Keo Ku Serves the Best of Korean Food to Non-Koreans in An Effort to Reach Mainstream Cuisine
A new generation of Korean BBQ in Parsippany, New Jersey serves everyone but Koreans. A family effort to bring Korea to the world has resulted in the first Korean ethnic restaurant in the township. Keo Ku, meaning "great turtle" is a pleasant, family-run restaurant aiming to share the culture of Korea one meal experience at a time.
Keo Ku is unique for a Korean restaurant. Although they serve traditional and popular Korean meals, they develop each recipe with health and a wide array of delicious flavors. Barbecue is of course no stranger to American customers. However, Keo Ku adds their distinctive style to each plate.
We target that historical barbecue nuance and put a distinctive Korean angle on it," Brian Kim, manager and son of Keo Ku's owner, referring to the traditional American BBQ.
"Add to it the wide array of healthy, pickled, probiotic - filled, other Korean food varieties and it seems very clear why Korean food is moving to the forefront of popular ethnic cuisines."
Parsippany is a relatively affluent town with a significantly low population of Koreans or Korean-Americans. The owners believed that a high standard of quality food would be enough to draw customers of all backgrounds into the eatery.
"We never had more than 50% of Korean customers in our restaurant, mostly well below that level at the which we knew and rather anticipated from the beginning," Mr. Kim stated.
"Knowing that, what better Korean dish could be introduced to non-Korean than Korean BBQ with varied customary traditional side dishes served along. We felt, this is the way to go from the beginning for the best and easiest way to introduce the Korean culture to the community."
The community has continually supported Keo Ku, which opened in 1994. Mr. Kim officially took charge of the company in May of 2016 and has since been re-branding and re-designing it from the inside out. Keo Ku's large facility holds 130 seats and 20 BBQ tables. The restaurant is shifting towards marketing itself as a fine-dining BBQ dinery to appeal to the business culture and young professionals. The ultimate goal is to open Keo Ku restaurants internationally.
"Keo Ku wants to provide an atmosphere where family and friends can gather and share in Korean ethnic cuisine - one in which much of the food is shared and even cooked together," Mr. Kim stated. "A place that is fun and can be loud with talk and laughter, with informative, fine - dining customer service."