Chef Heong Soon Park recently expanded to the Ballard/Fremont neighborhood with his third establishment, Tray Kitchen
focusing on Northwestern ingredients with a Korean twist.
Inspired by the dim sum-style serving method, servers will bring trays and carts through the dining room. Guests will see the food before they order and pick plates from the carts during their dining experience.
Dinner at Tray Kitchen is not just about the food – it’s also about the relationships. Park is dedicated to connecting the kitchen with the guests, and will encourage the cooks to showcase how the food is made and share the stories behind the plates.
Featuring fresh Northwestern ingredients with a Korean twist, Tray Kitchen’s menu will be guided by the seasons. 10 à la carte items, but the 15-20 dim sum dishes will depending on the time of year to bring out the fresh, natural flavors.
Parks mission with the open kitchen concept, “We want you to feel like you walked into your friend’s kitchen. You don’t have a dedicated server; anybody walking by your table is your server, “ said Park. “The goal is to enjoy fresh, good food in an exciting way that really welcomes you as part of the process.”
Tray’s menu is decadent, playful and forward thinking. The dishes are Korean influenced but not overpowering. House cured pancetta with Willowood Farm pergion beans, parsley and mustard greens is a greater starter that goes with any of the stunning cocktail menu.
The K.F.C (Korean Fried Chicken wings), an a la carte offering are impressively sauced in a sweet and spicy Korean chili glaze that maintains a good crunch. A dish that gives the meaning to finger licking good.
The Roasted bone marrow is soft, slightly gelatinous, fatty, creamy texture complimented well with the salt profile and texture of the kale, maitake mushrooms, pink peppercorn, grilled sourdough.
Another a la carte offering that wow’d our attention included the Pan seared black cod which sat elegantly in a shallow bowl of house made dashi broth. The skin was seared beautifully.
Tray Kitchen is Chef Heong Soon Park’s third restaurant. First opened Bacco Café, an Italian bistro, in Pike Place Market in 2008 and in 2012, launched Korean fusion restaurant Chan, named a top restaurant by The Seattle Times.
Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm with a decidedly Korean-influenced menu focused on a la carte dishes like congee (rice porridge) rice and grain bowls, pancakes, and sides. For those looking for an extra zing, Park has a broad selection of house made condiments available that can be added to any of the dishes.