Photo Essay: Brunch at Kung Food Market Studio
I take brunch seriously. So much so that I will daydream about it, and plan my weekend around it. I have my favorite spots around town, but for that elevated, curated brunch experience, I go for a more secluded space. Something I’m not going to find anywhere else in the city. It’s so unique that you’re won’t see it on any “Best Brunches in Detroit” list. For brunch that’s different from what you’re used to, in a private and intimate dining space with plenty of humor and character, then head for Kung Food Market/Studio.
Kung Food Market/Studio is owned by the HBIC, Chef Jonathan Kung. Inside, there’s a single dining table that seats up to 13 people. From the table, you get a direct view of the chef in the kitchen, which includes a spice library and a wall lined with various sizes of knives. Artwork on the walls and Jon’s personal cookbook library are also visible in the room. Jonathan specializes in high end Chinese cooking with a global finesse, incorporating different styles that he’s learned from other chefs, his travels, or family members from around the world. For example, some dishes have been a fusion of Brazilian and Chinese recipes.
To attend this brunch, you’ll have to order your food from Jonathan’s website no later than mid-day Wednesday. Prices range from $10 - $35. On the day that you go, it’s encouraged to BYOB of wine, or you can purchase a bottle when you get to the studio, if there are any available. It’s two flights of stairs to get to the studio, and, depending on the day, you may find a written greeting or notice on your way up, like the time when the chalkboard read: Caution! She’s in, in a mood. Upstairs, the vibe is chill, and Jonathan’s playlist is heard throughout the studio. Think: a Soulection type of mood.
What can you expect on the menu? Although the options change slightly, choices include top seared salmon tartare rice bowl, Singaporean black pepper crab cake benedict, seasonal clay pot rice bowl, and *my absolute favorite* Hong Kong egg waffles aka fried chicken and waffle. You can order multi-courses but be warned: you’ll either have plenty leftover to take home, or you won’t be eating for the rest of the day.
Take a look inside the studio and imagine yourself brunchin’ at this table:
The meat option can switch for this one. On one occasion, I’ve had it with spare rib, and the other with cured pork belly and Chinese sausage.
Jonathan’s version and Chef Tanya Holland’s of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland are hands down my top places for chicken and waffles. The thing that really brings Jon’s version together? The siracha maple syrup!
Note: Look out for when Jonathan opens his weekend market brunch at his site: http://kungfood.kitchen/