Easy, relaxed and very appealing
Happy Life, says the sign at Kong, and this crisp and ultra-modern restaurant is like a bowl of happiness served up fresh.
It’s a bbq, Korean-style with the light-and-bright look of a branded restaurant plus attitude, so that it’s both global and individual.
Well, it’s part of a business called the Lucas Group, which is headed up by Chris Lucas, a man who changed pub dining in Australia about a decade ago by turning the Botanical Hotel in South Yarra into a Restaurant of the Year. No mean feat.
A few years ago, he acquired the Pearl Restaurant Group, and one of those restaurants is the site of Kong, on Church Street, in Richmond’s fast-changing tourist mecca.
Kong is the third in the network of Melbourne eateries-with-panache, and though it looks brand spanking new, it’s already slotted into the scene very nicely.
Open until late, it’s a walk-in restaurant, with lots of long tables for easy seating, plus excellent takeaway (ideal if you’re heading back after a busy day to your superb boutique accommodation at 381 Cremorne).
Lucas says Melbourne’s best restaurants should do more than just feed people: they should make you feel a bit special. The décor, the ambience, the quality, the brilliant menu: this is all designed to be easy, relaxed and very appealing.
Ready for a taste? Roti-rolls with teriyaki grilled chopped salmon, rocket and spicy tomato salsa is good to start, but how to go past the peanut butter salt and pepper tofu bun with burnt chilli mayo?
House specialty is “bossam” a 16hr smoked brisket with sansho pepper and grilled chilli. It’s all very affordable too.
The secret is very good chefs, and quality control that’s the hallmark of this aggressively good restaurant chain.
Open every day, 11am until late, Kong is fast becoming a Richmond favourite.