Budget Crunch: Kung Food
Christa Glennie Seychew
Kung Food fills a void in Buffalo’s quick food scene. I hesitate to use the phrase “fast food” here, lest you think that going to Kung Food is similar to going to a fast food chain restaurant. While you will get your meal in a speedy manner at Kung Food, and while that meal is readily available as takeout, the food itself is what separates this joint from the pack. At Kung Food, you’ll get real food, made to order. It may even remind you of the Asian tonkatsu restaurants now popular in US coastal metropolises and across the islands of Hawaii.
On recent visits to Kung Food, I sampled four of the meals: Kung Food chicken ($6.49 for breaded, fried chicken cutlet with a sweet and savory house sauce drizzled on top, rice, and two side salads), Kung Food pork ($6.99 for a pork cutlet and sides), Kung Food fish ($6.99 for a fish cutlet and sides), and Vegetarian Delight ($5.99 for grilled broccoli, peppers, and other vegetables, and two sides). There are more peppery variations (prefaced on the menu by the term “Night Market”) of all but the vegetarian option for anyone who likes a little sizzle with their sweet and crispy meat selection. You can add bubble tea (a popular Taiwanese drink featuring flavored tea and tapioca pearls or small pieces of jelly) to any meal for only $1.99 (or $3.49 without a meal). There are lots of flavor options and the choice of tapioca or jelly is useful for the discerning bubble tea drinker. The entrees at Kung Food, however, are what make this restaurant a budget-friendly star.
You’re going to get a lot of food for $6.99 or less. All meat and vegetables are made to order at a grill in front of you. The vegetables are fresh and hand-cut, and the meat is well-seasoned with a coating that is not too heavy. All of the side salads are tasty—I’ve tried green salad with a light ginger dressing, seaweed and sesame salad, cucumber and vinegar concoction, and potato salad. The inclusion of corn in the potato salad is classic at a tonkatsu restaurant, and I suggest you try it if you’ve never had it before—you might be surprised at what a delightful crunch it adds. All of the sides are fresh and appetizing and provide nice complements to the main dish.
Kung Food is on a busy stretch of Main Street, but there is ample free parking in a nearby lot, and the space is designed comfortably for those who want to eat on site as well. It’s a clean and bright space, and while the ambiance isn’t stellar, it’s exactly what a restaurant of this nature should be. The focus is on the food, and the food is good.
3268 Main St., Buffalo
Rachel Fix Dominguez writes on food and features for Spree.