Michelin starred kiwi chef Jay Jung and Indonesian born Taeyong Lee opened the doors to Charcoal Milford in November of 1988. Jay happened to be on a trip around South East Asia, hoping to discover more interesting cuisines, travelling from Philippines to Vietnam, Malaysia to Singapore, before he ended up at a pop up food festival in Bali. There he met Taeyong Lee, and quickly learned that they had both shared the same dreams of opening a restaurant.
Jay had somehow convinced Taeyong to work with him, reassuring him with his well thought out plans and how he was very close to achieving the dream of theirs. He had only been missing a specialty. Jay had been studying and improving his culinary skills, and had taken a liking to the South East Asian foods, and claimed that he and Taeyong could work together to create the perfect Kiwi-Asian fusion in order to introduce these wonderful flavours to the locals.
"This is the best time i've had, like, ever. I don't wanna eat anywhere else. BIG, FRESH FLAVOURS IN A VIBRANT, FUN & MODERN SETTING." - mark lee
Charcoal restaurant has recieved endless praise for their food being modern in style, whilst using classic techniques. Jung and Lee have recently appeared on the television show Best Feeds New Zealand. At Charcoal, they have created a journey from Asia to New Zealand, delicacies foraged for, tendered to, and laboured over proudly by generations. The cuisine is simultaneously familiar and challenging.