From Hoolala to Kko Kko: Re-conceptualizing the Korean dining experience.

Prominent news anchor and TV host Grace Lee has undoubtedly succeeded in capturing the hearts and minds of the people of the Philippines with her natural grace, beauty, and talent. Recently, however, she has set her sights on another goal: Bringing together her two worlds – Korea and the Philippines, her birthplace and her hometown – through food.

They say that the fastest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, and in fact, Grace has embodied this maxim with her most recent pursuits as a successful restaurateur, including the successful launching of Buta Wagyu in SM Aura and Atelier Vivanda in Forbestown Road. Of all her culinary ventures, however, the one that remains nearest and dearest to her heart is the rebranding of Hoolala to Kko Kko; from a successful, family-run traditional Korean restaurant to a more specialized restaurant that aims to provide its clientele with a rich and diverse cultural experience that accentuates a delicious yet affordable meal.

The rebranding is more than just a simple change in name or design. Rather, Kko Kko offers a more modern take on the traditional Korean dining experience that most foodies in the Philippines have grown accustomed to: Focusing on simplicity and style, Kko Kko has re-conceptualized what it means to dine at a Korean restaurant. What once began as an opportunity to share a Korean mother’s home-cooked meals with Filipino diners, Kko Kko has revamped its ambiance to add a layer of modernity and fun to its diners’ experiences. The restaurant’s décor will now feature cute little trinkets that add a little whimsy to the restaurant, complementing the shift in color scheme from one of comfort to contemporary.

The menu itself has seen a transition from Hoolala’s focus on sharing the story of one family’s tradition to Kko Kko’s desire to provide locals with a more contemporary cultural and dining experience. Divided into three categories - Korean Fried Chicken, Korean Street Food, and Dosirak (Korean Lunchbox) – each menu category at Kko Kko provides a unique window into the lived dining experience and customs of Korea. With its own unique blend of sauces, Kko Kko’s Korean Fried Chicken helps diners understand the ever-increasing popularity of Korea’s chimaek culture, while the Korean Street Food menu offers a delightful glimpse into Korea’s diverse and trendy street food culture, including the “proper” ways to enjoy its delicious offerings. The dosirak menu at Kko Kko adds a little bit of fun and flair as it introduces Korea’s lunchbox-eating tradition of the 70’s and 80’s to its local diners.

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