They are neither bored nor desperate housewives. They are the can-do homemakers. Enterprising, energetic and exciting three Korean women, K.S. Lee, J.H. Kim and Lee Sook, from the city, have started their new venture, Korean Spicy Chicken in Jawahar Nagar.
A fun eatery, the perfect fast food joint, it serves, the most popular Korean dish- Spicy Chicken, as K. S. Lee will tell you. In Korea she explains that many stand-alone food outlets or restaurants sell specific dishes, like ‘only chicken' or ‘only fish' kinds. “This is somewhat on the lines of KFC,” adds her son Hanee Jang.
Being the first Korean cuisine eatery and just a week young, Spicy Chicken draws the curious and the adventurous food buffs. Lee who put together the idea of this restaurant, says, “We are still in the trial and error stage.” Lee is a writer too and has a philosophic side to her. Food and the enterprise are philosophically interpreted.
Quoting Victor Hugo she says that he refers to woman as being weak but the mother as being strong and so as mothers the three women aspire to provide healthy and hygienic food to the diners. “That's our motto,” she says with a kind look from behind her spectacles.
As it is perfection that the women aim for in the food and in their venture they have begun on a small menu of only chicken dishes and the famed Korean cabbage salad - Khimchi.
Their kitchen makes no use of trans-fats (only sunflower oil) and the chicken is dressed and cut to shape by Kim, their chef. Chicken Kangjung is sweet and has Ginseng in the sauce, which is herbal and healthy and yummy of course.
They work immediately on the feedback they receive from their clients. The most common request they have been receiving is of introducing rice or chapatti or bread with the chicken as that's what customers feel will complete the meal. The change is on the cards, says Lee.
With their spouses into full fledged businesses here they are happy to introduce Kochiites to the cuisine of their land. “Very little is known about Korea here. People generally confuse the cuisine with other oriental cuisines like Chinese or Thai.
Almost no oil
The main difference is that Korean food uses, almost no oil”. So the notion that Khimchi is Korean food and Korean food is Khimchi is far from true. The favourite dish - spicy chicken is deep fried and coated with a ‘special sauce', “of course a trade secret.”
Kim handles the spanking new kitchen, while Sook is in charge of the accounts. Lee meanwhile attends to the running of the restaurant, her nine years of living in Kochi giving her the added advantage of familiarity and experience. They source most of the ingredients “now locally,” except for some sauce powders from Korea and the cabbage for Khimchi comes from Ooty.
The small menu is reasonably priced, which is attractive for families and students. It is perfect on-the-run food and the ideal hangout where one can enjoy crispy chicken over cups of Sujeonggwa, a typical Korean drink. Literally translated, it is ‘crystal water' made from an infusion of ginger and cinnamon. Along with food and business it is her writing that keeps Lee going. Her essays on Kochi, ‘Venus Rises In The Evening' have been published in Korean language in Seoul, from where she comes.
She concludes about her new venture in infancy, “we are not like a still lake, but like little streams ready to change course.” This she says referring to their willingness to incorporate the suggestions of their clients and reach perfection, the ultimate satisfaction for their guests. Korean Spicy Chicken is on Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Jawahar Nagar. The contact no is – 4014050.