Review by Deb Wiener, Foodie Correspondent
Chris Lucas, the mastermind behind Chin Chin and Baby, keeps to his promises! His pit barbeque restaurant Kong has opened its doors in what used to house Pearl Café in Church Street, Richmond and is pumping out fabulous punchy Japanese and Korean food to the eager punters.
Overseen by executive chef Benjamin Cooper, Dan ‘Briggsy‘ Briggs who was sous chef at Pearl Café, is in charge and is off to a great start.
The set up is similar to Chin Chin with both small and larger tables, with a long communal table down the middle. Head towards the back and you can prop at the kitchen bar and be drawn in and a little in awe, observing the frantic but very efficient pace of the kitchen team.
The menu is a generous one starting out with a strong selection of small dishes through to roti rolls, buns, wings, bbq dishes and of course, ribs. Match these with a rice or noodle dish and some greens and you’re all set. Needless to say, it was difficult to zero in on a few dishes for our so called light lunch, but struggle through we did and settled on the following:
- Wood grilled edamame with chilli & sea salt – perfect starter with a glass of wine from the broad drinks menu which includes cocktails and wines served in jugs, sake, Korean & Japanese beers and teas. Note to self – try some Japanese plum wine next time around.
- Soft shell crab with salted duck egg relish & coriander bun – plenty of this ingredient around right now and this is a delicious example of how to do it well – sweet, spicy, soft and crunchy, all in one.
- Smoked brisket, ssamjang & kimchi bun – close your eyes and allow those Korean flavours to pop on your palate.
- BBQ lamb ribs with curry spice – lunch partner and I fought over the last rib, that about says it all.
- Fried rice with kimchi, beef brisket and egg – top of the list with a bullet for comfort food.
- Apple walnut tart w.miso butterscotch & Japanese whisky ice cream – an indulgence well worth putting aside the no carb / sugar regime.
P.S. Look out for Kong’s takeaway menu and online ordering coming very soon599 Church Street, Richmond T: (03) 9427 1307
Walk in only : Open11.00am until late