Chung Jae Lee

small beginings to success

Chung Jae and his wife Sam, with their love of dining out, good food and wine, started off with a small 30-seater place in a little laneway where they soon learnt the do’s and do not’s of restaurant life. After 18 months, a restaurant became vacant in Gouger Street, the main eating hub of Adelaide. Chung Jae decided to get it as there had been a fire in this location and in Korean culture this means good luck for a business venture.

Be it luck or Chung Jae’s exceptional culinary skills – the restaurant headed for success.

Named Mapo, after his home, Chung Jae introduced Adelaide and Australia to a unique cuisine and culture. Chung Jae developed his dishes with his own twist – he puts love into every dish and decorates with his own style. Chung Jae and his team at Mapo went on to receive many awards thanks to Chung Jae’s skills, hard work and passion for good food.

Chung Jae sold Mapo in April 2013 and went North to sunny Darwin to set up kitchen in an impressive new 4.5 star hotel where he is executive chef at Seoul Food. With his unique skills stirring the food scene in the “cosmo” food scene in Darwin he was quickly snapped up as Ambassador for NT, Restaurant Australia.

And if all that isn’t keeping him busy enough, plans are underway for LMK aka “Little Miss Korea” to open in the Darwin CBD, a Korean BBQ with a twist and a small a la carte menu and very cool “martini bar”. This is the flagship of more to come and not all in Darwin so watch this space to find out which capital city is next!