Humans in hej hej - Lisa Lee
We chat with Lisa Lee, Korean Seoul food enthusiast and cool girl chef of Ockhee and new venture Swings.
Lisa! Give us three words to describe yourself.
Cool, charismatic and a good leader.
We are BIG fans of Ockhee at hej hej - can you tell us a bit more about the menu and what Korean Seoul food is?
Everything is done the traditional way at Ockhee. Time and effort goes into the preparation, there's a lot of pickling and fermenting. All the sauces are made from scratch and the soup bases simmer for hours. Ockhee has two separate menus, Lunch & Dinner. Lunch menu is designed for our customers to have a quick lunch fix in their busy lives and the dinner menu is designed for kiwis to experience authentic Korean food with our house blend cocktails, hand picked natural wines & delicious beer.
Korean Seoul food would normally be served with soup, rice and vegetable dishes on the side but I wanted to combine the elements into one main dish to serve it in a modern way for kiwis and that's why I have put the contemporary spin only when the food is plated.
Congratulations! You have just launched your second spot Swings - we can’t wait to try it! Tell us all about it and how is street food different from Seoul food.
Thank you so much! It's been a wild journey creating the menu for swings and setting it up while working full time at Ockhee but we are very happy with the response we have been receiving.
Rad things about Korean street food is that it's cheap, yum and full and that's how I have created the menu for swings. I wanted to use 'flour' as a base product and mix Korean street culture into the swings menu and the menu that showcases a Korean street food staple: gilgeori toast, a type of toasted sandwich that translates to “street toast” in Korean.
You are in charge of the Kitchen at Ockhee, but do you cook at home? If so, what is your go-to meal on a wintery night?
We have been working all day every day for the last 2 years and hardly ever have time to eat or cook at home but I must say that we do enjoy going to this authentic Korean restaurant run by elderly Korean ladies called Mr.bbq Restaurant in Albany. These guys make their own Korean soybean paste and simmer the baddest beef brisket & tofu stew. It is just a wholesome meal to refuel yourself when you are so run down.
Give us a weird but surprisingly good flavour combination…
Spicy food + Mayo + Pickled sweet radish + Seasoned seaweed.
You’re wearing Knitty Gritty in Periwinkle, don’t you just love it? Tell us why you love it and what wintery activity you will be doing in it?
I think of knits as the best single item for cold winter days as it's perfect for layering. I'm planning to travel to Korea at the end of year when it's the winter season for Korea and I can't wait to rep hej hej's Knitty Gritty in Periwinkle back home!
Images by: vivienne jung