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Korean restaurant opens in Forest Hills, third in a growing chain

Nov. 15, 2023 By Rachel Butler

A Korean restaurant opened its doors in Forest Hills at 107-12 70th Rd., which formerly housed the burger joint Roam. 

This is the third restaurant for Kuku Korean Cuisine, which opened its first location in Long Island City in 2020. The business also has a location in Williamsburg and plans on opening another eatery in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, in the coming months.

The establishment is owned by Chris Pak and his business partner James, who declined to provide his last name.

James, who spoke with QNS, is a life-long Queens resident, having grown up in Elmhurst, and said he has loved Korean food all his life.  He said that he would visit a Korean restaurant where Pak worked for 10 years prior to them founding the business together. 

Co-founder and chef Chris PakKuku Korean Cuisine. Photo by Rachel Butler

“I was always eating Korean food at least two to three times a week and I always went to a restaurant where Chris worked as the chef,” James said. “When the pandemic came, unfortunately, that restaurant had to close so we got to talking and decided to open our own restaurant business and then KuKu was born.”

The restaurant offers a wide range of Korean cuisine that is made fresh daily with prices ranging from $13.99 to $37.99 for a variety of dishes, including chicken wings, Korean BBQ Platters, Bibimbap, Chi-Bap and sharing platters. 

Restaurant goers are also offered an array of sides including carrots and broccoli, fish cakes, macaroni and more. 

The appetizers. Photo by Rachel Butler

The restaurant offers chicken wings that come in a variety of flavors, including sweet and spicy glade poppers, spicy garlic wings, and spicy soy garlic drums. 

However, unlike may Korean restaurants in Queens, KuKu does not focus solely on wings, James said.

“There are a lot that focus on just chicken wings, which is why we wanted to open an authentic restaurant where people can experience Korean cuisine,” James said. “In saying that we are also really proud of our chicken wings as we take the extra steps to make sure they are of high quality.”

The different flavor chicken wings. Photo by Rachel Butler

The restaurant also offers a Bibimbap with spicy chicken and beef tofu stew. 

The Bibimbap consists of sauteed spicy chicken on the side and seasoned vegetables over rice that is topped with a fried egg and served with Kuku spicy bibim sauce. 

The Bibimbap. Photo by Rachel Butler

James added that both the Bibimbap and the beef tofu stew have become popular with his customers now with the weather being cold. 

“These dishes are very much comfort foods for our customers, and they are the perfect dish to have on a cold winter’s day,” he said.

The beef tofu stew is served sizzling hot and is made with natural silken tofu. 

The beef tofu stew. Photo by Rachel Butler

The restaurant has approximately 16 tables with seating at the bar. The venue has a liquor license, differentiating it from many Korean restaurants. 

“We decided to add a bar to the restaurant because as an entrepreneur you are always looking at how you can make your business stand out,” James said. “We thought it would be the perfect addition to the place.”

The bar. Photo by Rachel Butler

James said that the Forest Hills community has been amazing since the restaurant opened at the beginning of October.

“I think this area was really in need of an authentic Korean restaurant and since we have opened, customers have been so happy that they now have somewhere to enjoy their favorite Korean food in the area and the support has been amazing,” James said. 

The next location at 96 Mineola Ave. in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, is set to open in the next couple of months.

For a full menu and more information about Kuku Korean Cuisine, click here.

The restaurant space. Photo by Rachel Butler

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