Moving the Entire Family to Taiwan and Selling Delicious Korean Combo Meals, Li Yingsan and Lee Suhwon Are Contented with Their Life in Taiwan
With Korean culture becoming popular in Taiwan, Korean restaurants open one after another. However, not many are truly run by Koreans. Li Yingsan and Lee Suhwon came to Taiwan in 2013. Their restaurant, Korean Cuisine (Korean Combo Meal), on Zhongzheng Road in Tamsui District offers 100% Korean flavors. Korean culture lovers can enjoy true Korean food right here in Taiwan.
Li Yingsan and Lee Suhwon open a restaurant in Taiwan by a bit of serenity. With the advice of his teacher, their eldest son, Li Ruiyuan , left home to study at a bilingual high school in Malaysia when he was 13. After graduation, he came to Taiwan alone to study at School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University. Lee Suhwon missed her son a lot. The couple had a discussion and decided to move the entire family to Taiwan to be with their beloved son. They were office workers back in Korea, but Lee Suhwon had worked at her grandfather’s Japanese restaurant so she knew a thing or two about the restaurant business. Furthermore, they had conducted a simple market research and found there were only a few Korean restaurants in Taipei but the demand was high. Therefore, the couple decided to open a one of a kind Korean restaurant in Taiwan.
When preparing for opening the restaurant, the entire family was mobilized. Li Ruiyuan came up with a simple, catchy and distinctive name for the restaurant, Korean Cuisine. Lee Suhwon, who has a stronger sense of design, and her husband monitored the interior decoration team, procured and installed cabinets, tables, chairs, and utensils. In only one month, the restaurant was opened with many people’s good wishes.
Working in the kitchen and serving tables are no easy work at the restaurant, but Li Yingsan and Lee Suhwon made a good team and the place was soon operating smoothly. Since Lee Suhwon has more restaurant experience and is, therefore, the chef while Li Yingsan took up the labor-intensive tasks, such as frying Korean pancake, stir-frying meat, and preparing ingredients. Their homemade soy sauce has a perfect sweet and savory taste and their pancakes and stir-fried meat dishes are incomparable.
Korean pancake is famous for its crispy crust, and springy texture . However, the pancake gets burnt easily when cooked in the traditional way, which is pan frying. Some restaurants have tried to make it by roasting the pancake in the oven but lost the texture. To satisfy customers, Li Yingsan insists on pan frying the pancake with continuous tossing to prevent it from getting burnt, the same method used to stir-fry meat. He eventually developed frozen shoulders for this insistence, but for the past 3 years, his kimchi seafood pancake has been their most popular dish. He is very happy that his hard word has paid off.
Lee Suhwon’s cooking, of course, is excellent as well. With her being the chef, Korean Cuisine’s business has been prospering. The place is full every day. This has proved what Li Ruiyuan said: “Korean Cosine may not be at the best location, but a good restaurant doesn’t have to be.”
It was also by chance that the couple started their business in Tamsui, New Taipei City. Before coming to Taiwan, Li Yingsan and Lee Suhwon knew nothing about Tamsui. One day, Li Ruiyuan took them to Tamsui for a tour and they were mesmerized by its beauty and vicinity to the mountain and the sea. They rarely went to the sea when they were in Korea. Without hesitation, they took out their savings and rented a place in Tamsui, opening the first restaurant of their own and the first Korean restaurant run by Koreans in Tamsui.