Located on the third level of an old rum store in Chippendale Sydney, Jung Sung is a contemporary take on traditional Korean flavours. Front of House Manager John and Head Chef Insup are re-writing the stereotypes of Korean Cuisine being only associated with Korean Barbeque, instead honouring the seasonal produce, Jang, fermentation and ageing of ingredients. Marrying traditional Korean cooking techniques with modern methods using local Australian produce. Each dish combines the cultures of Korea and Australia. We sat down with John and Insup at Jung Sung to talk about their inspiration, backgrounds and using Square to power their restaurant. Catch the full chat below.
SQ: Why is it important to you to elevate Korean cuisine in Australia?
J: I noticed that here in Sydney, there are many Korean BBQ places and that’s all people know when we talk about Korean cuisine. In Korea, we use many different ingredients and have many cooking methods that are not used in Korean BBQ places.
I: When Australians think of Korean restaurants, they think only of Korean barbeque. Korean cuisine is all about seasonal produces, Jang, fermentation, and ageing. For example, our seasonal menu features a 10-year-old soy sauce, a variety of kimchi, dry-aged meat and seafood, cured fish roe and soy-pickled seasonal vegetables.
SQ: Tell us about your background before Jung Sung
I: I was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. But began working as a chef in New Jersey, United States and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America’ in Hyde Park New York. From there I worked few Michelin-starred restaurants under famous chefs in Mario Batali’s Del pesto, Missy Robbins’s A Voce and Todd English’s The Food Hall of The Plaza Hotel from 2008 to 2011. I then moved to Sydney and worked for the former Chef de Cuisine in Altitude restaurant in Shangri-La Hotel Sydney from 2017 to 2020 and led Altitude restaurant since 2014 as a senior chef.
J: I have worked in the F&B departments in the hotel industry for over five years, spending time at both The Westin Sydney and The Fullerton Sydney.
SQ: What have been some of the reactions from customers who have eaten at Jung Sung?
J: Thankfully, many guests mention that they never tried Korean contemporary style food and are delighted to discover a new cuisine that goes beyond their expectations. We already have many regular guests visiting us every season.
I: There is always a demand for something new and Jung Sung being a contemporary Korean restaurant delivers a unique and interesting concept for our customers.
SQ: Why did you choose to use Square to power your restaurant?
I: Square is simple and convenient to operate across our restaurant, particularly in our back of house.
J: Our staff can use Square for Restaurants without any deep training, which is very convenient. I only need to go through the system with them once, and it’s done. It doesn’t take much time to explain. Our staff also save time taking orders and payments at the table with Square Terminal, it’s very easy and convenient for everyone. The less time we spend in front of a device, the more time we have to look after our guests.
When the owner wants to see how the restaurant has been going we can access and download the last month’s sales easily. I can measure everything, and see what items are popular and selling well. We change our menus based on these results and it also helps us come up with new ideas!
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Our restaurant point-of-sale system powers your speed and flexibility – whatever you’re serving.
SQ: Can you tell us the story behind one of your dishes?
I: Our Moreton Bay Bug is marinated in soy for two days and served as bibimbap assembled with puffed grains, egg, micro chives and house compressed sesame oil. Soy-marinated prawn is my soul food used to eat when I was a child and soy-marinated Moreton Bay Bug is inspired by the prawn. House compressed sesame oil is the hidden hero of the dish.
SQ: Any exciting future plans for Jung Sung that you can share?
J: We change the menu seasonally, so the next new menu will be launching in September which is the spring menu. We also have a Korean Thanksgiving day special dinner sometime in September!