Thursday, December 29, 2011

NJ: So Kong Dong

This week between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite times of year.  I usually take the week off and spend it with my mommy shopping and eating our way through New Jersey.

One restaurant that I've been recommended to try over and over again is So Kong Dong in Fort Lee, NJ.  They specialize in Korean soft tofu stew (soondubu jigae) which is perfect for a cold winter day (or even on a hot summer day - I love it all year round!).  I've recently been hit with a cold so nothing better than some hot soupy soondubu!

Front of legendary tofu institution So Kong Dong

When you first pull in, its a small and unassuming restaurant.  Although its commonly called So Kong Dong, the sign outside says Soft Tofu Restaurant so keep an eye out for that!

The simple menu only offers two things - tofu stew (which you can get in all different flavors and/or customize by combining flavors), and Kalbi BBQ short ribs.

Simple menu offering only soondubu and kalbi
After placing our order, a large dolsot hot stone bowl of rice and all the pickled side dishes were promptly placed on our table.  The side dishes aren't as plentiful as the usual K-Town spots, but I can't complain - still ate it all!  And I love it when the rice is served in the dolsot stone bowl.  The sizzling rice signifies fresh hot rice and the tea poured into the scooped out stone bowl provides a nice post-meal soupy rice thinger that reminds me of congee.

Pickled side dishes! 
Rice served from dolsot bowl
Tea poured into the dolsot bowl waiting for me to munch on after my meal!

Before I get through the side dishes, the stars of the show arrive!  Still bubbling and hot, the tofu stew is screaming for me to crack a fresh egg in to cook.  The broth is flavorful and filled with lots of ingredients.  We ordered a beef soondubu and a mushroom soondubu.  I really liked the beef soondubu, but the mushroom one was really wonderful!  Not a typical flavor in K-Town, it was filled with all different types of mushrooms and the broth was delicious! 

Beef soondubu

Mushroom soondubu
 
The kalbi came in strips of three ribs and served with scissors for you to cut into individual ribs.  The flavor was slightly sweet and smokey - just the way I liked it!  I've had tastied kalbi elsewhere, but it was a nice accompaniment to the meal.  I can never turn down kalbi!  Yum....

Kalbi mmmm

If you are a fan of soondubu and happen to be in the Fort Lee area, definitely give this institution a go!  And its the perfect spot for a cold winter day!

Piggy says Yes!

Thanks for reading - Piggy KK

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