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Jan 20, 2010 05:49 AM

Korean BBQ

Taking a group out for Korean BBQ. Is there a "must go to" place in and around Boston?

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  1. Chung Ki Wa in Medford or Wu Chon in Somerville.

    1. New Jang Su in Burlington has been very good in the past, don't know about now, do a board search for recent reviews. they don't have booze btw, if that's important.

      11 Replies
      1. re: ScubaSteve

        New Jang Su is good but really expensive.

        1. re: joebloe

          pretty much all Korean BBQ is a little $pendy in my experience.

        2. re: ScubaSteve

          Nu Jang Su is excellent. I haven't found it expensive at all. Though the atmosphere isn't great if you're with a group that's looking for an upscale evening out, if you're with a group that just loves food and wants BYOB, go to Nu Jang Su.

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            I went to New Jang Su last week. We hadn't been there in a few years. It was just ok and they cooked 2 out of 3 dishes in aluminum foil instead of on the grill (which seemed to just miss the point of Korean BBQ?). They also scolded us for touching the food while it cooked and having the waitress hanging out at our table was a little off-putting. It was pricey too (even for Korean BBQ).
            note: we stopped at Hmart on the way home, stocked up on the marinated BBQ and cooked it on our own grill. It was better...

            1. re: noodlely

              Noodlely my experiences there have been the same as yours. They dont like you to touch it your self and last time i was there the woman doing the cooking would put the tongs on the plate of raw chicken juice/marinade between flipping and serving with them. Really grossed us out. Also thought it was overpriced and the kimchi's were not very good at all compared to other places. Have had the "spicy" pork there and they also cooked that in tinfoil as you mention.

              1. re: hargau

                good so it wasn't just me! We used to live in Toronto and most korean places are cook your own and all you can eat! I kind of miss the odd items like liver, tripe, assorted fish etc.... so we were a little surprised when we moved here.

              2. re: noodlely

                admittedly my last visit was more than a year ago but once we told our waitress we were All Set she left the plate of raw meat and a pair of scissors, we were on our own after that. and there was now foil covering the grill, thank Dog.

                1. re: ScubaSteve

                  They dont foil on the beef/shortribs its only on the dishes that are cut small and/or have onions/etc with them like the pork, maybe the chicken. The other very odd thing was that we had a basket of nice lettuce leaves left and my gf asked to take them home (she wanted them for her rabbit and figured they were just getting thrown away). Mgr came over and said no. Kind of left us wondering what they were going to do with them!?

                  1. re: hargau

                    That's seriously odd.

                    We always get pork and beef/shortribs, and have never experienced the foil or the hovering.

                    1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                      I have been there many times over many years and they always seem very upset if you as much as touch the tongs. Have even politely asked if we can do it and no luck. I suppose if I was to make a big scene or something but not really my style. Every time i have had the spicy pork dish its been on foil. Never the beef, never the shortribs

                      1. re: hargau

                        Hah! Maybe we're just too clueless to recognize that they were upset with us. :)

            2. For what it's worth there always seems to be Koreans and other Asians at Chung Ki Wa when I've been there.

              1. I prefer Chung Ki Wah's food over Koreana. Koreana has a prettier/more chic dining room, though. Haven't made it out to New Jang Su yet but it's on my to-do list, all the other Korean adoptive families I know really love it.

                  1. re: fondue

                    Not a big fan of Koreana, personally (it's serviceable, but never found it all that great)

                    I'd recommend Korea(n?) Garden in Allston nowadays, actually- I haven't had their barbecue, but their banchan and every other dish I've had there has been made well and as I was expecting. I find that a lot of Korean places do unexpected adaptations in Boston, so it's nice to find a place where things are in their "canonical" form! I don't think Korea Garden has built-in BBQ tables, but I think I've seen them bring out a gas grill for groups doing barbecue. (You might want to check with them ahead of time, if doing the grilling yourself is a crucial part of your plan!)

                    1. re: another_adam

                      I'll second Korea Garden even though they do not have the grills installed on the table. They do have portable tabletop grills, though, and I've seen tables of 10 people grilling their own dishes.

                      Korea Garden has an excellent spread of banchan and has great service. They also serve the steamed egg side dish and bean paste soup side dish, which not all kbbq serve. (Must confess that I've never been to Wu Chon, Chung Ki Wah, or New Jang Su... most of my kbbq visits have been in Chicago or LA.) Just watch out for parking, which can sometimes be a pain.

                      1. re: khanom

                        Just realized I forgot to mention that I like their bbq too :P They've got a good selection...tho I confess I usually end up with the classic kalbi. :>

                        1. re: khanom

                          i didn't know you could grill your own meat at korean garden. i've only had it prepared by the kitchen. i really like their spicy pork bulgogi. they also have the largest selection of panchan i've had at any korean restaurant in boston

                          1. re: galangatron

                            You can definitely grill your own meat...but I confess that I'm not always offered the option to grill it myself. Maybe it depends on how many grills are available?

                      2. re: fondue

                        Well, I will say that Koreana has better ventilation than Chung Ki Wa. I like the food at Chung Ki Wa better, but I just dislike bringing the BBQ smell home.

                        1. re: fondue

                          I do really like the tofu kimchee jaeyuk bokum at Koreana (stir-fried sliced prok with kimchee, chewy sliced rice cakes, and steamed tofu). I don't think Chung Ki Wah has it on the menu. But, the OP was asking about BBQ, anyway.

                          1. re: gimlis1mum

                            Speaking of dubu kimchi, Myeong Dong 1st Ave in Allston has a really tasty version (same dish: tofu, kimchi, pork, some rice cakes, in a slightly sweet pepper sauce). The tofu is in a funny shape- little architectural pyramids- and I actually hadn't ever seen dubu kimchi with rice cakes before. Is that a common Boston thing?

                            Myeong Dong might also have some barbecue dishes, actually, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be done at the table. It's really more of a place for drinking dishes (anju) anyway- the "dinner" dishes aren't where they shine, anyway...

                            1. re: another_adam

                              Gee, I don't know...I just checked my Korean cookbooks and none of them include rice cakes in the recipes for dubu kimchee. It sure is tasty, though.

                              1. re: gimlis1mum

                                Yeah, I quite like it, too! I think it's just an interesting blend of dubu kimchi (usually just tofu and kimchi, sometimes with a little pork or tuna or something) and jaeyuk bokkeum (stir-fried pork, sometimes with kimchi or rice cakes). It's kind of an inspired combination, and it's nice and homey, especially in the cold weather- it was just a surprise, and interesting to hear that it's done that way at Koreana, too! Maybe it's just more common than I realize...

                                1. re: another_adam

                                  An update onthe rice cake thing: we went to the food court at HMart last week, hubby ordered the dubu kimchee bokkeum (not sure of the exact name, but it's #13 on the menu and the dish we've been discussing) and it had the sliced rice cakes in it. I pointed them out to my friend who was with us, b/c she grew up in Seoul. She was surprised to see the rice cakes in there, so maybe it is a Boston thing :-)

                                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                                    Haha that's funny- maybe one day this combination will be known as 'boston dubu', like chicago pizza or the california roll :) (Or, maybe it's already common somewhere but just not in Seoul...)