Award-winning chef Kyung Soo Moon has over 22 years of restaurant experience at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Asia, UAE and Australia. In this interview, we discover how he earned such a distinguished reputation in the gastronomy world and what he has planned for SUSHISAMBA Dubai, where he has been appointed the new culinary director.
What is your culinary philosophy?
My culinary philosophy is always the same regardless of the cuisine. Furthermore, I believe that each dish needs to awaken the senses and taste palate of a guest. Notably, I’m fortunate to work at SUSHISAMBA, exploring three distinct cuisines rich in flavors and diverse ingredients. SUSHISAMBA is a celebration of Japan, Brazil and Peru. Therefore, our menu showcases the best of these three cultures. We focus not just on taste but also on the presentation of each dish. After all, people first fall in love with their eyes and the rest follows.
How does SUSHISAMBA approach sourcing ingredients, especially considering the diverse culinary influences?
We bring our ingredients from abroad. As sushi plays a massive role at SUSHISAMBA, all our seafood and fish come from Japan. We work with certain fish dealers to ensure we get the best catch. We source Brazilian and Peruvian ingredients directly from Latin America, as these regions exclusively provide most spices and peppers.. I also try to support local farms whenever I can.
What are the distinctive features of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines and how do you ensure authenticity while adapting to the tastes of UAE residents?
Looking back at history, many Japanese migrated to Latin America in the mid-1900s. Consequently, the largest Japanese communities are found in Brazil and Peru, so Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines have greatly been influenced by Japanese cooking techniques and ingredients. When it comes to pleasing UAE residents, I believe that everyone is looking for unique flavors and experiences. Thus, they seek an overall dining experience that is not limited to food — where service, interior and lifestyle play an important role in ensuring an unforgettable dining experience.
Are there any new culinary trends that you are eager to implement?
The offering at SUSHISAMBA is comprehensive, so we are not seeking to implement any new trends. For now, I am focusing on enhancing our current recipes. Furthermore, I am preparing for further expansion, as Sunset Hospitality Group is set to open SUSHISAMBA in Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Milan.