AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Sungyu Jacob Lee

Sungyu Jacob Lee


South Korea


I started working in the hospitality industry in 2003. At the time I was a front of house Manager. One day I had to back up in the kitchen due to one of the staff calling in sick. It was so much fun for me that I decided to move my position to the kitchen - that was my beginning.

I was travelling to many types of Japanese restaurants during that time.

One day I got promoted to Executive Chef and I realised I had reached my limit within my current restaurant.

During this time, I went to Sokyo for dinner and it was a totally different level of Japanese cuisine than I had experienced. While I was sitting at the bar I decided to ask for a job.

Even though I didn’t work at Sokyo for long, I learned a lot and it helped me improve myself and push myself. I’ve always been grateful for that.

I used to work at Harajuku Gyoza as Head Chef to learn how to make gyoza. I am always travelling to places to expand my skills and knowledge.

And here I am now at Marble BBQ. I enjoy dining at other restaurants and I try to adopt that experience in my way.   
 Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
No. I used to skip meals because I did not want to cook even instant ramen. I was not a big fan of cooking something at home.

My parents always tell me they never expected me to be a Chef. 

How would you define your style? 

I would define myself as adventurous. I enjoy exploring combinations of Ingredients. Sometimes it works well, but mostly I fail. 

However, I learn from that sort of experiment daily. I don’t limit my choice of Ingredients - that makes me freer to come up with dishes.

What is your feature flavour these days? 

Adopting Asian flavour to Australian taste. I am trying to combine very traditional Eastern Asian tastes and European tastes. Recently we held collaboration with CASONI (Modern Italian Restaurant) and it inspired me a lot. 

Obsessive-compulsive about? 

Cleanliness. Speed is also an important element, but I prefer everything organised and clean even during the busy service. 

Your greatest culinary influence: 

Sokyo and Lumi dining. 

What do you love about this business? 

Combination of routine and adventure.

 An ingredient you can’t live without? 

Gatusobushi (smoked bonito flake) because to me it is the number 1 important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It gives umami flavour.

Most ‘eyebrow-raising’ menu item? 

Tuna noodle - comes with bacon aioli and needs it to be mixed well with tuna. This dish has an interesting texture like soft and crunchy and combination of flavour like nutty, acidy and creamy. 

Signature dish: 

Tuna noodle, ankimo (monkfish liver tart), Wagyu strip loin with garlic butter rice.