Kong. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen

599 Church Street Richmond, Victoria 3121

View map

Opening hours L D Daily
Features Licensed, Bar, Outdoor seating
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)
Chef Benjamin Cooper
Seats 60
Payments eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9427 1307

Super-restaurateur Chris Lucas' latest venture has been a smash hit from day one, with lengthy queues facing anyone foolhardy enough to turn up post-6pm. So what's the fuss? Consider Kong the Korean answer to Chin Chin: a kimchi-driven, pop culture paean of a restaurant. The canteen-like space, all blond wood and green metal shades over utilitarian fluro lighting, showcases a huge menu taking its own slant on super-fashionable Korean, from ssam roti-rolls to fried chicken wings, steamed buns and the all-important barbecued meats. Start with kingfish sashimi humming with gochujang (fermented hot pepper paste) and jalapeno, and take a trans-continental trip with Korea's take on beef tartare, with matchsticks of nashi and pinenuts; hit a kimchi hotpot with fall-apart beef rib and offset the richness with a side of spicy cabbage slaw. Rolls of paper napkins on each table help with mopping-up duties as well as emphasising the no-fuss attitude. For casual dining, Kong is king.

AND ... Their barbecue pits and ovens use only chemical-free, sustainable wood.

VIBE Everyone's Italian at heart.
BEST BIT Excellent waiters.
WORST BIT Choosing between bar and dining room on Wednesdays.