Riding on the tails of Australia’s newfound love of all things Korean, a K-food trend has kicked off in Australia with the arrival of Korean chicken pros, Goobne opening its flagship Sydney restaurant at Sydney’s newest food precinct, Darling Square.
Goobne’s Australian debut at Darling Square represents the brand’s first Western launch. Goobne comes to Australia via the Chatime Group – the group responsible for taking Taiwanese bubble tea from an Asian curiosity to a hugely popular drink sensation.
The Chatime Group, led by CEO Carlos Antonius opened 120 Chatime breweries around the country in the past decade and has similar expansion plans for Goobne in Australia.
Goobne carved out a niche in the Korean market by offering its healthier alternative to Korean Fried Chicken and unique sauces and dishes opening its first store in Gimpo city in 2005, and has exploded in popularity since, with more than 1,000 restaurants in Korea alone, and scores more across key Asian markets including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The Darling Square store marks Goobne’s entrance into Australia, offering Korean oven-roasted chicken and K-razy cocktails in a fun-loving atmosphere where K-pop is king.
SCN spoke to Goobne’s R&D and leasing teams about their expansion plans and the Darling Square site. The team believe Darling Square has all the qualities for a successful business going forward. “To ensure the success of any area you need the location the competition and the right marketplace for your product” they said.
“The site was chosen as I believe that this area will be the central hub for the affluent young Asians living in Sydney that want to create their own meeting area, and will be with like-minded Asian students and business people.”
“The whole of the Darling Harbour precinct is now in one straight line and encompasses the Convention Centre Harbourside shopping centre and up to the Casino ensuring that the Darling Harbour precinct captures all the necessary visitors from locals to tourists and office and students within the marketplace.”
Goobne will be open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30am ‘til late and will offer karaoke on special occasions.
The word ‘Goobne’ means oven-roasted, resulting in crispy chicken which is tender on the inside but lower in calories, cholesterol and trans-fat than traditional Korean fried chicken. (Not a single drop of oil is used in the cooking process).
K-pop and movies have been part of Goobne’s backdrop since its inception, with Korean movie stars and K-pop group bands like Girl’s Generation and EXO taking ambassador roles over the last decade.
The restaurant space is 183m2 and features screens throughout, an entry portal and tiered seating.