This may have been one of the hottest days of the Summer, but that didn’t keep myself and others from enjoying a night of Korean barbecue at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. Located along 32nd Street, NYC’s Koreatown, this popular South Korea-based chain offers a variety of table-grilled meats, as well as dumplings, noodles, and seafood pancakes.
It was a hot and humid Saturday night, and the wait was around an hour and a half. We waited for the text while enjoying a drink at a nearby bar.
After an hour, we received the text that our table was ready. We headed back to the restaurant and were told to go upstairs.
The place was packed. Tables were full. The smells and sounds of Korean BBQ surrounded us as we waited a few more minutes for our table upstairs.
We were seated at a table in the back. Everything was already laid out. The few plates of banchan included soft tofu, fish cakes kimchi, salad, scallions, and pickled radish. We each had a small bowl of salt and soy sauce with onions for the grilled meats as well.
This place is known for a fairly unique grill top. Around the grill you’ll find the steam egg, corn cheese, and some veggies cooking by the time you sit down.
We ordered a couple cold pilsners. There’s just something about Korean BBQ and beer that goes so well together.
The place mat includes a few instructions on how to enjoy the sauces and salads with your meal.
In addition to individual plates of meat, they offer combos that include 3 different types of a particular meat, either pork or beef. In addition to the sides, egg, and corn cheese, each combo comes with a choice of beef brisket soybean paste stew or kimchi stew.
We decided to order a large beef combo. The combo included thinly sliced brisket, seasoned prime short rib, and your choice of prime boneless short rib or prime rib eye. I asked the waited what he suggested and he said to go with the rib eye. Sounds good to me!
While we enjoyed a few bites of the banchan, it didn’t take long for the plates of beef to come out. The thinly sliced brisket was up first.
Waiters do a great job of cooking each meat to your liking. Just sit back and let them do their thing.
The brisket cooked up fairly quick. The steamed egg and corn cheese were ready to be consumed as well.
We also tried an order of the fried dumplings. Filled with ground pork and served piping hot, they were tasty. I only had one and wanted to save room for the next few meaty rounds!
The pork belly was up next. These weren’t the thin measly slices some places serve. These were nice and thick.
Did I mention how hot the night was? The room was well ventilated and the individual hoods over each table helped with the smoke.
The pork belly was perfectly tended to and only took a few minutes to cook.
It was sliced up and pushed to the outer portion of the grill. Ready! It was nice and tender, Don’t forget to use the sauces and salt as needed.
A hearty bowl of kimchi stew came out soon after. It was good and had a little kick, but wasn’t too spicy.
The grills were changed before every meat. We switched over to a mesh grill for the next couple items. The short rib was marinating for quite some time now, and it was time to cook it up.
There was a small side of soybean paste that could be used for dipping for some extra flavor. We couldn’t get enough of it.
Last but not least was the rib eye. It was cooked medium rare. It was nice and tender.
Everything was good. This turned out to be a decent amount of food for two people. You may want to order other plates and meats if there are 4 or more of you. The large beef combo goes for $104.99 while the pork belly was $27.99 – so yes, this place is pricier than others, but the quality and service was better as well. Also, the Manhattan location is a bit pricier than the other locations in Flushing and Palisades Park, NJ – no surprise there. The waiters were nice and the ambiance was fun. It was a very satisfying Korean BBQ dinner.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
1 E 32nd Street
New York, NY 10016