Korean food has slowly been spreading around the Sydney food scene, and I’m really glad for it when there are places like Kim Restaurant. Co-founders and co-chefs David Ralph and Tae Kyu (TK) Lee are cooking kick-ass Korean food with a contemporary flair.
I start with a refreshing watermelon and pear cocktail that’s spiked with soju and cider. As for the food, we snack on the sweet potato fries first, which are cut into thin strings and seasoned well with spices (though I thought they were going to be crispier). There are two kinds of mandoo – one is filled with cabbage kimchi, chilli and shallots; the other with pork, beef, tofu and noodles ($3.50 each). Both are shiny and generously stuffed with their kimchi or meat filling. I’d definitely order more of these next time.
On the heartier side we have the TKFC ($18), TK’s fried chicken wings with nuts and a BBQ sauce that’s sticky and tasty. It has a bit of a spicy kick to start but it doesn’t build so I find the heat quite mild. The TKFC also comes with delicious pickled radish cubes. They’re adorably stacked on top of each other to create a rectangular shape – almost like a Rubik’s cube. The radish bites are superb palate cleansers in between messy adventures with the fried chicken.
Kim’s dobbokki ($12) are a generous serving of rice cakes and chilli sauce with pork floss on top. They’re chewy on the inside, but crispy on the outside, smothered with a lovely, spicy sauce. Meanwhile, the Haemul Pajeon is a pancake of squid, prawns, octopus and shallots ($14), but it’s deconstructed. I love the crisp texture, and the accompanying pickled onions are a winner.
Sadly, we can’t finish the food between the two of us, but no matter, we take the rest home, and still have that tiny stomach space that we always reserve for dessert. I pick the hodoogwaja ($12) from the dessert menu. It’s outstanding. The Korean waffles are filled with walnut praline and chestnut cream; there are cubes of black sesame parfait that’re flavored with white chocolate; basil seeds add a bit of pop; pieces of strawberries and nectarines bestow a fruity freshness upon the dish. There are also some bits of caramel popcorn on top for good measure. This is a seriously good dessert AND the presentation is fab.
At the end of our meal complimentary Kakawa chocolates are sent out from chef David Ralph (who is also one of the owners of Kakawa Chocolates) – dark chocolate with a hint of chilli and a crunchy walnut praline chocolate. We leave in high spirits because the food was satisfying, the atmosphere in the Llankelly alleyway is lovely, and on top of that the service was insanely friendly.
7/24-30 Springfield Avenue via Llankelly Place, Potts Point, NSW