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Local Shout Out | Mi Raak

Originally posted by Courier Mail | Anooska Tucker-Evans 15 June 2023

K -pop (Korean pop music) reverberates throughout the heritage building. The distressed brick walls from the one-time apothecary are decorated with quirky portraits including a baby with an upturned bowl of spaghetti on its head. Stringy neon lights hang like noodles from the ceiling, while disco lights throw multi-coloured dots around the concrete-floored room.

This is a place designed to live up to its name.

We’re at Fortitude Valley’s newly opened Asian-fusion eatery Mi Raak, which translates to “taste fun” and what tasty fun it is! The double-storey venue is the work of husband and wife Yongun Jeon and Isabel Yao, who own cult Korean chicken restaurant Jeon’s Kitchen in the funky Bakery Lane precinct behind Mi Raak.

Inside the downstairs dining room at Mi Raak, Fortitude Valley. Picture: David Kelly

Jeon’s Kitchen has been a roaring success since it opened early last year, with diners queuing for a taste of Jeon’s crispy poultry he took seven years perfecting. But with only a handful of tables out the front, the small, fast-casual eatery was forced to constantly turn customers away.

So when the site next door (previously Uh Oh Spaghetti-O) became vacant, the couple leapt at the opportunity to expand their seating, with a substantial covered outdoor area off the Mi Raak space and into Jeon’s Kitchen.

The new lease is also an opportunity for the couple to create the type of playful, late-night venue they loved so much in South Korea. Not a club, not a bar, but an eatery where great food and good times come together, with people able to enjoy a snack, cocktail and a dance.

Quirky artwork lines the walls at Mi Raak, Fortitude Valley. Picture: David Kelly

It is also a place for chef Jeon to let his culinary creativity run wild – fusing together Asian flavours with cuisines from across the world. That means a long and diverse menu with everything from the wild – like risotto and cheese-stuffed jalapeno poppers – to the gourmet – such as premium wagyu barbecue sets. There are also small plates including kimchi dumplings and agedashi tofu, raw dishes like sashimi, fish carpaccio and beef tartare; mains of kimchi pork stew and wok-fried seafood ramen; and plates to share including seafood pancakes and cheolpan grills. To say there’s a lot going on, would be an understatement, but somehow Jeon makes it work and the food is as “tasty” as it is “fun”.

The beef tataki ($19) is lick-the-bowl delicious with wafer thin coins of tender meat complemented by a ponzu dressing that is addictively sharp, with the floral notes of yuzu punching through.

Mi Raak’s beef tataki. Picture: David Kelly

For the vegetarian, there’s the enoki tempura ($12) with tree-shaped clusters of the Asian mushroom deep-fried until the fungi is pleasurably soft and coated in a truly excellent tempura batter that bubbles and blisters like majestic finger coral.

Our waiter, who is helpful and endearing, though busy, suggests the grilled pork ($30) main, citing it as one of his favourites – and with good reason. The belly meat arrives breathtakingly tender, its surface seemingly blow-torched to finish. It sits on an uber salty, intensely fermented Korean miso paste of sorts, which provides a smack of flavour, but is almost redundant because the pork is so good on its own. Then there’s Jeon’s signature, the citrus chicken ($24), which features a tower of lightly battered chicken pieces in a puddle of sweet orange dressing with a hint of chilli that catches you slightly offguard. My guest polishes off the poultry and every last whisper of sauce.

The citrus chicken at Mi Raak. Picture: David Kelly

The Korean alcohol soju comes in multiple varieties on the drinks list, alongside somak, Korean fruit wines, a handful of Italian wines, Korean and local boutique beers and a fun array of well-priced cocktails including a far too easy drinking soju, Chambord and gin number known as the Eiffel in Jeju, and a pisco sour so strong it feels like you could fail an RBT with a single sip. Tasty fun is what Mi Raak stands for and it delivers in abundance.

Mi Raak

690 Ann St, Fortitude Valley

0422 063 080


Wed-Sun 5.30pm-late

Must eat dish

Grilled pork

Verdict – Scores out of 5

Food 4

Service 3.5

Ambience 3.5