An Allergen Friendly Meal
“When dining at Miss Kim, I want our guests to walk away having had a wonderful time. Regardless of their diet restrictions or food preferences, everyone should enjoy a delicious meal. Not met with boring food or something thought up in the moment, but deliberate dishes made with care and flavor.”
-Ji Hye Kim, founder and chef, Miss Kim Korean restaurant in Ann Arbor
We get it! Finding an accommodating restaurant when managing your food allergies, or of those in your party, can be no fun. Often when you do find a restaurant willing to work with you, the solution is to omit and substitute ingredients to make menu items fit your needs, leaving you with a less than desirable meal. We don’t think that’s cool. Sharing food that makes you smile is our thing!
At Miss Kim, our bun makers and cocktail shakers take food allergies as seriously as providing great service and crafting great Korean food. It just so happens that traditional Korean cuisine, more often than not, is already free of common allergens and vegetarian fare gets equal billing with meat dishes.
No guesswork here! The menus (online, dining room) at Miss Kim clearly spell out for you which items are:
Your server is trained to ask all our hungry diners if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. They happily take notes and add them to your order so it gets shared with our crew. You can feel good knowing there is a documented procedure for the watchful wait staff and careful cooks to follow, so everyone is aware of your needs. The kitchen was designed with all this in mind. Our rainbow of fresh ingredients are prepared in separate containers and all those tasty dishes are finished to order, so it is easy to simply leave out the meat or nuts from a dish. There is also a manager on site who has a fancy allergen certificate from “Servsafe”. So you can enjoy a little easier knowing your needs are being handled tender loving care.
While Miss Kim aims to provide you with a memorable experience with that caring service from our team, as luck would have it Korean dishes already work with many diets. We love them just the way they are. Traditional Buddhist cuisine is vegetarian or vegan based on their belief in non-violence, and also just so happens to avoids the garlic onion family (another food allergy concern for some. Bonus!) Instead, the flavor in these dishes come from ginger, soy, pepper, chile, and fermented additions like gochujang. And if you’re dodging dairy, you’ve come to the right place. Given that dairy was not that widely available in Korea, most dishes are dairy-free. The exception is a few items made with miso butter or soy butter. Aside from Bao (our little steamed buns with a big fan club) most dishes are already wheat-free. Miss Kim’s Korean fried chicken is gluten-free everyday, made with a light and crispy rice and corn flour batter that you’re going to adore.
A Low-Fodmap Option
Recently Miss Kim was approached by Dr. Chey at the University of Michigan Gastroenterology Group to work with them on publishing a low fodmap diet menu. Through their Digestive Disorders Nutrition & Lifestyle Program and the University of Michigan Food for Life Kitchen they are working with patients to take a holistic approach to their manage their conditions, starting with changes in their diet. Fodmap is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. According to the docs, avoiding foods that have these short-chain carbohydrates naturally occuring, or processed foods that have them as an additive can help manage symptoms.
No surprises here! Because the menu at Miss Kim is clean, and built around fresh ingredients from local butchers and organic farmers, there are no icky processed foods and sketchy preservatives to watch out for. And with the abundance of beautiful vegetables and lean proteins, buddied up to the lack of sugar, dairy and certain grains, the food at Miss Kim was deemed a good fit for these patients. Hurray! We were chosen by the U of M G.I. group as the preferred option for dining out on a fodmap diet in Ann Arbor. The cooks at Miss Kim worked with a nutritionist, taking on a crash course in what fodmap means, what ingredients to avoid, and what to study. If you’ve been advised to try a low fodmap diet by your doctor, let your server at Miss Kim know. They’ll bring you a separate menu full of really tasty options, if we do say so ourselves.
The response from Ann Arbor restaurant-goers with dietary restrictions and food allergies has been overwhelmingly positive. Ji Hye shares “People appreciate it. We’re a good place to go where their wishes are respected.” Of course, regardless of your needs and preferences, the food is fresh, full of flavor and fantastic. There’s a place for everyone at the table. So let’s eat!