Good lunch at Chung Ki Wa
- Aromatherapy Jan 30, 2008 11:05 AM
Kimchee-Chigae, $8 on the weekday lunch menu. It's been a while but the broth was fuller-flavored than I remember. Came with rice, cabbage kimchee, spinach, sprouts, potato cubes in sweetened soy, fishcake. Really enjoyable.
Aroma...glad to hear you still go, I frequent them for lunch a lot. Recently tried a sushi version of bibimbop for lunch and it is great...very unusual fusion type dish. No fried egg but tuna and salmon with bibimbop veg. and sauce. DC likes the Kimchee Chigae too. I have had the octopus twice recently and it too was very good!!
I'm seldom around there for lunch, but had noticed a trend over the last couple years toward the lunch special chigae being good but distinctly less tasty than the regular menu (felt the same way about my one Wu Chon lunch special). Probably haven't been in for weekday lunch in a year, but based on 2 times this week I'm really happy to report they're back on track. Had you noticed this falloff? I always get the chigae so can't speak to the other stuff. Digga, the waitress says they have soju (at least I think she did--aforementioned language barrier).
Love this place. Always get the Korean options. Last time we were in, though, we noticed that the sushi chef looked to be making awfully good-looking stuff, and seemed to have a nice relationship with some sushi bar regulars. We ordered a simple yellowtail roll to see if we might be on to something, and it was terrific. Next time, we'll do something crazy and just order sushi -- no kimchee chigae, which is my fave.
I was at there about a month ago, very early in the evening on a rainy night, and the only one at the sushi bar. The sushi chef was very chatty and friendly, and when I complimented the salmon, even gave me another slice. Also had a great maki with salmon roe and avocado that I really liked.
For such a wide ranging menu, everything at this place is quite good. Don't forget the "barbecue at your table" option. Can be fun if you are in the mood. Wait staff is not super-fluent in English, but they are very nice and try to answer your questions as best they can. I always see quite a few Asian people eating there which I take as a good sign.
Thanks, Aromatherapy, for reminding to finally try this place out (a couple of doors down from Chili Garden). Four of us went for lunch today (lunch specials not available on weekends).
-Started with the Ganpoongki (깐풍기) Sauteed chicken or shrimp with garlic flavored sauce. Small-size, which was enough for three to share. $14. Sauce is sweet, tinged with garlic. Scattered pine nuts on top.
-Daegu Maeun-Tang (대구매운탕) Spicy cod broth with clam, vegetables, and tofu. $14 Absolutely delicious, with chunks of fresh black cod. Only one clam, though I hardly noticed with all the fish in there. Spicy and rich, chock-full of Korean radish, carrots, tofu, and scallions.
-YookGae-Jang (육계장) Spicy shredded beef broth with scallion. $13 Two of us ordered this wonderfully spicy soup. Rich flavor.
-Soft Tofu-Chigae (순두부찌개) Stew with Seafood, vegetables with soft tofu. $12 Again, spicy and soothing on a chilly, windy afternoon.
All were well-prepared - it's the best Korean I've had in Boston (other than Buk Kyung in Union Square, but that's a totally different type of cuisine).
All came with white rice and the requisite panchan (not a ton of dishes, but all were tasty; included kimchee, spinach, sweet and spicy Korean turnip, seaweed salad, bean sprouts, Korean shredded raidish and carrot).
Inside is much bigger than we expected. There is a re-creation of old Korean architecture inside, over the bar area and near the sushi bar (hence the name, which means "blue roof"). we saw a private traditional style dining room with sliding rice paper doors. If you don't have a Korean speaker with you, I could see some language miscues happening, but the staff is really sweet and eager to please.
4 entrees+ 1 app+1 glass of shiraz+1 Sam Adams = $80. And we will be full for the rest of the day.
I stopped in for lunch as a result of this thread and glad I did. Chili Garden next door is on my semi regular lunch rotation list but it looks like I'm adding another.
I chose the above suggested Kimchee-Chigae and was not disappointed. The flavor profile is reminiscent of the sour pickle soup at Cafe Polonia. I also tried an order of Hamachi sushi, which is kind of my bellweather in a sushi place and it was very good and served with a daikon garnish.
Like Digga, I was surprised at the atmosphere inside, far above what I was expecting.
In addition to panchan others had, I was given tiny dried fish in a sweet, slightly sticky coating, these were fantastic. And it sounds they mix up the selection from visit to visit.
Between the pancahn and the Kimchee-Chigae all for 8 bucks, I kinda felt like I was ripping them off, great value.
My exposure to Korean is somewhat limited, I've only been to Koreana, Nu Jang Su BBQ in Burlington and Suishya in China Town ( which I feel has gone down hill) maybe one or two others that have escaped me, but Chung Ki Wa seems to have the broadest menu of the places I have visited and I look forward to exploring it more.
Another lunch today at Chung Ki Wa (incidentally, today is Korean Thanksgiving...Koreans give thanks to farmers and their rice harvest). Soon dubu chigae (soft tofu spicy stew with seafood) was savory and delicious. Hit the spot on a dreary day. The grilled mackerel-pike was the hit, though. 5 or 6 large pieces of grilled, moist, skin-on mackerel was superb. The usual generous ban chan. Four complimentary pieces of homemade duk (pounded rice dumplings with red bean paste filling) because of Thanksgiving were a real treat - my first time eating "real" duk! $40 (we didn't order any beer, although they have it and wine). We drank steaming cups of hot barley tea that comes free with the meal.