Sydney Korean Karaoke
Time Out says
Live it up with free snacks while you sing at this old-school karaoke den above the city
You’ll have to ride a slightly claustrophobic lift to reach Sydney Korean Karaoke, but the K-classic good times that await are well worth the squishy ascent. If you’re all about the glitzy Sydney singing experience, the collection of 11 spartan rooms above George Street might not be your style. The booth seating is pretty bare, the mics are more school assembly than Lizzo concert, and you’re required to operate a giant 18th-century calculator to select songs. But we’re happy to abandon our tech obsession if it means we get those little free dishes of soy crisps and popcorn, tambourines upon request and the absolute best in strange unrelated visuals playing to pop hits.
The novelty of having to flip through an actual songbook is kind of charming, even though the tracks are alphabetised by song name (by artist is far better for a tipsy crowd), as is the oversized Game Boy-style remote that’s wrapped in plastic, with handwritten buttons for queuing songs. You can’t be shy here: the sound system is loud, the reverb is intense and the backing vocals are mostly inaudible. But hey, you want your karaoke star to shine, and here your adoring crowd will hear every note. Good luck.
As you might expect, there’s an overwhelming contingent of Korean songs in the thick tome, but in the (much) smaller English section we find a few we know will get us top points in the room's scoring system. Mariah Carey’s ‘We Belong Together’ makes an appearance, and we reach a perfect 100 for a very cheesy rendition of ‘Beautiful Soul’ (weren’t we were all in love with Jesse MacCartney in 2004?).
The point system really ups the enthusiasm (don’t worry, it’s more generous than SingStar) as do the disco lights that flash on with each new song – the full throttle of the main light in between sets is a little too sobering, though. The biggest winning factor? You can sing the night away without going into severe debt, with rooms starting at $30 for an hour and $5 cans of Korean beer Cass Fresh filling you with confidence.