Jeong Won, Room L3, 101-104, 201-204, Crystal Design Center, Praditmanoontham Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Nearest Train:MRT Lat Phrao
Opening Hours:Mon-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sun 11am-11pm
For as long as we can remember Korean Town on Sukhumvit has been the go-to spot for Korean cuisine. Still, one decent alternative, especially for those living on the other side of town is Jeong Won (which means flower garden in Korean), located in the foodie hotspot of Crystal Design Center. The focus here is on traditional recipes and, perhaps even more importantly, traditional appearances. At the reception, you are greeted by a lady adorned in a hanbok (Korean traditional dress) who guides you into a main hall, decked out in a typical East Asian style: high ceiling, wooden partitions and low tables with holes for barbecue grills. The menu extends beyond Korean to also include Japanese fare with a heavy focus on sushi and sashimi, but we recommend sticking to the former. On our last visit, the sam gye tang (boiled chicken in ginseng soup, B400) arrived quickly, but failed to leave a real impression (unlike the swift service). The soup was quite weak in flavor, while the chicken was not particularly tender and the whole chestnuts a tad chewy. The kimchi jii gae (kimchi soup, B220) is better if a bit too sour; while the yang nyeom dwae ji galbi (pork rib barbecue, B350), is a nice, moist blend of salty and sweet. Still, despite a mouthwatering cooking aroma, it doesn’t quite have the wow-factor we’ve found at other Korean restaurants. For us the most impressive dishes here are among the most simple, like the hae mul pa jeon (Korean pizza, B330) with its big chunks of shrimp and the dol sot bibimbub (mixed rice, B250) where the veggies and egg are complemented by a tasty kojujang sauce. The Japanese side of things is probably best avoided, so stick with what Jeong Won claim to do best, traditional Korean recipes, particularly those dishes where appearances don’t matter. Corkage B250.