Kimchipapi Kitchen — which has been slinging poke bowls, Korean fried chicken, Korean street corndogs, and more on Allston’s Harvard Avenue since 2018 — is expanding. Sometime in August 2021, the team will open Kimchipapi Korndogs and Pon De Joy in the kiosk in the Super 88 food hall that was formerly occupied by Pho Viet’s, which has since moved to a space nearby on Commonwealth Avenue.
Kimchipapi Korndogs will function as an extension of Kimchipapi Kitchen, only with a pared-down menu that focuses on corndogs and tteokbokki (a typical Korean dish made with stir-fried rice cakes in a spicy red sauce), while Pon De Joy will be dedicated to mochi doughnuts.
For the uninitiated: Mochi doughnuts are made with glutinous rice flour and are known for their crispy exterior and their dense, chewy crumb. The style has been popularized by the giant Japanese branch of the Mister Donut chain, where they’re called pon de ring doughnuts. (Mister Donut, while best known for its massive stake in Asia these days, actually has Massachusetts roots and a family connection to Dunkin’.) Pon de ring doughnuts are made with tapioca flour and are a play on pao de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread that is also made with tapioca flour; Pon De Joy is a play on pon de ring, bringing it all full circle (or full ring).
While mochi doughnuts have enjoyed a lot of popularity in other parts of the U.S. in recent years, Pon De Joy is the first shop to bring them to Boston full-time. The area has seen hints of them, though, with pop-ups such as Neighborhood Donut Society making appearances around town.
At Pon De Joy, diners can expect a long list of mochi doughnuts, including flavors like Oreo cookie, black sesame, Earl Grey, peanut butter toffee, matcha, and more.
The menu at Kimchipapi Korndogs will feature a variety of different corndogs, including the classic (super stretchy mozzarella topped with ketchup, mustard, and sugar), beef, half and half (beef and mozzarella), potato (like the classic, only coated with french fries instead of panko), and others. The tteokbokki menu will feature a traditional version with rice cakes and fish cakes in a spicy red sauce, as well as an alfredo version, made with bacon and a creamy white sauce.
Kimchipapi Korndogs and Pon De Ring will share a kitchen and a counter, but each will feature separate branding, as well as separate signage.
Joon Son, the Kimchipapi himself, has a long history with Allston. Before opening Kimchipapi Kitchen at 81 Harvard Ave., he owned a sneaker shop called At the Buzzer in the same space. When Son opened Kimchipapi Kitchen in 2018, he told Eater that he’s “just an Allston rat trying to get my cheese.” He got that cheese and then some.