Saturday, June 21, 2014

Kang Chon

For a belated Father's Day meal, Keith and I went out to lunch with my parents to Kang Chon in Centreville, VA.  My mother had been to this restaurant a few times before with friends, and highly recommended it.  They are known for offering fresh classic Korean food with some Chinese items in generous portions and modest prices.

As an appetizer, my father wanted Yaki Mandufried pork & beef dumplings.  My mother prefers the steamed version, but these fried ones looked great.  Unfortunately, I did not eat any since there was beef inside, but Keith happily nibbled on a few.

Another favorite dish of both my father and mine is Jajangmyeon.  This noodle dish is topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang (a salty black soybean paste), diced pork and vegetables.  My mother claims this is a "peasant or commoner's dish" and doesn't understand why we love it so much.  My father explained there is just a nostalgia factor associated with it, because when he was stationed in Seoul in the 70's, they often ate this dish and he thought it was like 'Korean spaghetti'.  We decided to get an order to share as another appetizer.

My mother insisted I try the seafood dupbob.  In Korean, dupbop literally means "over rice" so fresh squids are cut into bite-sized pieces then pan stir-fried with shrimp, sea cucumber, and mussels in a spicy gochujang along with gochugaru and served with steamed white rice. Assortments of vegetables were included in the spicy sauce mix.  The sea cucumber looked like mushrooms and had a similar consistency.  While fresh, the dish's spice factor crept on me quickly.  She ordered a separate dish - ojinguh dupbob - that is all squid and was in a much darker red spicy sauce tossed with jalapenos.

My father ordered Tang Su Yuk, which is a popular Chinese delicacy in Korea, more familiarly known to Westerners as sweet and sour pork with vegetables. This dish consisted of a pile of battered, crispy fried pork strips in a sweet, tart apple & vinegar based sauce, mixed with vegetables and topped with diced pineapple.

Keith ordered LA Kalbi - his favorite grilled short ribs.  They were prepared traditionally and were very tasty.  They were served with white rice and a bowl of miso soup on the side.

Overall, we had a great feast with plenty of leftovers for my parents to take home.  The restaurant itself is quite large and was packed with patrons, showing its popularity.  Kang Chon is great for groups and there  is a second location in Springfield.

Total Rating: 4
Food: 4, Price: 5, Service: 3, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 4

What I ate:
noodles with salty black bean sauce

Seafood Dupbop
spicy seafood over rice

Tang Su Yuk
sweet & sour pork

Plus Keith ate:
Yaki Mandu
fried pork & beef dumplings

LA Kalbi
short ribs

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