Business Source July - August 2018 - Page 15

“This is the only Korean restaurant in Southern Indiana.” — Peter Kim Kim & Bab Korean bistro Bibimbab is rice served with a slew of vegetables — carrots, cab- bage, onion, zucchini, radish, spinach — with a fried egg nestled in the center and topped with sesame seeds. Bulgogi is marinated sliced beef — we are in Southern Indiana, after all — with vegetables and rice. The Kims call Korean cuisine “healthy food.” Vegetarians and vegans love the array of veggies and tofu offerings. “It’s natural food,” Christine says. Kim & Bab also serves the popu- lar iced boba, or bubble, tea, which comes in a variety of fruit or tea fla- vors with those fun tapioca balls get- ting happy at the bottom of the drink. “It’s really popular not just in Korea, but Asia as a whole,” Chris- tine says. On colder days you may opt for hot Korean tea. The Kims arrived in the United States 14 years ago and settled in Louisville. They came here because of education, not to open a restaurant. “School is stressful in Korea, so much competition,” Peter says. “Wake up at 5 a.m. and you can’t go home until almost midnight. They study all day long. It’s too much.” In America “they come home around 3 p.m.,” he says. “They have a life.” The move paid off. A son just graduated Purdue University after studying statistics and a daughter is a junior at the school. The Kims moved to Jeffersonville about four years ago so their chil- dren could receive in-state tuition at Purdue. Then a light bulb went off: No restaurant in Southern Indiana offered food from their homeland. “There were no Korean restau- rants, so we’re trying to introduce Korean food,” Peter says. “This is the only Korean restaurant in South- ern Indiana.” They opened in September 2016 and have made an impact on the community. One of their employees was so enamoured about the Kims’ stories that she traveled to South Korea to experience it herself. Christine says visitors often strike up a conversation. “They ask ‘how is your busi- ness?’” she says. “Really nice peo- ple, nice customers. They ask about my children. ‘This is spring, are your children coming home?’ They are really friendly.” The couple welcomes the conversation Says Peter: “We love to talk to people.” KOREAN CUISINE Kim & Bab Korean Bistro 3012 Charlestown Crossing Way, New Albany 812-725-9844 Owners Peter and Christine Kim opened their Korean bistro in September 2016. KimBab, another customer favorite, consists of seaweed rice roll served with carrot, radish, spinach, crab and egg with Bibimbab and Kimchi. July / August 2018 15