Dallas' thriving food truck scene gets a much-needed new player with Say Kimchi, a food truck that wraps its menu around kimchi, the fiery, fermented cabbage dish that's a staple of Korean cuisine.
Say Kimchi finds its lineage in the original Los Angeles food truck, Kogi BBQ, and takes a page from the Austin Korean food truck Chi'Lantro, whose signature dish is the delicacy known as kimchi fries. They're French fries topped with Korean BBQ beef, onions, cheese, cilantro and Sriracha — like a Korean cousin of Dallas' own Snuffer's cheese fries.
Say Kimchi comes from Sheng Lin and Jason Hong, who met while working together at a sushi restaurant. Lin is the seasoned chef; Hong is the young, media-savvy marketer and front man. They'd both been thinking about doing a food truck and decided to become partners.
"Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish, and we wanted it to be our main thing," says co-founder Jason Hong. "We do kimchi anything: fried rice, fries, tacos."
"We're both Korean, and, as you know, in Los Angeles and New York, they have the Korean taco thing going on," Hong says. "Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish, and we wanted it to be our main thing. We do kimchi anything: fried rice, fries, tacos."
Their unique twist is something they call the Cup Bob Rice. You choose from fried or steamed rice with Korean or American-style veggies and choice of meat from bulgogi beef, pork, chicken breast or Spam. It's topped with a sauce such as teriyaki, eel sauce, orange chicken or spicy Korean.
"It's basically Korean BBQ fried rice in a cup," Hong says. "It's a 24-ounce cup that's very convenient. You can put it in your cup holder and take it wherever you go."
They do their own potatoes for their kimchi fries, and they also make a "Korean weiner" hot dog topped with fried kimchi and onions. Of course there are Korean tacos, but there is also another unique item called the bulgogi Philly cheesesteak, with bulgogi beef, onion, pepper, mushroom, kimchi and mozzarella cheese.
As a new food truck, they're navigating their way through finding spots to set up, with regular appearances at a Walgreen's store at Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs, and other locations announced on their Facebook page.
While their goals include having a successful business, they're also missionaries for their native food: "Why kimchi? We wanted to show everybody the Korean tradition," Hong says.