There's nothing magical about Windsor's playfully named Nine and Three Quarters, except for the extraordinary Muggle cooking. And although Harry Potter fans will be delighted by the fictional reference to J.K. Rowling's famous wizarding world (intentional or otherwise), the parallels stop there.
Settled away from the hustle of Chapel Street, Nine and Three Quarters serves affordable, contemporary Korean food with quality coffee. From bleary-eyed Melbourne Polytechnic students (their campus is located enviously nearby) to suited businessmen, Nine and Three Quarters attracts an eclectic mix of southsiders with fresh, balanced lunch options.
All your Korean favourites — including crispy, tender chicken wings ($8.50) and dosiraks (Korean-style lunchboxes) — are on offer, but it's the new-age Korean food that adds a little magic to the menu. Expect flavour-packed, rich cooking from the spicy paste marinated seafood bibimbap ($16.50), which is served with rice and a variety of fresh and pickled vegetables. The light and creamy soba noodle salad with tender poached chicken and a runny poached egg ($14.50) is ideal for visitors wanting a healthy option that won't have you reaching for sweets come 3pm.
Caffeine is delivered creatively. From Vietnamese iced coffees to cold drips, single origin cups to classic espresso blends, those in need of a lift with their lunch have no need to worry. Light, simple breakfasts like French toast with coconut jam and seasonal fruit ($12.50) is also on offer for those on the go.
Featuring geometric shapes and smooth, pale timbers, the space is relaxed and airy. A hand-painted, Japanese-style wall mural sits proudly as the cafe's trademark piece of art. Deep blue and orange hues complement the elegantly seamless space.
While Korean cuisine has become a big part of Melbourne's restaurant scene, it's long been overlooked in our cafes. Nine And Three Quarters puts the spotlight on this underrated style of cooking, with a menu so good it will practically have you falling through platform walls.