hahah! w00t w00t late night snack I see coming ^^!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 12:03 pm, Anonymous clekitty said…

    Oh boy! Deep fried sushi! :D I sense a late night snack attack of pure deep fried bliss!!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 12:36 pm, Blogger Forager said…

    Mmm. Deep-fried goodness. Cue Homer style drool sounds please.

    There's a similar store closer to World Sq on Pitt street that I frequent on my route home. Nothing like a sneaky quick snack on a stick that can be consumed quickly and secretly on the go before anybody can find out that I'm indulging in pre-dinner snacks. Mmm..

     
  • At 8/03/2009 1:42 pm, Blogger Simon Food Favourites said…

    i think i've walked past this place a few times and wondered what it would be like.

     
  • At 8/03/2009 1:55 pm, Anonymous Howard said…

    I think I have walked past this place, is it near the lot of Korean bbq places in the alley way, Madang or something ? I wasn't brave enough to give it a go, might have to reconsider now.

     
  • At 8/03/2009 3:11 pm, Blogger Betty said…

    Ooh, everything tastes better deep fried and on a stick! Ah, I don't know if I could handle so much though.

     
  • At 8/03/2009 7:03 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    deep fried sushi! oh baby oh baby! suggest they do deep fried cheese!

     
  • At 8/03/2009 9:44 pm, Anonymous Jacq said…

    That is certainly a lot of deep fried food! The deep fried rice cakes sound delicious but I think my heart and arteries might actually be still after eating it all! But I suppose trying it once won't hurt =)

     
  • At 8/03/2009 11:25 pm, Anonymous Mr. Taste @ tastedbytwo said…

    Look at that shiny sausage and rice cake. I think my diet needs some more shiny. I've walked past the Strathfield ones a few times but have never been game to try.

    Pronouncing the Korean double consonants are so fun - zzang dduk bbulggoggi

     
  • At 8/04/2009 1:12 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Yas - Ooh chige hot pot sounds perfect! And I like chewy rice cakes too :)

    Hi Peter G - Haha, I agree. Deep-fried is my friend!

    Hi Chris - Do you mean the fried rice cake or the one in sauce? Both are good, but I have a particularly weakness for the fried version.

    Hi Stephcookie - Everything in moderation, right? My problem is I like lots of things in moderation. lol

    Hi Extra - Did you say deep-fried buffalo?! Where! Where!

    lol. Love the quote.

    Hi FFichiban - Haha, and knowing you, you would've tried to capture on camera the dance of joy.

    The fried sushi is half the size of the normal sushi, but yes, at first I was tricked too! This place would be perfect for late night snacking!

    Hi clekitty - Deep-fried sushi. It's good food made even better. lol

    Hi Forager - Ooh whereabouts is this other deep-fried store. Tell me tell me :) Might have to go exploring otherwise.

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Walk past no longer!

    Hi Howard - Yup, you got it! Not brave enough? I couldn't wait to try it!

    Hi Betty - Oh you don't have to eat everything all at once. Maybe start with the fried rice noodle on a stick? You can slowly work your way up to the hot dog and the deep-fried sushi. lol

    Hi Chocolatesuze - lol. You could always make a special request!

    Hi Jacq - Oh yes, just try it once. For research purposes.

    Hi Mr Taste - Haha shiny is good :)

    Yes I struggle with Korean pronunciation too. It seems so confusing!

    ps. Go shiny!

     
  • At 8/04/2009 5:07 pm, Blogger K said…

    fried sushi is DA BOMB! LOL i never knew that they had a little korean fried food stall in the city! YAY!! i can't believe it tastes even better than the ones at strathfield tho!

     
  • At 8/04/2009 9:20 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    omg. I must be the only person that's horrified by the concept of deep fried sushi, let alone deep fried Korean style sushi.

    Oddly though, some of the stick snacks don't look too bad...

     
  • At 8/05/2009 12:07 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi K - You are a quick one! Yes who knew fried sushi could taste so good! I have had the one at Strathfield and yes, I think the city version is much fresher and tastier.

    Hi Simon - What? Horror from the king of the deep fryer? Tell me it isn't so...

    Deep fried sushi will change your life dude. Don't knock it until you've tried it! lol

     
  • At 8/05/2009 4:07 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    Make a couple of deep fried dishes and suddenly you're the king...

    I'll believe it when I taste it. I'm not against trying it. It just the thought of it makes me shudder.

     
  • At 8/05/2009 5:21 pm, OpenID cruxiefaye said…

    wow, this is definitely something I want to try when i fly up to sydney this month. *mouth waters*

     
  • At 8/06/2009 8:14 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Simon - Three fried dishes out of three occasions? lol. I think it's warranted!

    Hi cruxiefaye - Ooh have fun. Lots of things to eat in Sydney town. Hope you're starting a list :)

     
  • At 8/15/2009 10:49 pm, Blogger red bean said…

    my korean friends used to eat that chilli cake back in highschool all the time!! (yes in Strathfield some years back) never tried it though..

     
  • At 8/16/2009 12:23 am, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Red Bean - I love chilli rice cake. I keep meaning to try making it at home, although I worry I will sit down and eat the whole pot in one go. lol.

     
  • At 11/06/2009 9:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    just to be extra anal, rice cake for "chili cake" or for skewers are technically not made of glutinous rice. It's either regular rice (like what you'll see at korean restaurants) or mixed with flour. Glutinous rice is too sticky to make these cake - i know it's counterintuitive, but it is what it is.

     
  • At 11/06/2009 11:04 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Ahh thanks for the clarification. It does sound odd, but it also makes sense. Mmm... now I have a craving for chilli rice cakes :)

     

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