There’s a new restaurant on Enmore Road called Flying Tong. It’s a small, simple place, just a few wooden tables stacked with silver dishes, napkins and high-quality disposable chopsticks.
On those little, spinning silver dishes comes Korean fried chicken of the juiciest, crunchiest order; thanks to a very specific prep by Julie and Jeff Oh (ex-Kobe Jones), a brother-and-sister team running their first venue. “We use a very special brine that's very spicy,” says Julie. They make four flavours – a salty, thick-battered, almost American-like original style; a truly incendiary spicy iteration with dried chilli and a viscous sauce that clings to your fingers; a salty soy-and-garlic blend with sesame and spring onion; and the house favourite, their mother’s special sweet-chilli sauce with peanuts and parsley. “The sauces are all from my mum's recipes. So is our kimchi. The sweet chilli sauce we ate when we were little – she'd make it as a snack when we got home, we'd have it on chicken with a coke and pickled radish on the side,” says Julie.
It’s exactly this authenticity that makes the restaurant so charming. The food isn’t trying to replicate a traditional idea of Korean cuisine, nor any particularly new trends, it’s simply the food that resonates with the Ohs. Dishes such as bulgogi- and sriracha-topped fries; barbeque pork belly with kimchi, rice balls and ssamjang (a spicy, pungent sauce made with fermented soy beans); bibimbap with sweet-apple infused gochujang and mozzarella-coated corn grilled on a sizzling plate.
As you’re reading that list, you may be craving a beer or something more alcoholic to cut through the heaviness – the row of empty soju bottles stacked on the right wall is a clue. That was the original plan too, for the venue to operate more like a chicken and beer bar (a combination so revered in Korea it has its own name, chi-maek) but the license hasn’t come in yet. When it does arrive, the soju, beer and makgeolli will come with it.
99 Enmore Road, Enmore
(02) 8056 5985
Hours: Mon to Sun 5pm-10pm