Jhong Lo, 23/1 Thonglor Soi 20, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours:daily 11:30am-10pm
Think Korean and you’ll probably have images of smoky eateries where the sizzling fat from the barbecue seeps inexorably into your clothes. Jhong Lo takes a different approach; for a start, there’s not a grill in sight as they do all the cooking for you. It’s a nice idea, but in the end the food, like the service, leaves one feeling a little cold. The décor doesn’t help. Jhong Lo goes for a sleek modern look but the white walls, large windows, glass top tables and chrome counter give it a slightly clinical, sanitized ambience. Even the menu comes wrapped in plastic (perhaps they have a thing about germs); but, it’s extensive, with a wide choice of Korean, Thai and some fusion dishes, though no desserts. The portions are also good value. The recommended dolsot bibimbop, carrots, bean sprouts, mushrooms, spinach and grilled pork on a roasted bed of rice, in a traditional stone pot, is a meal in itself. The vegetables are well cooked, the kochujang (chili pepper) sauce is sweet and tangy and the rice golden and crunchy. Their haemulpajun, pan grilled seafood omelet, is also huge and packed full of fresh ingredients with juicy prawns and slivers of squid complementing the light and crispy fried egg. Being Korean, there is also plenty of grilled meat available (though no beef when we last went). Try the dwej bulgogi, this pork marinated with seven seasonings is well presented and tender, if a little fatty and comes with a sweet plum sauce. Soups include the tduk manduguk (wonton and rice cakes) and the more Thai-inspired seaweed and minced pork tofu. As with everything else both dishes are well executed, but on the other hand they don’t get us overly excited. And that, pretty much sums up Jhong Lo, good value, good food, OK decor but there’s nothing about this place that’s going to set the heart racing. Corkage B100.