New Sydney hospo group primed to launch three new venues

Kolture is a new hospitality group in Sydney that aims to make a splash by adding three new concepts over the next three months. 

The group is headed by David Bae, an established food and beverage entrepreneur, who has made a career of introducing Korean concepts to Australian audiences. Bae previously launched the Moochi frozen yoghurt chain in Australia, alongside Vietnamese street food franchise Bun Me and K-Bird, a Korean fried chicken chain.  

David’s group will be relaunching Tokki, currently a Japanese and Korean eatery in Surry Hills, as an Anju bar in the middle of this month. Anju bars are casual venues that serve up liquor and bar snacks. The reimagined venue takes its inspiration from the cultural hub of Itaewon in Seoul, and operators claim it will have the most ‘unique range of imported Korean drinks in Sydney’. 

David has tapped Executive Chef Jacob Lee to oversee the new venues, including the revamped Tokki. 

“I want to create a space where guests can be transported to a night out in Seoul at a funky, snack style Anju and be introduced to boutique Soju, Makgeolli and Cheongju (different types of Korean rice wines) and Maekju (Korean craft beer), some of which have never been available in Australia before,” Jacob said. 

“Korea is constantly evolving.”

Cocktails will also be on offer, making use of the Korean ingredients, which include Jeju Island mandarins – a type of citrus grown only on the Jeju Island, found to the south of the Korean peninsula. 

The food offering will consist of Anju bar snacks, given a contemporary Australian twist. Guests can expect ‘Mul Hwe’, a kind of Korean sashimi made with kingfish; a seafood pancake featuring octopus and squid; ‘Loligo squid soondae’, stuffed squid; ‘Briquette bulgogi’ made with sliced wagyu beef cooked over charcoal; and Jjajang pork ribs.  

Kolture already includes KOGI Korean BBQ, Honey (another fried chicken concept), Kinhboy, and Kobo. In addition to Tokki, Kolture will be opening Soot, a Korean Barbecue venue in Barangaroo in Late April, and Leemix (a play on Lee’s remix) – a chef’s table experience in Circular Quay in June. 

David explained his motivation in introducing the new venues. 

“I’ve always had an undeniable passion to put Korean food on the map in Australia. Every time I would go back to Korea, I would have these incredible dining and drinking experiences and always think to myself ‘if only this was in Australia’,” he commented.

“If we had even some of the Seoul nightlife in Sydney it would be so much more of an interesting place to go out, so I decided to build the types of places I love to go to so that people can experience them here.”

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