Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
Moving back home to NJ has left me immobile as I no longer have auto insurance. This means that I have to succumb to whatever food or dining options are thrown at me either at home or where ever my parents want to go. Over the last 6.5 years, I’ve been coming home less and less, which means less variety. My parents tend to have a steady rotation of the same Asian restaurants: Shanghai Bun (Taiwanese/noodles), West Lake (Cantonese/dim sum/seafood), Ruby Palace (cheap lunch specials), Crown Palace (Cantonese/dim sum), Szechuan Garden (Szechuan), and Coconut Forest (Malaysian). Sometimes we’ll take 20-30 minute trips to places like Penang (Malaysian), U-Yee (half price sushi), or a Japanese buffet of some sort.
The lack of new places to try in the suburbs leaves me missing city life, but at the same time familiarity is what makes going home so great. Yesterday, one of my friends wanted to try a new Korean and Japanese restaurant (let’s save the dual ethnic restaurant debate for another post). The restaurant is called Kimchi & Sushi and what makes it significant is that it’s one of the only Korean restaurants in the area. It is ironic how they replaced a Vietnamese restaurant that was one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in the area as well.
I’ve come a long way since I went to my first Korean restaurant in college by none other than Katie. I generally regarded Korean as my least favorite Asian cuisine behind Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Taiwanese. However, over the years kimchi has grown on me, and you can’t go wrong with tender marinated meats. Yesterday evening I graduated from Bulgogi, Kalbi, Jap Chae, and Korean BBQ to Stone Bowls.
Kalbi, Can’t Go Wrong
I ordered the Spicy Pork and Vegetable Stone Bowl, which was delivered in a piping hot stone bowl filled with rice and topped with the stir fried pork and vegetables. The hot bowl gave the rice a crispy texture and kept the dish hot for the duration of the entire meal. The meal also included some forgettable miso soup, and good kimchi, though I’m not an expert on kimchi. The Kalbi was tender and flavorful, and I could just eat the sauce with rice any day. The prices were mixed with some Korean dishes as low as $6.95, while most of the popular dishes were in the $13.95-$22.95 range. A majority of the menu were Japanese dishes/sushi, but we didn’t bother to try that out since we have a couple of go to restaurants for that in the area already.
Pork and Vegetables Stir Fried Over Rice in a Hot Stone Bowl
Kimchi and Sushi was a nice addition to the Asian restaurant scene in Monmouth County, NJ, and I would gladly return. I even presented my mom with a card hoping that she will welcome it into her short list of acceptable restaurants. If it’s not Asian cuisine, my mom has a tendency to order either chicken tenders or seafood. She’s just that Asian. Kimchi and Sushi, make me proud.
OOO EEE OOO, Killer Tofu