March 26, 2013

Chung Gi Wa Jakarta Review

3 years ago I created a Formspring account. One of the first 3 questions asked by the site was, "If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you pick?"

For me it's Korean food.

PS: RIP Formspring. The site has announced it'll be closed down this March 31, 2013. You'll be missed!

Anyway, I make sure myself to visit Korean restaurant every month. Not every day or week cause I'll be out of pocket money :| Last Valentine, bf & I visited Gahyo. And last year for anniversary dinner we also had Korean dinner at Myeong Ga Myeon Ok.

So far we've made ranking for restaurant we've visited. They are:
1. Gahyo (no doubt. Price never lies lol.)

2. Jang Su De
3. Myeong Ga Myeon Ok
4. Arang22

Arang22 was actually the best, but their quality gradually decreases :| Han Gang would never make into my list. Their meats are tasteless! I only love their tteokpokki.
Then we had another 3 restaurant on the list: Chung Gi Wa, Soo Ra Cheong, and Tobak.
I also heard about Born Ga, but from reviews done by another blogger they seem to be so so.

Tobak is pricy. So I postponed until I have special occasion lol. I was torn between Chung Gi Wa and Soo Ra Cheong. Both claimed to have their own farm and guarantee their quality. However, available reviews stated that Chung Gi Wa only serves very little choice of banchan (Korean side dishes). Then I picked Soo Ra Cheong instead. (I do love various banchan okay!)

Soo Ra Cheong located on Jl. Senopati no. 49. Turns out it's right beside the crowded Arang22. However, when we arrived there... it's Abgujong :| GPS said it's the correct address. So? Where is Soo Ra Cheong? I Googled their phone number and called Soo Ra Cheong. I was greeted by, "Good evening. Abgujong. How may I help you?"

Wait. What?

So I had little interview to the employee of Abgujong and they said the place changed its name. So I thought it might be the same place just changes name. But the whole decoration was totally different and I remember I once saw Abgujong on Gandaria City mall (I was in front of the restaurant while making the phone call HAHA) and I asked again, the employee said it has different owner. Duh isn't that mean Abgujong bought that place? -_- so I cancelled. Abgujong was never been on my interest though. It's overrated for me.

Then we moved to Chung Gi Wa. Reached there at almost 9 PM. Place is still packed! We're on waiting list :| To be on waiting list was hard as well. You have to follow the owner (a Korean lady) which holding the paper and asked to be written in that paper. She acted like she doesn't need customer. Understandable though because if you can't stand that attitude, she still has many customers waiting. Gahyo's owner was way nicer.

Anyway we didn't wait long, we got table. But we joined table with other people, 4 noisy girls. Actually only one very noisy, though.

What I read about the banchan is true.

This is what you got: (clockwise) kimchi, spinach with sour dressing, radish slices, and veggies I couldn't figure out but tastes very nice (I assume it was processed with soy paste). All of them are refillable.

Free refillable tea comes in this metal pitcher that keeps it cold and very tiny metal glass that when you drink you can't help but think of shots :| But they take it away after they put it, I don't know what they means putting then taking away -_- probably they ran out of the pitcher since it's very crowded. Very logic reason of every bad service happened there: it's crowded.

So I want to try those banchan and I opened my chopstick. A bit disappointed cause it's wooden chopstick. You know how people judge good Japanese restaurant when it's not using wooden chopsticks, right. I thought Koreans have same level of judgement. But then this happens...

I broke it nicely okay. I just tried to separate them but this happened -_- so I asked the waitress to replace it. 

She replaced with metal chopstick yay! But the girls sat together in our table seemed to look at me all the time or what. One of them saw the waitress took metal chopstick and they want as well because maybe it seems cooler or whatever. She ordered her friends to take 4 pairs for them! I wonder why she wants to be ordered around. They also seem very newbie in eating Korean and also very attention seeking. One of them (the same one who ordered her friends around and is VERY noisy) acted stupid saying the smoke from the grill was disturbing and cover the grill with the vegetables provided for eating the meat -_- won't stop until her friends told her it makes the grill wet and the smoke even wilder. Does she want to impress me or my bf or her friends or simply lame? 

Anyway Galbi Tang came.

Comes with rice. Tasted okay. I prefer Galbi Tang on Arang22 since the broth is thicker and yummier. However, for the meat (which I take zero picture of them :|), Chung Gi Wa wins hands down. We ordered Samgyeopsal and Pork Ribs in sweet marinated sauce. Both are so yummy! Samgyeopsal was the best though. It directly made into rank 2 kicking Jang Su De and other restaurants down haha.. Bf who regularly traveled to Korea even said taste and place of Chung Gi Wa reminds him of place in Korea. And this place has very affordable price compared to others. We spent only IDR 200k for 2 portion of pork meat (pork is indeed cheaper, but they are cheapest!) and a bowl of soup that both of us can share.

Then my latest ranking is:
1. Gahyo
2. Chung Gi Wa
3. Jang Su De
4. Myeong Ga Myeon Ok
5. Arang22

Of course they have weaknesses though. No various banchan, no dessert, bad service, but the waitress are good. But if your pure intention is to only eat meat, then GO. This place is the best. They also sell Pajeon! (Korean pancake) I might be coming back soon though haha.. I gotta admit I underestimated this place cause I thought this was owned by local since they have farm in Bogor or somewhere in West Java. But it's owned by Korean and the meat really marinated the meat well and I feel guilty deep down for not making it my first choice.

Anyway they're indeed hidden gem!

You can find them at: Jl. Dharmawangsa III/ No 2. Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan.