Written By Scott Joseph On July 6, 2023

Doshi sign

Doshi, the modern Korean restaurant that opened last year in Winter Park, has two distinctions: It was designated a Recommended restaurant in the second edition of Michelin Guide, a considerable honor for a first-year restaurant.

It also is the only restaurant to my knowledge in Central Florida to have electronically and remotely-controlled bidets in the restrooms. As distinctions go, the Michelin thing is much bigger. But I also have to wonder if the other thing has moved us into a brave new era.

The Michelin recognition is deserved. The restaurant, from brothers Jimmy Tung and Johnny Tung of the Bento Group, grew from of a ghost-kitchen operation called Doshibox that worked out of the Collab Kitchen on Curry Ford Road. Doshi occupies a small space in an outparcel in front of Nordstrom Rack at the intersection of Lee Road and Orlando Avenue in Winter Park. 

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Written By Scott Joseph On February 1, 2022

Niftys interior

I’ve always had a rule that you could still wish someone Happy New Year all the way through January 31. After that, the trajectory of a person’s year is pretty much set and if it isn’t going well then you’re just taunting them.

But this year is an exception because today, February 1, is the beginning of Lunar New Year, the Asian holiday that celebrates the beginning of the year based on the lunisoar calendar with festivities lasting up to 16 days. The lunar year is designated by an animal. Last year was an ox and 2022 is the year of the tiger. I hope the ox got away in time.

Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival and often called Chinese New Year, but other Asian countries, though not all, observe it too. In Vietnam it’s known as Têt and in Korea it’s Seollal.

So let’s celebrate Seollal with a quick visit to Nifty’s Korean BBQ & Ramen in downtown Orlando.


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Shin Jung

Written By Scott Joseph On October 14, 2021

shinjung21 ext

When I went by Shin Jung on June 27, 2019, a day after a fire had swept through it, I look at the damage and thought, “No way they’ll reopen here.”

Shin Jung has reopened there.

The building, a converted original single-family home, perhaps the only one remaining within miles in either direction on Colonial Drive, has a new look, one that is more open and brighter, thanks to new picture windows on the front and side.

A canopy across the front makes it look less housey. There’s even a new side patio for outdoor dining.

It’s a transformation for the better – the last time I was in the old place I found it dark and dank and in need of tidying.


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Korean Gogi Grill

Written By Scott Joseph On April 27, 2021

Gogi ext

I had a perfectly pleasant meal recently at Korean Gogi Grill on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row. I enjoyed the surroundings, the graciousness and good humor of the staff, and the food (mostly).

Gogi occupies a building on an outparcel in the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips. It’s a lovely space with a modern decor. Tables are wired for those wishing to cook their own meats and the comfy chairs – and plates and napkins and just about everything else in the restaurant are emblazoned with the restaurant’s name, which is Korean for meat.


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Doshibox Korean Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On March 16, 2021

doshi topbox

Collab Kitchens is one of the area’s many new ghost kitchens – also known as virtual kitchens, dark kitchens, virtual restaurants and other monikers. This one, started by the owners of Bento Asian Kitchen, Jimmy and Johnny Tung. Their term for the type of business that offers kitchen space to multiple entities for takeout and delivery only is collaborative cooking, hence the name of this operation.

One of the new tenants cooking collaboratively there is Doshibox Korean Kitchen, specializing in doshirak, a sort of lunchbox meal with multiple items served in trays, sometimes stacked. They’re known in Japan, not so coincidentally, as bento boxes.

Doshibox’s doshirak meal is served on an aluminum tray with seven separated compartments. Kind of like a larger version of a frozen tv dinner, except the food is fresh and it’s all more than edible. In fact, I enjoyed the food I fetched from Doshibox so much that I could see myself indulging in a craving for its japchae noodles, Korean fried chicken or even one of its rice bowls. Although immediate gratification of such a craving might be problematic. But more about that in a moment.


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Written By Scott Joseph On February 18, 2020

Chi Kin bowl

Menus don’t get much more succinct – succincter? – than the one at Chi-Kin, a new quick-server in the Mills 50 district.

It’s basically chicken, as you probably phonetically guessed, and Korean fried chicken to be more precise. (Preciser?)

Korean fried chicken, KFC, if you will, is known for being extra crispy and usually extra spicy. It’s been a popular breakout item on many Korean menus for the past several years and has even made its way on to otherwise American menus. For all its Southern contemporaneousness, Soco in Thornton Park has had KFC on its menu since its first day.


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Babbi Babbi Korean Kitchen

Written By Scott Joseph On January 30, 2020

Babbi exterior

Babbi Babbi Korean Kitchen wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be. In fact, I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed when I walked into the new eatery at Phillips Crossing and discovered it was a quick-serve (order at the counter) operation. Even more annoyed to discover that the classic dish Bibimbap was offered as an assemblage item, with the diner tasked with choosing type of rice, which meat and what toppings to enhance or possibly ruin this traditional rice dish.

But I found plenty of other dishes on the menu that didn’t require me to act as an inexperienced chef, and I soon learned that even though one orders the food at the counter, service is supplied throughout the meal. And even better, the food was quite good.


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Bread & Co.

Written By Scott Joseph On May 14, 2019

Bread co exterior

There’s little from the outside of Bread & Co., a new “Artisan Bakery” in Winter Park, that gives a clue as to what’s inside. Yes, there is bread, as well as other baked goods. But they may not be what you expect.

That’s because Bread & Co. is largely a Korean bakery. It occupies a space that for a very brief time last year was home to Wonton Asian Kitchen. The same owners shut down the quick-serve hot-food operation and revamped the space for a bakery.


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Bulgogi House

Written By Scott Joseph On May 24, 2018

Bulgogi House exterior

I’m not really big on places where the customers are expected to cook their own meals. I call that home. When I go out to eat, I want someone else to do the cooking.

I’m apparently in the minority with this thought. At least I was the first time I visited Bulgogi House, a Korean restaurant on West Colonial Drive between downtown and College Park. Each table has a grill set into it, and most of the tables were occupied with people happily turning over meats and vegetables as they sizzled in front of them. My friend and I looked at each other and thought, Nah, not tonight. (We headed up to Tap Room at Dubsdread and had a wonderful prime rib dinner, all of it prepared in the kitchen; didn’t even have to do dishes.)

I returned to Bulgogi House at lunch time when most of the grills are left cold and more of the guests order off the menu.


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Written By Scott Joseph On December 6, 2016

Danketsu pork

I met a friend for lunch a while back at Danketsu and found it, well, I don’t know…I’m undecided.

But why should I get off the proverbial fence when even Danketsu is indecisive about the kind of restaurant it is. It purports to be Japanese, Korean, and hot pot purveyor and sushi bar all in one. It would be more advisable to choose one and specialize in it.


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