Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Meal in Brief: Pocha

We came here because we had a craving for chicken and hof—Korean-style fried chicken and beer.

What does Pocha mean? Pocha is short for pojangmacha (포장마차), which literally means "covered wagon", and refers to a street food vendor.

The menu was large, but everything was bar food for sharing. Rather than individual Korean dishes with rice or noodles and a selection of side dishes, here you'll find platters of deep-fried things, meats (raw, grilled or fried), savoury pancakes, and soup. There was a distinct lack of vegetables, let alone anything vegetarian, unless you count the sweet fruit dishes, buttered corn, edamame, or the leaves in the beef tataki.

Menu with smoking cat.

The setting was suitable for a bar in the Chancery: dim with fairy lights. There is an outdoor area full of smokers, in line with the picture of a smoking cat which appears on the menu, and with the pictures of a smoker inside.

Pictures of a smoker.

The service was friendly but hands-off. After ordering, we were given a pile of spoons, disposable chopsticks, and serviettes, but no individual bowls, which made sharing the free spicy soup difficult. Also, we would have liked to have seen serving spoons arrive with each dish, and maybe a knife for the pancake.

Cutlery and free soup.
What we ate included:
  • fried corn with butter sauce (콘버터, $12) - this was nice, no doubt due to copious amounts of butter and mayonnaise. Also, it was basically the only vegetables we had for the whole meal.
Fried corn with butter sauce.
  • stir fried rice cake in spicy sauce with melted cheese on top (치즈떡볶이 chijeu tteokbokki, $28) - apart from the chewy rice tubes (떡 tteok) and chilli sauce (  gochujang), this also had cabbage, instant noodles (라면 ramyeon), and rectangular pieces of fish cake (어묵 eomuk). You'll need to like spicy sauce to order this.

Stir fried rice cake in spicy sauce with melted cheese on top.

  • deep fried chicken (후라이드 치킨, $30), half and half (반반 banban) of each type: plain salt and pepper, and marinated with sweet and spicy sauce (양념 yangnyeom). This came with pickled radish cubes, chilli slices, and salt and pepper. Not the best we have had, but it's still crispy fried chicken.

Fried chicken with pickled radish cubes, chillis and flavoured salt.

  • chives pancake (부추전 buchujeon, $25) - apart from Asian chives, this had squid and onion, and came with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce. This was freshly-cooked, so warmly welcomed.

We had more than enough food for six people, and ended up taking a couple of boxes away.

Overall, Pocha is not really a foodie destination, but when you want a bit of Korean flavour while sharing something cheapish and greasy in the central city, this could fit the bill.

Restaurant Details

50 Kitchener Street, Chancery Square, Auckland Central
(09) 309 2342


  1. Interesting food. Reminds me a bit of Japanese food actually. I love sharing food with a group of people, especially at a place I haven't tried before as it is a great way to try a big portion of the menu to know what to order for next time. It seems a little expensive for how casual the food service was though. $25 for a chive pancake? How much did you spend per person?

    1. Each dish was enough for 2-3 people (the chive pancakes had two layers, I think), so if we don't include the drinks, it cost us less than $16 each and we still took food home. I guess it's in the Chancery, so you would expect it to cost more than an eatery in the suburbs. Not saying you would go out of your way to eat here, but it's okay if you are just after something to go with drinks.

  2. Where is the best KFC (korean fd chicken) in your Auckland in your opinion?

    1. Hmmm, I won't be able to answer that one just yet, but I plan to find out when I get to K of my A - Z Challenge!


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