After two-and-a-half years, and three harsh winters, KIM Contemporary Korean restaurant in Potts Point is closing. When asked about its sudden departure co-owner David Ralph put it down to “the only reason why restaurants close – it’s just not busy enough.”

The news comes not long after Moon Park announced it would close, forcing a question: is Sydney seeing a decline in contemporary-Korean dining? “There was a slight renaissance in Sydney about three years ago, but what comes around goes around. It will pop up again,” Ralph says. “These things just take time.”

With many Korean chefs still in residence at great restaurants, this may be just a small bump in the road. “Nearly every top-tier restaurant has one or two Korean chefs. We’re going to see a lot more Korean-influenced food in Sydney. Not necessarily Korean restaurants, but more contemporary, modern translations of Korean food. It’s going to be a really exciting city for it.”

It seems the combination of low foot traffic, harsh winters and the space not being well suited to the cold cost the restaurant its life. “It wasn’t a super hard decision to make. We’re happy with our restaurant and where we’re at. Happy we got to this stage,” Ralph says. “It was just time to go.”

There was an immediate response on social media when the news hit. Sydney’s top chefs are sad to see it go, with Dan Hong (Mr, Wong, Ms G’s, El Loco) covering his Instagram in praise for the restaurant: “Farewell @kim_restaurant, fantastic meal guys. Thank you for taking Korean food to the next level” alongside a nostalgic post of Kim’s signature scampi jang and his "favourite Korean 'scotch fillet' in Australia.”

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KIM’s last night of service will be on Saturday and it has made sure there is plenty of the restaurant’s most famous dish, jang (raw, marinated seafood), to go round. “We’ve got whole spanner crabs and scampi and made sure we had heaps of those for our closing week.”

Both Ralph and Kim’s other half, Tae Kyu Lee, plan to take some time off now. Having sold the lease, but not the business, future hopes of reopening are there. “The name [Kim] stays with us. We’ll just see what’s on the horizon, there’s nothing confirmed yet.”

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