The range of pickled dishes is diverse, a bit of lotus root here, a bite of chilli crunchy crab there. Choose from seaweed salad, pickled chilli radish, chilli octopus, chilli sesame leaves, crunchy crabs, or sweet lotus root slices from the front counter. Small and large sizes, from $4 to $6.50.
Prepacked containers of kimchi, fish cake (plain and chilli), squid and small crisp anchovies make a further range of side dishes to choose from.
We tried out the 'fish' tofu cake, lotus root and chilli crabs on our first foray. The fish cakes are a little salty but not over the top, a favourite. The lotus root is cooked in sweet sugar or honey and provides a sweet balance to the chilli in the other dishes.
While we were secretly hoping these crabs wouldn't be really pungent and funkily fermented like in Lao food, one bite and we discovered a whole new beer snack. The crunch of the shell is not much different to a crunchy prawn where you eat the shells and all. The chilli sauce is thick and on the sweet side. Crab poppers, coming to a bar near you.
Next round we tried these sesame leaves or ggaennip in chilli. The leaves are similar to Japanese perilla, and are pickled so they go a dark colour and have a slightly bitter taste under that sauce.
A container of pork bulgogi is a lifesaver when you need a quick dinner, We buy in bulk and freeze it in portions for when we need it. If you don't have a Korean style grill it is just as good stir fried on a really hot wok. There's beef available as well.
A medium container is $9, half will do for two people especially if you bulk up with lots of vegetables (next door at Citisuper is a great range of fresh vegetables and bean sprouts) and of course the banchan.
But wait, Koban has a another story to tell, there are two sides to this kiosk.
They sell hot food as well! This rather large leaf shaped gyoza was filled with pork and rice vermicelli, a filling lunch snack for $2.50.
There's also a range of things on sticks for $2.50, this fried chicken and sausage number on a skewer, covered in sweet chilli was a better than it should be moment, the chicken was crunchy and the sausage was like party frankfurts gone wild.
Koban is at Pavillion on George (under the HSBC building on the way through to Town Hall station) - 580 George Street and also at World Square.