Simply Seoul Kitchen will open its first brick and mortar location, a Ponce City Market stall, in February 2015. An artisan business focused on vegan kimchi and Korean barbecue-style steamed buns, Simply Seoul currently sells at farmer’s markets, festivals, and natural food stores. So for Simply Seoul founder and chef Hannah Chung, the Ponce City Market stall will be a game changer.
“It’s a big deal. It’s going to change my business radically,” she says.
The stall will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and serve Chung’s steamed buns (it takes eight-hour to make them!) in at least three varieties: vegan mushroom with kimchi, Riverview Farms beef bulgogi with kimchi, and Riverview Farms pork with Spicy Korean barbecue sauce and daikon radish kimchi slaw. She says she plans on adding another vegetarian option and possibly a chicken bun and Korean short rib bun, too.
Local and seasonal kimchi offerings may include cucumber, and root vegetable and beets. All food will be made at her commercial kitchen in Decatur and brought to the market each morning. No alcohol will be served, but Chung will sell artisan beverages—either she’ll make them herself or partner with a local producer, or she says, possibly both. Her stall will have a modern yet rustic look with clean lines, frosted glass paneling, repurposed woods, and some black.
Chung lived in Korea and grew up eating kimchi but she entered the culinary world later in life with an externship under Anne Quatrano at Bacchanalia. She went on to work at Porter Beer Bar and Holeman & Finch before going out on her own with Simply Seoul Kitchen.
At Ponce City Market, her career will come full circle with the Simply Seoul stall located almost directly across from Quatrano’s new place, Dub’s Fish Camp. Hopkins’ H&F Burger will be nearby as well.
“It’s a real honor,” Chung says, adding that while she’ll be at the market daily at the beginning, she’ll be trying to grow her business nationally at the same time.