Did the title catch your attention? Well, that’s exactly what you will get from eating Stra Pocha’s chilli chicken. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
While we are spoilt for choice when it comes to Korean cuisine in Sydney, it’s not always possible to find a place which hasn’t lowered the heat intensity of it’s chilli foods to cater for the general non-chilli-eating population. At Stra Pocha, the chilli chicken ($35) comes with a warning of three red chillis on the menu. Back before this new menu was introduced, the warning used to come in the form of “It is very hot, okay? No return if too hot…

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney -  al fresco dining

Preempting a burning tongue, we order a bottle of Korean black raspberry wine ($22) which is sweet until it hits your throat. We also have a bottle of chilled water ready.

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - black raspberry wine

Soon enough, our star dish arrives on a burning hot plate with a tray of condiments. There’s kim chi, pickled daikon, pasta and bean sprouts.

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - chilli chicken

The secret chilli paste coating the chicken and rice cake tastes a bit like gochujang, which is made from dried chillies, salt, water, fermented soybeans and sweet rice powder. It leaves us panting and numbs our tongue, but is tremendously addictive. We eat on, trying not to think about the painful side effects tomorrow. A sore throat? A burning bum? Aww, but it’s so good right now.
Thankfully our egg soup ($5) is served bubbling hot not too long after. I find that it combats the heat much more effectively than the water or wine.

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - egg soup

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - condiments of bean sprouts, kim chi, pickled daikon and pasta

We also have the spicy sliced pork belly with cheese ($35), stir-fried in a cast iron pan at the table. The cheese oozes with the chilli paste and pork belly, creating something quite special that words cannot describe.

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - chilli pork belly with cheese

And because I was here with four other hungry foodies, we add the spicy hot pot stew with assorted sausages ($35), spam, baked beans and vegies. Topped with a block of ramen and cheese, it is pure comfort food.

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - sausage hot pot

Stra Pocha Korean Restaurant, Strathfield, Sydney - a Korean feast

If you’re a fan of charcoal BBQs, then Stra Pocha is also the place to go. There’s a wide menu of beautifully marinated meats and seafoods. It’s an one-stop-shop for all things Korean, delicious and hot.
Stra Pocha on Urbanspoon
Stra Pocha
19-21 Everton Rd, Strathfield NSW
(02) 9534 8117

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • David

    so what about that burnt rice soup?! hahaha

  • Jen

    Haha, damn you remembered! Burnt rice soup (누룽지) might be a Korean delicacy but it’s definitely not for me. I think it may be the only dish at Stra Pocha that I don’t like – and I wouldn’t have ordered it if it weren’t for you! 😉

  • Alex

    There is a Chilli Chicken place in Eastwood that has been around for a fair while. It used to be a whole in the wall type place until the lease ran out and then they moved to Strathfield Pub, coincidentally right beside Pocha. But I heard they have moved back to Eastwood and have set up shop in the pub there. I’m not 100% sure but i think the one in Eastwood is slightly more spicy, but there is not much in it. Anyway neither compare the the one I tried in Incheon last week. Painfully spicy and addictive. I will be going back for more.

  • Jen

    Awesome, thanks for the tip! I don’t think I’ve ever been to Eastwood as I’m much closer to Strathfield but if you say it’s spicier, I’ll have to make the trip!

  • On Tuesday night I was at a Korean restaurant called stra pocha and ordered their house specialty Chilli chicken and then cockroach was crawling out of the dish! I was horrified and just emailed the event to Burwood council and NSW food authority. Stra Pocha are currently being investigated by the health departments from 2 previous events. Watch out guys!

  • What a feast.. Yum…