Kitchen Kulture is bringing its locally sourced, made-from-scratch fare to Lindenwood Park. Co-owners Christine Meyer and Michael Miller are gearing up to open Kounter Kulture, their first brick-and-mortar location, by the end of the month.
Located in the original home of Pint Size Bakery (which relocated to a larger space in April), Kounter Kulture focuses on cooked-to-order Asian cuisine in a carryout-only format. Much like the prepared foods and freshly cooked dishes at Kitchen Kulture's farmers' market stand and pop-up meals around town, the dishes at Kounter Kulture highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and producers.
The inaugural menu includes dishes like spring rolls with seasonal greens, cucumbers, rice noodles, mint, cilantro, peppers and sesame-carrot sauce; a cold ramen salad with a slow-cooked egg, raw and pickled vegetables, marinated MOFU tofu, furikake, nori and ginger-scallion sauce; and khao soi chicken curry with boiled and fried egg noodles from Midwest Pasta Co., raw shallots, lime, cilantro and burnt chile oil. Three varieties of pillowy steamed buns are also on offer: char sui barbecue pork, coconut curry-roasted chicken and tonkatsu fried MOFU tofu.
Meyer compares okonomiyaki, another dish, to a build-your-own pizza: The savory Japanese pancake is made with a yam-cabbage base and garnished with bonito flakes. Diners can choose to top the pancake with ingredients like seasonal kimchi, house-cured Chinese bacon, wild mushrooms or Laughing Bird shrimp. Chicken and Rice is Miller's take on Chicken Three Ways, a popular Thai dish that traditionally features boiled chicken. To translate the dish to Western palates, Miller slow-poaches Buttonwood Farm chicken with ginger, then mixes the chicken fat into the accompanying garlic rice from McKaskle Family Farm and finishes the stock into a consomme with star anise.
“There’s a certain element of preservation and fermentation already in place in Asian cuisine, and that lends itself to sourcing locally year-round,” Meyer says. “With Asian cuisine, the protein tends to be an aspect of the dish rather than the center of attention, which allows for more complexity with the overall flavors instead of putting the focus on the meat. We can also source quality protein and still sell it at a reasonable price point.”
For a sweet treat, look for a rotating selection of Audhumbla premium ice cream made from scratch locally by husband-and-wife duo Anne Lehman of Dirty Girl Farms and Derrick Crass. Available in single-serving, 8-ounce containers, the ice cream is made with dairy from Rolling Lawns Farm and Buttonwood Farm eggs. Look for seasonally rotating flavors – including ghost pepper, lemon-verbena, strawberry, Mojito-mint and kaffir-lime leaf – infused with local herbs from Dirty Girl Farms.
As fans of Pint Size will remember, the tiny 750-square-foot space space doesn't feature any indoor seating, but Meyer says they plan to add around five bistro tables outside. The shop will initially serve nonalcoholic beverages, with plans to apply to apply for a liquor license in the future. Meyer and Miller plan to host a series of soft openings later this month; they hope to officially have doors open by the end of June.
Initially, Kounter Kulture plans to be open Monday through Friday, 5 to 9pm.
Kounter Kulture, 3825 Watson Road, Lindenwood Park, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.781.4344, kitchenkulture.co