How to Open a Restaurant in a Pandemic
Tatler Hong Kong|September 2020
After protests, restrictions and a third wave of Covid-19, Hong Kong finally welcomes Hansik Goo from celebrated Korean chef Mingoo Kang
Charmaine Mok
Seven years after opening Mingles in Seoul’s Gangnam district, chef Mingoo Kang can count the number of proper days off he’s had on one hand.

When we speak over Zoom in early summer, Kang, who had just arrived in Hong Kong, jokes that he’d finally, though unwittingly, earned himself a two-week holiday of sorts, thanks to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period imposed on inbound travellers. He intended to use the time devouring his collection of prized cookbooks (40 of them made up the bulk of his luggage), drinking his favourite coffee from Seoul coffee roasters Fritz, and bingeing on YouTube videos. Of course, not being able to leave the apartment was not much of an issue, given that the chef had already been communicating with his team on the ground over the best part of a year: exclusively through video calls and WhatsApp messages.

Beaming at me from his computer screen, safely ensconced in a small, simple apartment on Hong Kong Island, Kang looks refreshed as he recounts what a journey it has been to open Hansik Goo—the much anticipated yet delayed Hong Kong debut from the chef, in collaboration with local restaurant group ZS Hospitality. Widely touted as the fine dining chef’s diffusion line, Hansik Goo soft opened to wide acclaim, its menu of comforting Korean dishes an instant hit.

How long have you been thinking about opening a restaurant in Hong Kong?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM TATLER HONG KONGView All

ON THE CASE

Over the past decade, entrepreneur Wesley Ng has grown Casetify from a part-time passion project to one of the world’s largest tech accessories companies. Now, he is launching a new investment fund to build a global empire

10+ mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Black Beauties

American artist Mickalene Thomas, who has changed the way we look at Black bodies, is presenting her life’s work in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong this autumn

8 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

The Kids are Alright

Entrepreneurs Shiva Shabani and Calvin Yu discuss channelling your inner child and their eyewear brand, Sons + Daughters

4 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Olivia Dawn Mok

The DJ, producer and musician blends classical training and modern technology to create her sound

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

A Whole New World

Ocean Park has resurrected its aquatic outpost for a new generation

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Best in S-Class

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class combines form and function in a luxurious saloon

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Stranger Tales

Hong Kong’s first Palme d’Or Short Film winner Tang Yi says her victory is the result of being true to herself

5 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Green Fingered

Creative director and CEO Nicolas Bos brings Van Cleef & Arpels’ take on flora and fauna out of the workshop and into Hong Kong

3 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

Raise a Glass

Celebrated French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel worked with Dior Men designer Kim Jones on a unique costume for his induction into Paris’s prestigious Académie des Beaux-Arts

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021

What Dreams are Made of

Why La Prairie’s new Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil is the perfect addition to your bedtime ritual

2 mins read
Tatler Hong Kong
October 2021
RELATED STORIES

When Ghost Cities Come Alive

Built on a grand scale with thousands of apartments, new roads and subway lines, and Instagrammable architecture, China’s overnight cities have something else now: People

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 06, 2021

Korea's ‘Overnight Beggars'

Skyrocketing real estate prices could cost the Democratic Party the presidency in next year’s elections

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
August 02, 2021

The Death Cross

In South Korea, living alone and childless is becoming a way of life—with dramatic consequences for one of Asia’s most successful economies

7 mins read
Bloomberg Markets
June - July 2021

CHEF JUDY JOO: We'll Be Back STRONGER THAN EVER

THE CELEBRITY COOK AND RESTAURATEUR TALKS ABOUT THE IMPACT OF COVID ON THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY— AND WHAT DINING OUT WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE FUTURE.

4 mins read
Star
May 03, 2021

Where the Action Is

Seoul sizzles with food, fashion, palaces and pageantry.

5 mins read
Global Traveler
March 2021

MODULAR, MOBILE AND MADE TO LAST

5.11 TACTICAL’S RUSH100 CARRIES THE HEAVY LOADS ... OR JUST THE ESSENTIALS.

8 mins read
American Survival Guide
March 2021

THE KOALAS OF KANGAROO

It's been almost a year since I walked down Church Road on Kangaroo Island, where the smell of death could not be escaped.

8 mins read
Lens Magazine
December 2020

SAMSUNG REPORTS PROFIT JUMP DRIVEN BY STRONG CHIP DEMAND

Samsung Electronics Co. said its operating profit for the last quarter rose by more than 26% as it capped offa robust business year where its dual strength in parts and finished products allowed it to thrive amid the pandemic.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #483

PDOGG (KANG HYO-WON)

“WE COMMUNICATE A LOT.”

3 mins read
Fast Company
Winter 2020/2021

The Country That Learned To Live With Covid-19

As other nations locked down or let the coronavirus run rampant, South Korea found a middle way—and a road map for future pandemics

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
December 14, 2020