Twenty years on this is still one of Bangkok's best Korean restaurants.
Established for more than 20 years, Kongju has long been praised as one of the best Korean restaurants in town. Greeting staff in hanbok (traditional Korean dress) lead you through a tranquil wood-paneled hallway to a dining room dishing out Korean barbecue along with other traditional dishes including a to-die-for ho bak kal bee tchim (stewed beef/pork ribs served in a pumpkin).
Established for more than 20 years, Kongju has long been praised as one of the best Korean restaurants in town. These days it still lives up to that reputation. Save for a few flaws in the service, nothing here disappoints thanks to a dedicated kitchen which consistently rolls out delicious dishes.
Greeting staff in hanbok (traditional Korean dress) lead you through a tranquil wood-paneled hallway decorated with Korean characters and through a vast set of ironwork-studded doors. Things inside become rather more modern, the restaurant’s booths and back-lit partitions feeling more like a diner dressed up with porcelain Korean art pieces.
Though famous for Korean barbecue, the menu is also packed with other traditional dishes including ho bak kal bee tchim (stewed beef/pork ribs served in a pumpkin, B330)—a hard-to-find dish owing to its elaborate cooking process. The cold appetizer goo jeol pan (B290-550) is a winning combination of perfectly presented cold shrimp meat, egg, pulled chicken and flavored cucumber—so good when mixed with the dipping sauce and coated in their soft and springy flat cakes.
Barbecue dishes like doe gee kalbi (marinated pork spare ribs, B330) and bulgogi (marinated sliced beef, B390) are perfectly marinated, while the sweet dak kang jeong (fried chicken with garlic and chili, B340) reminds us of Bonchon (and is just as addictive). The chap chae (stir-fried vegetables gelatin with pork, B360) is so good it leaves us speechless, much like the bibimbap (rice mixed vegetables, beef/pork in stone pot, B290) and pajeon (pan-fried spring onion and squid pancake, B320). We’re impressed that they dare to tackle the lengthy process which stewed beef ribs in pumpkin requires, but the juicy and tender meat is let down by dry pumpkin flesh.
Wash things down with the sweet, refreshing, goji berry-topped dae chu cha (Korean jujube punch, 150). If you can get over occasionally patchy service, Kongju still delivers one of this town’s very best Korean food experiences. Corkage charge B500
This review took place in May 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Kongju, 2/F, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center Phayathai Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Phone:||02-216-3700 Ext. 20230|
|Opening hours:||daily 11:30am-2pm|
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