If you’ve been to Sáng by Mabasa – the Korean restaurant in Surry Hills nominated for Best Casual Restaurant at the 2019 Time Out Food Awards – then you’re probably familiar with the two types of glorious kimchi made in the teensy open kitchen. If you haven’t, there’s no need to panic; you now have the chance to try them at home and even make some yourself.
Like so many hospitality operators bravely trying to weather this proverbial storm, owner Kenny Yong Soo Son and his family have taken drastic measures to try and stay afloat. They’ve refined their menu to maximise efficiency and freshness, created their own online ordering platform and even hired a bike to take care of delivery to the local area themselves. They’re still serving specialties like cabbage pancakes and beef bulgogi, but they’ve also introduced a range of to-go packs so that you can recreate the magic in your own kitchen.
“We first introduced mandu (dumplings), which we followed with a pack of kimchi-jjigae soup, all cooked fresh in the Sáng kitchen then packed frozen for customers to cook themselves,” Son says.
Both the signature spicy bokkeum (red) kimchi and the baek-kimchi (the mild white variety) are on offer as well. The former comes ready-made in a 400gm pack for $10 and can be utilised to your liking – we think the kimchi cheese toastie tutorial on the restaurant’s Instagram account is probably a smart place to start. The latter, meanwhile, requires you to do some of the work. Fussy parts of the procedure like salting the cabbage have been taken care of, but you’ll assemble and ferment it yourself so you’ll have kimchi that’s ready to eat in two days and will stay fresh in your fridge until you finish it.
“The make-at-home items have been really well received, so we are planning more types of jjigae and other interesting packs to feature,” Son says.
For more updates, follow the restaurant on Instagram at @sangbymabasa. 98 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills 2010. 02 9331 5175. sangbymabasa.com.au. Wed-Sun 5-9pm.