Abu DhabiFoodUAE

FACT First Look: Mr. Kim Korean steakhouse and izakaya

The Korean steakhouse and izakaya is the first licensed restaurant in Yas Mall.

Chef James Soo Yong Kim has been wowing Abu Dhabi diners. Not only did he open the FACT Award-winning fine-dining restaurant Les Dangereux, but creative concepts are set to follow. The next restaurant is the Korean steakhouse and izakaya, Mr. Kim.

Located at the VIP valet parking in Yas Mall, Mr. Kim is a slick space. The venue boasts a minimalist, monochrome aesthetic, and an industrial chic feel. The space includes countertop dining and long tables for groups. The striking wall murals feature a camel driving a car and the Michelin man holding a bottle of sake. They were designed and painted by Tommii Lim, a Los Angeles-based mural artist who has painted for the late Kobe Bryant and the motoring brand Toyota.

Chef James has built his career on the use of high-quality ingredients and exceptional presentation, and Mr. Kim is no different. The dishes include Kimchi Pancakes (AED 55), Rice Cake Soup (AED 55), Scallop Corn Cheese (AED 120) and Stone Pot Bibim Bap (AED 109). Those looking for a socially driven, interactive dining experience should opt for the Korean BBQ 101 (AED 350), which allows you to fire up the tabletop barbeque and cook Angus Brisket, MB4 Wagyu Ribeye and Marinated Short Ribs. This set menu also comes with an array of Korean side dishes, chilled Toyosu hamachi or Angus steak tartare, and Wagyu stone pot bibimbap.

Mr. Kim

Premium products take centre stage at Mr. Kim, where diners can select from Australian Wagyu MB4, a 120-day dry-aged offering, Omani prawns and Hokkaido scallops. Diners can also expect side dishes that excel and impress as much as the mains. In addition to the traditional set of ban chans offered to every guest, Mr. Kim will feature a premium Ban Chan set that will rotate seasonally.

The licensed venue will serve Soju and offer a special Soju pairing menu. The colourless Korean beverage can be paired with items such as Steak Tartare, Yellowtail Hamachi, and dry-aged fried chicken, a secret menu item for those in the know. With a license until 3am, the restaurant will also introduce a late-night sake and ramen happy hour from 11pm until closing.

Mr. Kim

James’ upcoming restaurant openings in Abu Dhabi also include White Smoke Steakhouse, sports bar Replay and Day and Night in Al Seef Walk. The venue will be invite-only, menu-less and not serve alcohol. James explained: “We dreamt to be able to replicate our favourite restaurants from New York, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Austin, Texas — right here in Abu Dhabi — and to be able to do all the things that came from deep within our souls as nostalgic restaurateurs. We want to serve guests food that we harvested from Abu Dhabi soil, with the ambition to bring the pulse of a true food capital into the heart of Abu Dhabi.”

We’re expecting James’ new restaurant to grab the attention of the MICHELIN inspectors. James has worked in some of the world’s most famous restaurants, including New York’s Balthazar, Blanca and Le Cirque.

Mr. Kim is currently in soft opening.

Check in with FACT for the latest details.

GO: Follow @mrkim.ae on Instagram for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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