Kimchi Cheese Smile delivers Korean cafe fare to East Brisbane
It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking deep from a perfectly made cup of coffee or cleaning the remnants of a stellar meal from your plate, if you’re chasing a sip or snack with a contented smile then you know you’ve picked well. It’s that kind of hearty satisfaction that East Brisbane’s Kimchi Cheese Smile endeavours to provide with every order. The new arrival is dishing out a tasty interpretation of Korean fare, serving everything from brunch bibimbap to K-Pop liquor and soju cocktails.
For the past six years, Korean ex-pats and hospitality lifers Sara Jeon and Jamie Yang have immersed themselves in Brisbane’s food scene, working across numerous restaurants and cafes with the intention of opening their own eatery down the line. The perfect opportunity to act on their dreams arrived when a charming space became available on Stanley Street in East Brisbane – a location familiar to many as the former home of Catbird Seat Bistro. The humble hideaway was perfectly suited for Sara and Jamie’s needs – a space equipped with a full kitchen, with a food-loving community nearby and room to grow. The resulting concept, Kimchi Cheese Smile, is pairing the couple’s love for Australian cafe culture with some intriguing and wholesome Korean eats – high-quality fare without the fine-dining faff.
Kimchi Cheese Smile’s day and night menu allows chef Jamie to show off his considerable culinary talents honed across restaurants in Korea and at Brisbane institutions Cha Cha Char and Pony, with ace seasonal goods utilised across the board. The brunch menu features flavours that will resonate with fans of Korean cuisine, showcased in dishes such as spiced mince, Angus chuck and kimchi tacos, seafood pancakes with Korean squid and Tasmanian octopus, and mushroom bibimbap with soft eggs. The dinner menu offers small plates to start, such as house-made pork mandu dumplings, Korean fried chicken and octopus tartare, before the main affair delivers seven-score wagyu intercostals coated in kalbi sauce on a bed of mash, char-grilled pork with mushrooms and bean sprouts, white fish and barley risotto, and tagliatelle served with prawn, squid, fish roe and XO sauce. Sara is in charge of the drinks at Kimchi Cheese Smile, starting with superbly poured Fox Coffee and moving onto local craft beer from the likes of Balter, Green Beacon and Moo Brew, biodynamic and minimal-intervention wine from Shobbrook Wines and Smallfry, premium Korean liquors, soju cocktails, and more.
Kimchi Cheese Smile is open for brunch and dinner. For operating hours, check out the Stumble Guide.
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