Chung Jae Lee

Chung Jae Lee

Born: Seoul, South Korea


I started my working life as a PE teacher which didn’t take me long to release it wasn’t for me. I moved to Australia after seeing some amazing ads on Bondi Beach, so Sydney bound I was and soon after to Adelaide where I became a pilot whilst teaching Judo in my spare time! As it was around Sept 11 when I received my license I figured it wasn’t a good time, so together with my wife we commenced out first restaurant “Mapo”. We didn’t have too much experience then except for the love of good food and wine.

Have you always wanted to be a Chef ?

No, not while in Korea, but since moving to Australia I worked out that women love a good cook!!!

How would you define your style?

A unique take on Korean, with a mix of many other cuisines.

What is your feature flavour these days?

“Korean aged soy sauce”, adds such a beautiful flavour and not salty at all.

Obsessive compulsive about?

“Cleanliness” and of course being Korean, Kimchi!

Your greatest culinary inspirations/influences:

Tetsuya and Cheong Liew, both migrated from Asia like myself and have introduced unique flavours to Australia.

What do you love about this business?

The people. I don’t stay in the kitchen, once all the food is out, I am out chatting to my customers and ensuring their whole experience is memorable.

An ingredient you can’t live without?

Garlic and fresh seafood.

Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item?

Crocodile Kimchi Jigae – a mix of Korean and Northern Territory produce.

Signature dish:

Coffee Pork Spare Ribs, a little assistance from my mum on this one.