As lockdowns continue to torture Melbourne, a couple of its brighter stars have fled north to warm weather and a city whose dining scene is exploding. Brisbane has so much going on it's hard to keep up, lest we get too fat. It seems there is a new venue opening every week and this makes us super chuffed.
Melbourne's Alex Kim is one of those who has taken up residence in the Gabba, in Jurgen's Street. This part of Brisvegas, with soon to be trains, is ever expanding and Kim's Korean and Japanese fusion space is a welcome addition. This scribe was lucky enough to once call Kim's previous spot in West of Kin in the inner west the local so we know well his deft hand in the kitchen.
It's a small space, like the kind you'd find in a laneway in Seoul or Tokyo. There is a central kitchen space occupying the bulk of the room, with 14 seats and a couple of 4 seat tables lining the edge. The fun is to be had at the high seats, watching chefs manipulate basic into brilliance. The dark interior and simple strip lighting almost turn the space into a stage for Kim and his team to perform.
The multi course degustation, running between 9-16 courses is the only way to go, where each day, informed by what is available to them, Kim and his sidekick Emanuele Polenero create simple, stylish and super scrumptious dishes. As is the case in Omakase cuisine, and in most Japanese cuisines, precision is key. Both Kim and Polenero have worked in Michelin starred venues, and it shows.
There is an a la carte menu for those who neither hungry nor adventurous enough to take on the degustation (all of which are more tastes rather than dishes), which crosses borders between Japanese, Korean and European in an Asian fusion, with nods to Polenero's Italian heritage.
Dining sessions are 2 hours long, either at an early bird 5.30pm or 8pm ($150pp), or you can do a quick one hour lunch session ($75pp).
Korean Butterfly is in a warehouse at 77 Jurgens Street Woolloongabba, Qld.
Open for lunch 12-1pm Weds - Sun. Dinner 5.30 and 8pm Weds-Sun. Bookings essential