A Buffet Travelogue

The Story Behind Joule's Globe-Trotting Brunch Buffet

The Fremont restaurant augments your entree with a new cuisine every month.

By Rosin Saez December 23, 2019 Published in the January/February 2020 issue of Seattle Met

It began as a culinary escape route, of sorts: How could chef-owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi play beyond the confines of Korean flavors? They wanted to try different cuisines and techniques, says Yang, after all “we are a fusion restaurant.” One that doesn’t shy away from the occasional Thai-style sausage or Moroccan spices that pop up alongside menu mainstays of chorizo bao or gingery grits. So, seven years ago, they devised a rotating brunch buffet that could traverse Ethiopia one month and Hawaii the next.

Twenty bucks gets you an entree and an inexhaustible ticket to the buffet where about nine dishes await—a couple of salads, pastries both sweet and savory. At this point, says Yang, Joule’s “gone around the world a few times, to be honest.” But, as with any buffet, return trips are key: Her kitchen can go back and discover something new about a dish or region or cuisine.

That exploration extends to diners, too. Yang notes the kids breakfast meal includes a trip to the buffet line. “I hear from a lot of families that this is a perfect place for kids to just try different things.”

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