The air is thick with spices as the server approaches. You can smell your meal before you can see it, and you’ll find that your mouth is already watering. Korean food is known for the kind of spice that lingers on your lips and tongue long after you devour every morsel on your plate. And Kobrew, the newest addition to Point Ruston, is no exception.
The Korean gastropub and eatery, which opened in mid-June, was conceptualized by owner Cody Cluff as a dedication to his Korean wife. And we can taste the love. Every perfectly seasoned bite brims with flavors including red chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
Kobrew opened up in what used to be Fish Brewing at Point Ruston. The restaurant transformed the remnants of the brewery into a modern eatery with minimalist décor and Eastern accents. But the impeccable view of the waterfront remains.
The new eatery is a welcome addition to Point Ruston, and to South Sound — which so often only sees the opening of new burger joint after new burger joint. (To be fair, there is a selection of Korean-inspired sliders on the menu, but I digress.) This is something special, something unique. It’s a departure from the norm, but still accessible to the layman.
That’s one thing that Kobrew does exceptionally well: It makes this distinctive style of cuisine approachable to those that aren’t familiar with it. The menu contains Korean staples, but the classic pub fare is laced with an Asian infusion. The menu features an extensive assortment of bites and small plates — thankfully so, because you’ll want to try a bit of everything.
For the beginner:
Those that are novices to Korean cuisine can start with this curated list of samples, containing familiar items that will act as a welcome introduction to the culinary style.
- Kobrew Street Tacos with Bulgogi Beef — These street tacos have all the usual trimmings: tender beef, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. But they also have a little something extra: kimchi in the guac and spicy Korean bulgogi marinade on the meat. These additions add a little extra kick without becoming too obscure.
- Spicy Gochujang Wings — Korean fried chicken wings are to die for. The gochujang glaze has a sweet and spicy red chili flavor, and the double fried breading is perfectly crispy over the tender meat.
- From Woohee, with Love — Named after the owner’s wife and inspiration, this cocktail is unquestionably sweet and satisfying. Notes of vanilla, rose, and dark cherry re-establish his adoration for his beloved Woohee.
For the advanced:
The more seasoned foodie can try the features on this list, which promise to push the limits and provide new and satisfying flavors.
- Seafood & Kimchi Ramyun — Piled high with squid, king prawns, kimchi, seaweed, bean sprouts, and more; this dish takes the fancy ramen fad to a new level. The Korean-style ramyun noodle differentiates this dish from the Japanese ramen.
- Prawn & Dungeness Crab Lollies — Seafood lollipops may not sound like the most appetizing dish, but trust us — these are outstanding. King prawn and Dungeness crab cakes are rolled in panko and deep fried, then served on a stick atop a dollop of gochujang mayo.
- Mango on Fire — This is by far the most exciting cocktail on the menu. The bite of the peppered rim and strong tequila evens out with a fresh mango and citrus finish. Garnished with a roasted green chili pepper and a chunk of peppered mango, this drink is the perfect accompaniment to your exciting spread.