Ssam Roti-Roll – Teriyaki Grilled Chopped Salmon, 12AUD
Kong バーベキュー was a creation by talented Chris Lucas, the man behind famous restaurants, Chin Chin and Baby Pizza. Kong バーベキュー opened in March 2014 last year and it has been buzzing since then. The premises stylised itself as an oriental pit barbecue restaurant, so yes, almost everything on the menu would be barbecued in some way or another. You would not miss the place if you drive pass Richmond Bridge, as it has distinct signage written in Japanese. The setting of the restaurant follows a typical Japanese ambiance of an open kitchen concept. Seating areas are very simple and basic, with many stools on each sides of the walls to maximise as much available space as possible. Really, it feels like a small stall on the corner streets of Tokyo, and surprisingly it is able to fit up to 60 people.
It was my turn to give my beau and his mum a treat. We started off with Kong バーベキュー famous dish, the Ssam Roti-Roll. There were several options with either the pulled pork, tofu, or BBQ chicken but we went for the salmon. The roti was crispy and doughy, kinda like Indian pratas. The dish was not dry as there were plenty of natural juices from the tomatoes, onions and a delicious mild sauce. I am not a big fan of rockets, but this I still love. And you know what? Surprisingly, chili powder and cayenne on roti roll taste flipping amazing.
Korean Fried Wings With Honey, Garlic & Sesame, 12AUD
Kong バーベキュー dishes were designed mostly to share. We moved on with six pieces of Korean Fried Wings that had a really thick sauce. I enjoyed it a lot, but at times the thickness of the sauce kind of cloyed up my entire experience of eating these wings. I needed to refill my cup of water after every wing.
Vine Ripened Tomato Salad, 14AUD
Since we ordered mostly meats, we wanted a side salad to balance out all that dense flavour. For fourteen bucks we expected something bigger, not just one measly tomato and three sliced silken tofu. Umm… hello? Really….? We were pretty disappointed with this one.
BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs, (H:22AUD/F:36AUD)
For half a rack of these soy and sesame BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs, it was divided into three and we each had a piece. Remember we ordered BBQ wings with soy and sesame as well? The ribs soy sauce was surprisingly not as thick and dense as the BBQ wings, hence it was much easier to eat, and tastier too. Perhaps it was the honey in the wings that made the flavour too condensed for its own good.
Kong Bossam BBQ Tray, 29AUD
If you are at Kong バーベキュー for the first time, the waiters would mostly likely recommend the Kong Bossam BBQ Tray to you. It is simply a BBQ sample platter of all the available meats on the menu. Meats on top include beef briskets, pulled pork, pork belly, and pulled chicken. You are supposed to wrap these meats on the lettuce leaves along with some pickled kimchi. See that blood red lump? Okay, I just realised I made it sound unappetizing, it was actually just chunks of walnuts in ssamjang sauce, but one of our favourites on the tray.
Kong バーベキュー uses natural chemical free charcoal and sustainable Australian hardwood on their ovens to play a part in being environmentally friendly. Smoking techniques by cooking over coals is used using a traditional smoking ovens. Kong バーベキュー seriously had set up the bar and it is no surprise why it had stayed as one of the most talked about restaurant for months. Mind you, please come early before the peak hour period or you have to possibly wait for at least two hours to get a seat, maybe one if you are lucky.
By the way, just in case you are wondering, バーベキュー translates to barbecue, not Kong. Hence, Kong バーベキュー equates to Kong barbecue. I guess me taking basic Japanese course has its uses aye?
599 Church Street, Richmond
Melbourne, Victoria 3121
Tel: +(61) 03 9427 1307
Mon to Sun: 11am-11pm