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Kang Ho Dong is a famous Korean comedian and former wrestler who started a chain on Korean BBQ restaurants in Korea. Baekjeong refers to low class people in ancient times who were butchers by trade although it’s not a term people regularly use anymore. Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong opened their first branch in the US in LA where it is very popular and well regarded. Thankfully they decided to open another branch in Flushing.
Kang Ho Dong is located on Northern Boulevard in the Korean section of Flushing that is quieter and much less hectic than Downtown Flushing. When you walk in you’ll find cartoon pictures and life sized cut outs of Kang Ho Dong everywhere. The restaurant is large industrial looking open space that very much like you’re in Seoul although bigger than restaurants in Seoul.
We came at an off hour, but the service was pretty good and attentive. I also love that they have the button, which every Korean restaurant in LA has. When you press the button a waiter comes; it’s so practical, I kind of wish all restaurants had it!
Anyhow here’s what we got:
They don’t give you much panchan at Kang Ho Dong; you only get a sweet potato pancake, sweet potato chunks in a sweet thick soy sauce and kimchi. All of the panchan were decent although not outstanding. 7.75/10
Beef Brisket Soybean Paste Stew (Tenjang Chigae)
We ordered two BBQ sets, each came with a free soup and this was one of those. Over years I’ve become a bit of a snob when it comes to these types of soups as my GF’s mom is an amazing Korean cook and I’ve realized how subpar most restaurants make these. However, I was pleasantly surprised and this was a pretty decent. The broth had good flavor and was not overly salty or watery like most places. I don’t normally see beef in this dish, but the brisket was a nice touch. I was surprisingly pleased by this. 8/10
Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Chigae)
Same as the beef brisket, I was surprised that it was pretty decent. It was nice and spicy and not overly salty. 8/10
Buckwheat Noodle With Spicy Sauce (Bibim Naeng Myun)
I love naeng myun which are black arrowroot noodles; you can read more about here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naengmyeon). They are typically a summer dish as they are served cold, but I couldn’t pass them up. They are either served in a cold tangy and sweet broth (mul naeng myun) or served dry in a spicy, tangy and sweet sauce (bibim naeng myun). We got the bibim naeng myun. It’s pretty self-explanatory and is served with slices of pickled radish and Korean pear. This was a pretty decent version and I’d order it again. 7.75/10
The BBQ meats came with several condiments including scallions and bean sprouts topped with gochujang (sweet and spicy red chili sauce), lettuce, pickled radish slices, thick sweet soy sauce with onions and we also got sesame oil with salt and pepper, which I forgot to take a picture of but I highly recommend getting (you need to separately order it). I particularly liked the scallions and bean sprouts and I got multiples orders of that. 8/10
Thinly Sliced Beef Brisket (Chadol Bagi)
This is thinly sliced beef brisket, which you cook very quickly and then put in a lettuce wrap with condiments and dip in the sesame oil with salt and pepper. The meat quality was noticeably better than other Korean BBQ restaurants in NY, which I generally find use pretty mediocre quality meat. It was good and I was quite happy with it. 8/10
Premium Boneless Short Rib (Saeng Kalbi)
This was one of my favorite cuts of the day. In NY, I usually get marinated kalbi because the meat quality is not that great. However, unmarinated kalbi is the way to go if the meat quality is better as it is here. The meat was nicely marbled with great flavor; you really didn’t need much more than the meat and some lettuce. I highly recommend getting this. 8.5/10
Marinated Boneless Short Rib (Yangnyum Kalbi)
This is the regular marinated kalbi. The cut of meat while fairly decent wasn’t as good as the premium cut. The marinade was good although it tasted a bit sweet after eating the saeng kalbi. Overall, it was certainly better than other places in NY, but wasn’t at the same level as the saeng kalbi. 8/10
Marinated Pork Collar
This was pork collar marinated in a sweet soy sauce. The meat was nicely tender and the marinade was good although I will say after the saeng kalbi all the marinades tasted kind of sweet. 8/10
Premium Seared Pork Belly (Sam Gyup Sal)
This was the traditional sam gyup sal; it’s pretty self-explanatory and they do a good version here. Make sure to dip it in the sesame oil with salt and pepper. 8.25/10
Premium Pork Jowl
This was interesting as it’s not common to find pork jowl at Korean BBQ. As it turned out it was my other favorite cut of the day. It had a good pork flavor and while tender still have some springy-ness to it, which I really liked. I would say this was the consensus favorite at our table. Definitely make sure to order this. 8.5/10
Steamed Egg, Corn Cheese And Onion
When they cook your meat on the sides they put egg, corn and cheese and peppers and onions in these moats on the side the side of the grill. As its cooking it cooks these as well. They were all pretty good, but I think I liked the egg the best. 7.75/10
Overall, it was very good and I’m glad there is finally a good Korean BBQ place in NY.
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