Deuki Hong, the SF chef behind popular Korean fried chicken window Sunday Bird at the Fillmore Street Boba Guys location, is bringing his coveted chicken to H Mart, starting with Austin, Texas, and proceeding to more locations from there, including the newly opened San Jose location down the line.
Hong, an Eater Young Gun, left his native New York and his role as executive chef at Korean barbecue restaurant Kang Ho Dong Baekjeon to arrive in the Bay Area last year opening his fried chicken pop-up embedded in Boba Guys on Fillmore. Based on that success, Hong will operate two stalls in H Mart’s new Market Eatery food court: A Sunday Bird counter and Korean barbecue at Sunday BBQ.
Sunday BBQ will be a kind of barbecue sister of Sunday Bird, with a menu of two beef and two pork items. H Mart just purchased a $12,000 Japanese grill for the concept at Hong’s behest. It will also showcase what Hong calls “the garden” of Korean barbecue — the lettuce wraps, perilla leaves, and “all the accoutrements” that come with a usual barbecue meal. It will live in the Market Eatery section of upcoming H Marts which includes Korean bakery Tous Les Jours and Taiwanese shaved ice store Snow Monster.
The first Northern California H Mart opened to excitement in San Jose last spring, sporting a food court of its own, and teasing potential expansion plans in the Bay Area, which could include their own Sunday Birds.
“It’s half a great opportunity, half something that’s really close to home, because I grew up shopping at H Mart,” Hong tells Eater SF. “It was my Whole Foods.”
“There’s this whole generation of young Asian American chefs now, and [H Mart] wanted to create a space to showcase their stuff,” Hong explains. After Austin, Hong suggests, the business will likely replicate the Market Eatery model at other H Marts.
Right now there’s no timeline for when Sunday BBQ and Sunday Bird could join the lineup in San Jose’s H Mart. Stay tuned.