In the Laclede’s Landing historic district of downtown St. Louis, fast-casual eatery Kimchi Guys dishes Korean fare for pickup via online ordering through its website.
The eatery, which debuted last year, features Korean fried chicken, bibimbap bowls, Korean barbecue bowls, Korean-Mexican fare, sandwiches and, of course, kimchi.
Kimchi Guys comes from Munsok So, who serves as president and CEO of So Hospitality Group, the St. Louis company that owns and operates local Japanese/sushi standby Drunken Fish, as well as the event space/catering company 612North. Since 2006, So also has owned the newly renovated Cutlery Building, whose first floor Kimchi Guys occupies.
“Being Korean American, I have a lot of love for Korean food and wanted to bring a modern menu that I thought would make sense in the marketplace to the area,” So says. “In Korea, there’s Korean fried chicken on every corner.” He continues by declaring Kimchi Guys “the first Korean fried chicken place in St. Louis.”
The menu begins with the house signature Korean fried chicken, which first undergoes brining to tenderize and flavor the meat before it’s coated in a potato starch-based batter. The restaurant then double-fries the chicken at two different temperatures, which produces an extra-crispy outer layer.
The chicken comes as three-piece dark meat, tenders, wings and half or full birds, served with a given diner’s choice of sauce: spicy original (a sweet-and-spicy offering made with Korean chiles), Korean Buffalo, garlic soy or honey butter.
Other menu items include Korean barbecue tacos, Korean fried chicken tacos, burritos, quesadillas and loaded nachos. That last dish comes with Korean barbecue spicy chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, street corn, kimchi, cilantro mayo, kimchi salsa, green onions and sesame seeds.
Also available are Korean bowls, such as a bibimbap bowl with the diner’s choice of protein, like beef bulgogi with sautéed mixed veggies, Kona Grill sauce, green onions, sesame seeds and a fried egg. The menu also offers vegan items with spicy, marinated plant-based protein.
Side options include waffle fries, kimchi fried rice, honey butter corn and a variety of kimchi: spicy cabbage, spicy cucumber and white radish. Drink options include Hite Korean beer and various flavors (peach and grape, for example) of the clear, colorless distilled Korean beverage soju.
“I’m very excited about bringing a unique dining experience to the St. Louis market and adding to the culinary diversity that is constantly improving here,” So says.
Kimchi Guys, 612 N. Second St., St. Louis, 314-766-4456, kimchiguys.com
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