“I didn’t think I was going to do this when I was a teenager,” Kim said. “But I got passionate when I started it.”
Kim said he started working as a dishwasher and quickly moved up to head chef.
In December 2017, Kim opened Iron Fish with the goal of bringing a type of cuisine to the area that is typically only found in Austin.
“Pflugerville is a good community, and it’s growing up,” Kim said. “I want customers to not have to drive so far away when there is something of similar quality that you can find locally.”
Kim said his goal is to serve Michelin Star-quality dishes. When it comes to Iron Fish Sushi & Grill’s namesake—sushi—Kim said he employs techniques that are usually only found at restaurants with the coveted Michelin Star.
“A lot of the stuff [we serve] I’ve never seen anybody doing in Austin or Texas. I even told a customer, ‘You might find this when you go to New York,’” Kim said. “I tried to make the restaurant special. … Not just the food, but the service, too.”
Although he said he has received comparisons to popular restaurants in Austin, he thinks his restaurant does a better job with some of the dishes.
“I could say some of the food we do better,” Kim said with a laugh. “When customers try our food they will say, ‘Wow this is different,’” Kim said. “Even the basic chicken teriyaki tastes different. We want to keep it basic; we don’t want to take out the taste, but we want to add our kick to it.”
Iron Fish Sushi & Grill offers a lunch menu as well as a dinner menu. For lunch Kim said some of the most popular items include the sushirrito, poke bowl or ramen noodles. For dinner Kim recommends ordering one of the Iron Fish signature items such as the Far West Roll—a sushi roll with shrimp tempura and cream cheese topped with avocado, crab and fried smoked salmon.
There is also a rotating selection of wines and sake at Iron Fish. Many of the drinks, Kim said, come directly from Japan.
As for the future Kim said he hopes to open more locations but plans to keep his Pflugerville location open.
Iron Fish Sushi & Grill
900 E. Pecan St., Ste. 800, Pflugerville
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-10 p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m., closed Mon.