01 March 2012

Rice House, Bulgogi Burgers and the Rise of Korean Food in Southport, Gold Coast

We do our little bit to spread the word on the excellent hole-in-the wall Korean restaurants in Southport, the 'Chinatown' of the Gold Coast.

Southport was traditionally the business end of the Gold Coast. It has been in steady decline for years but seems to be turning around, albeit slowly. There's a growing Asian population and a bunch of hole-in-the-wall restaurants to go with it.  There's moves to create a 'Gold Coast Chinatown' but this lonely sign on Davenport Street is the only evidence we saw.

Southport has a dozen or so hole-in-the wall joints plus a few Asian grocery stores. These Queenslanders are sittin' on gold.

Korean is dominant food force in these parts. Rice House looks suitably low key and has plenty of happy Korean diners, so we dig in.

Free side dishes: kim chi, Korean Footy Franks, and veggies.

Korean style BBQ beef soup - $10. A clear, beefy broth served served bubbling, foaming hot.

Bibimbap - $9. We love bibimbap: a simple but wonderful dish of beef, veggies and a googie egg on steamed rice. Rice House does a killer bibimbap, highly recommended.

Rice House is at 46 Nerang Street Southport, near corner of Davenport Street. Open 11.30am-9pm. Closed Mondays. It's run by uber nice folks, get into it Queenslanders!

We're intrigued by DoDream Chicken, a Korean Chicken and burger joint, 56 Scarborough Street.

We've heard good things about Korean fried chicken (KFC?) but it's the bulgogi burger that we must try - the thought of bulgolgi in a bun is too much.

But it's not quite what we hoped for: a bulgogi flavour meat patty with regular burger fixin's. A bit of fun but we wish we tried those rissole type things some of the Korean diners were eating. Next time...

LOCAL'S TIP: Shawn's Mum is super pernickety about her seafood and only buys the freshest of the fresh.  Her  current not-so-secret spot is buying it straight off the boat at the Gold Coast Fishermen's Coop, on the spit near Seaworld - www.freshestcatch.com.au.

Rice House on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the write-up. I'm glad you liked Rice House too. Even my friends who don't like Korean food like that place and like you said, local Koreans love it too. Lol yeah Southport has pretty become a little KoreaTown. A student of mine organises visas for Koreans coming to the Gold Coast and always recommends they live in Southport. At night though it's pretty dodgy with drunken bogan Aussies galore.

  2. That last comment can go for most of the Gold Coast lol

  3. Southport has a lot of treasures if you are into Korean (or Asian) food. Rice House, Dona Dona and Pho Vietnam are among the many choices to be categorised under cheap and good eats in Gold Coast. Just observe the clientele sitting within to make your choice.

    1. Has it changed much since we were last there in 2012? Are there a lot more places to eat? How well do you think the 'Chinatown' the council signs suggest is going?


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).