In my lunch hour today, I went to Sky Kong Kong, Bristol’s new organic Korean lunch box café specialising in a daily set menu using tofu, kimchi, soy sauce and miso amongst other tasty delights. There’s a relaxed, informal mood with a hand-painted menu by the door and paint-splattered tables and chairs. The seating is arranged over two long tables, sitting together café style. The tables are dressed with seasonal vegetables and flowers. On the shelves there is an interesting display of mismatched crockery, cookery books and cake stands – one made out of vinyl records (two 7” singles over one 12” LP caught my eye!).
Sky Kong Kong is run by a Korean chef known as Wizzy. She used to work in London restaurants Nobu and Hakkasan and worked with Michelin-starred French chef Michel Bras. There is a set menu that you can eat in (£6.50) or take-out Bento box-style (£5.50). The aim is to provide nutritious, healthy food with a range of different ingredients coming together to create a filling and affordable meal. Sky Kong Kong is not vegan or vegetarian but Wizzy is flexible and understands what vegans do, or more importantly don’t eat. She told me to text her next time I’m planning on going so she can get some tofu in!
Wizzy was able to improvise (as all good chefs can) with the day’s ingredients for me. Instead of the butternut squash tempura (made with egg), I was served a fruit salad in a tea cup – very cute! I had around six large chunks of fresh fruit – all very nice as an appetiser. For my main, I was given wild and white rice (it was a lovely purple hue, I think it had been flirting with some red cabbage maybe, I should have asked), baba ganoush, pickles, wilted bok choy, and some delicious fried butternut squash garnished with fried sage leaves. The squash was cooked perfectly – soft but not mushy. It was a party of flavours all lovingly prepared. I wanted to go into the kitchen to see how it had all been made! There didn’t seem to be much food on my plate, and when I had finished I nearly suggested to my friend that we went up the road to the vegan café Kinos for cake! However, I decided against it and went straight back to work. On the way, the strangest thing happened, I realised I was just perfectly full!