On a skinny side street in Norwood, Kokko founders Julie Kim and Ji Ku are serving up 100 serves of Korean fried chicken every day, with a menu designed with the local palate in mind.
Korean fried chicken shop Kokko opens in Norwood
In a side street off the top end of Norwood’s Parade, Julie Kim and Ji Ku have just introduced a new Korean fried chicken shop to the neighbourhood – Kokko.
The couple converted the small shopfront on Margaret Street from a massage parlour into a restaurant over the last seven months, with the help of design firm Design People.
The fit out is modelled on a ‘playground’ concept, with bright primary colours and bold shapes in the logo and in the furniture throughout the space.
Kokko’s menu is deliberately short – just six items, each served with pickles and chips – and kept affordable.
Julie says the flavours she’s created are a riff on traditional Korean fried chicken, with the aim of appealing to Australian tastes.
While the menu is currently capped at six items, there are 12 Kokko sauces that will rotate seasonally.
The current lineup features a three-cheese topping, house-made hot soy, sweet soy, a sweet and spicy garlic sauce, a yuzu mayonnaise version, as well as an unadorned version.
Most important to Julie and Ji is Kokko’s focus on quality and a commitment to making everything from scratch.
“She wants to serve the Korean fried chicken like she would to our son,” Ji says.
“It’s not healthy food, I know,” Julie laughs, “but I just want it as healthy as I can. So, I start making flours, sauces and pickles – everything.”
So seriously does Julie take this quality-driven, house-made approach, she has limited Kokko’s daily output to 100 serves per day.
“We just want to do quality control,” Julie says.
“Everything should be by my hands. I can’t do more than 100 – that’s my maximum.”
Kokko’s opening, unsurprisingly, was delayed by a couple of months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Julie and Ji say this was useful time they had to further consider how their business would operate.
In that time, they were able to set up their website and work out a way to organise their own online ordering and delivery.
Kokko is currently available for online order and delivery, and can also sit up to eight people inside at a time.
It’s been a little over a week since Kokko’s soft launch, and locals, who’ve watched the space come together over the last seven months, have embraced the concept beyond what Julie and Ji had expected.
If Kokko’s success continues, Julie and Ji hope to expand the brand into a franchise.
Kokko is open from 11:30am ‘til 9pm Tuesday to Saturday at 1 Margaret Street, Norwood.