Spice is Nice at K-Peppers

Korean eatery offers well-executed food in a cozy setting

If you're not sure how Korean food differs from other Asian cuisines, Eric Kim, co-owner of K-Peppers, is happy to fill you in. Hint: it’s in the name.

“It’s spicier than other Asian cuisines. We have a lot of vegetarian options here, and Korean cuisine is known for barbecue,” explains Kim. “Chinese food is like ‘fast food’ and Korean is slower—you marinate things; it takes a lot longer to make.”

The menu is also friendly for those not looking for heavily exotic Asian dishes (think tripe, pork intestines or kobe tartar) but rather, beef, chicken and vegetarian items. “Nothing scary—you can have anything here,” Kim says, smiling.

Located in a rather unobtrusive Middleton strip mall, Kim opened the eatery with wife Rachel Lee two years ago this month. Lee worked as a chef in South Korea for ten years before the couple moved to Madison (Kim got his undergrad degree here) to start their own eatery.

Despite positive reviews, K-Peppers has been under the radar—but it shouldn’t be, as it’s only one of two Korean eateries in the entire city. Look for traditional favorites like bibimbap (rice topped with a sunny side-up egg, veggies, choice of meat and hot pepper paste), bulgogi (sautéed thin slices of ribeye steak with sweet soy sauce topped with veggies) and rice dishes. Each entrée comes with four (free!) mini side dishes that change every day—we got a fabulously spicy kimchi, cabbage rolls, Korean sweet potato fries and onion/cucumber kimchi.

So find your own little piece of Korean paradise on a platter. You’ll be happy you did.

K-Peppers, 1901 Cayuga St., Ste 110. 833-3189. K-peppers.com

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