24 Nov Kong BBQ, Richmond
Kong is the latest venture by the Lucas Group and headed by Chin Chin’s executive chef Benjamin Cooper. Opening late May, it’s already become very popular and the high-ceilinged restaurant emanates a bright and casual vibe. We came for an early lunch right near opening time, so it was virtually empty. It could also have been something to do with the heavy rain today. There’s a focus on Korean and Japanese (mostly Korean), and obviously on barbequed foods prepared in charcoal and hard-wood pits and ovens. Also offered is a takeaway menu (Kong To-Go), which can be ordered online. Up for consumption are small dishes like mandu and tofu, roti rolls, wings, barbecued meats and rice, noodle and veggie dishes. Rolls of paper towel on the tables encourage people to take a hands-on approach to their meals.
We shared a pulled pork roti roll and the kalbi. The crispy, tasty charred bits of the roti were a pleasure to eat. The pulled pork inside didn’t have a lot of flavour, though there was the kimchi inside too. With a slight feeling of envy we saw the pork belly and soft-shell crab buns being delivered to nearby tables. They looked small but tasty.
Shortly afterwards, the kalbi arrived, the meat from the short rib pulling away easily from the bone. It was strongly flavoured, slightly sweet and definitely needed the relief offered by the rice and daikon kimchi. The pine nut ssamjang was different but nice, adding some difference in flavour and texture to the dish.
There were many interesting things to try on the menu and I’d love to return, particularly to try out some of those delicious-looking buns.
599 Church St
Richmond, VIC, 3121
(03) 9427 1307