When an autism specialist and a chef met for the first time in Christchurch, New Zealand they probably didn’t think their worlds would collide.
On Thursday, the couple opened up a halal Korean fried chicken restaurant and bar in Toronto called Sarang Kitchen, which is also a hub for the neurodivergent community.
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“We are the first restaurant in Toronto that is built and designed with a neurodivergent community in mind. With our multi-sensory room, sensory boxes, and employee training materials that are for different types of learners, we can confidently say we are one of the few restaurants that are sensory- friendly and inclusive,” Jennifer Low, the restaurant’s co-owner, told Now Toronto.
She has been a teacher for more than 10 years and is currently applying for PhD programs to change the educational system.
Her dream? To prepare all teachers to teach all learners.
She also hopes to bring the restaurant back to New Zealand so that her students of four years can have access to employment opportunities after they complete their studies, according to their website.
Low’s husband-to-be, Deon Kim, is a chef who loves combining flavours of different ethnic foods to create unique dishes.
Together, they merged their passions and expertise to bring something the city has never seen before.
And to make things even more interesting, the restaurant also has a no-tip rule.
“We like to say we discourage tipping. It’s stated clearly in our menu and our servers inform customers of that as well. We do get customers who still insist on tipping because they really enjoyed the food and service,” Low said.