Restaurant Review: Kung Food

The Spectrum

As you walk down Main Street, trying to find a place to grab a bite to eat can be overwhelming. Almost every other building is a restaurant and it's difficult to choose one to satisfy your taste buds.

Kung Food, a Japanese and Taiwanese restaurant, has recently been added to the array of eateries in the University Heights area. Although it opened only one month ago, the restaurant has already gained popularity because of its noteworthy customer service and its authentic, delicious meals.

"Our mission is to provide our customers with fast, fresh food in a fun environment with amazing customer service," according to Kung Food's website.

The new restaurant does a great job living up to its mission statement. From the moment you walk into the quaint, hole-in-the-wall eatery on Main Street, you're welcomed as though you were part of the owners' extended family. The environment is relaxed and comfortable, the kitchen is set up so that you're able to watch the food being cooked - if you're one of those picky eaters - and the staff is accommodating and friendly to guests.

One thing the staff has that many restaurants on Main Street lack is its genuine customer service. Everyone that works there always has a smile on his or her face, and if you go in for a second visit, they remember you right away.

"We always interact with the customers; we love to hear back from customers; we're always improving," said Andy Liu, co-owner of Kung Food.

If they get asked a question about a dish on their menu, they do not just simply explain what it is - they insist on giving away free samples. If you've never tried Bubble Tea, they don't just give you a rundown of the flavors and types, they hand you another free sample.

The portion sizes are incredibly generous, especially for their prices - which range from around $2 to $7. All meals include a large portion of white rice, a side salad, and include a choice of Asian style potato salad or Miso soup.

While at first you might be very hesitant to try potato salad with an Asian twist, it's in your best interest to get it at least once. It's nothing like the mayonnaise-smothered salad you're probably used to - it's very similar to mashed potatoes with a sweet tang filled with vegetables. Seriously, try it and you won't regret it.

One issue that someone might find with the restaurant is the limited menu. With only approximately 10 main dishes, it's possible that you might not find exactly what you're looking for. But they are a new establishment and have plans of expanding the menu.

Liu - who co-owns the restaurant with Edward Young - has future plans of adding more vegetarian and beef dishes to the menu along with noodle soup and sushi.

"Our theory [at Kung Food] is [that] you can choose whatever you want," Liu said. "You can choose your side dishes, you can choose how to cook your meal, and you can choose different kinds of sauces. You can walk through the whole process in the near future."

Even still, the restaurant does have a bit of variety. From Japanese-style chicken teriyaki to its Vegetarian Delight to Night Market chicken with pepper, Kung Food puts its own authentic spin on some Japanese food fan favorites.

Bubble Tea is another one of the main attractions. For those who are not familiar with the popular drink, bubble tea is a cool, refreshing, sweet drink with tapioca balls at the bottom. It might sound odd at first, once you get passed the initial hesitation, you'll realize that it's really not all that weird.

On the other hand, if you're a bubble tea enthusiast, you won't be disappointed with Kung Food. Its bubble tea is made with organic black tea imported from Taiwan, according to Liu.

If you're looking for some authentic, freshly cooked Japanese/Taiwanese food while still maintaining your budget, Kung Food is a great place to grab a bite to eat.