Tag Archives: palisades park

You Chun / BBQ Chicken- 06.03.08

Mandoo Bar in Palisades Park unexpectedly changed ownership and is now a generic Korean restaurant. Eatclub calmly and cooly made an executive decision to check out a Korean noodle restaurant instead; one that the EC President has been raving about, You Chun Naeng Myun on Broad Ave.

You Chun Korean Restaurant

135 Broad Ave.
Palisades Park, NJ
201.363.1950

You Chun specializes in naeng myun, a thin noodle typically served cold and ravenously slurped by Koreans during the warmer summer months. The restaurant has a clean layout and subtle indications that it does all it can to keep people waiting in the lines that can form out and around the building. A fully furnished waiting area is provided; complete with water cooler, hot coffee and tea, cookies, benches and TV that rivals the best hospitality from your favorite neighbor.

The restaurant was packed on a Tuesday evening at 8pm (after the usual dinner rush). It was warm out which explains why Pal Park’s Koreans scrambled over for some soothing cold noodles. Every customer was also Korean. Good signs.

The banchan was sparse as there was only one dish, thinly sliced radish kimchi. Also was the standard asian salad: iceberg lettuce with ginger-like dressing. But lo, there was something unique in that carafe: not hot tea but hot broth. Seasoned beef stock to be exact. It was a little salty but tasty nonetheless.


Banchan

What is naeng myun you ask? Basically it is thin noodles traditionally served in a stainless steel bowl with either a cold broth [and kept cold with ice] or mixed with vegetables. Toppings include pickled radish, raw zucchini, asian pear, and halved boiled egg.  It is a savory, tangy, spicy and altogether refreshing dish.  See more here: Wiki

Ym and Paul ordered the bibim naeng myun, mixed cold noodles while I opted for the hwe naeng myun, cold noodle with spicy marinated raw fish (think ceviche). The noodles were unique here as they have a darker brown color made from special flour (chilk naengmyeon) with supposed health and nutritional benefits. Notice the shaved ice marinade, a nice way to keep the bowl cold instead of the usual plain ice cubes.


Hwe Naeng Myun


Bibim Naeng Myun

Overall, I was only somewhat pleased with my dish. It was way too marinated and overpowering with saltiness, sweetness, spiciness, and sourness. At $12, it was pricey for noodles and could have included more fish. All of us were very full however. You Chun deserves a second chance but this time I will for sure try mool naeng myun, the standard cold korean noodle.

Good
Brown noodles definitely different.
Clean and efficient.
Free food/drink before youre even seated.

Bad
Hwe naeng myun oversauced.
Can get very crowded, especially at peak times.
Pricey for a bowl of noodles

Ugly
Be prepared for mega kimchi-breath afterwards. No worries however, the immaculately clean and well furnished restroom has mouthwash for your rinsing pleasure so that your hot date can continue.

BBQ Chicken – BONUS REVIEW!

BBQ Chicken (off Broad Ave.)
Palisades Park, NJ

BBQ Chicken is supposedly straight from Korea and it was obvious. From the strange name, the crazy color scheme, to the outrageous claims, it is definitely an Asian import. Their motto is: “It’s not barbecue chicken, it’s BBQ.” And since when is “BBQ” chicken cooked in 100% extra virgin olive oil? (blank stare)


The steam vent/handle/signage shows Korean ingenuity. The packaging shows Korean FOB.


Sweet, salty, pungent fermented radish. The perfect accoutrement to the crisp bird.


Whole CRISPY fried chicken.

Nonsensical marketing campaign aside, the fried chicken was gooood. Not heavily seasoned and the least greasy fried chicken I ever had that was still juicy and moist. Even after a 10 minute car ride, it was still extra crispy and tongue burning hot. Be warned: chicken is made to order and ours took 25 minutes to make, so be sure to call ahead. Also, it ain’t cheap ($20 for whole fried chicken) so avoid if you’re on a budget. Still, it blows KFC out of the water and is a good example of what Korean-style fried chicken is all about.

-bru

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Myung Dong Kal Guk Soo – 01.17.2008

452 broad ave.
palisades park, nj 07650

2019471199

Korean restaurant, name means Myung-Dong (neighborhood in Seoul), kahl gook sue (knife noodle).

Palisades Park, Korea-town USA; Broad street is overflowing with everything from Korean fine dining to trendy cafes to hole in the wall Korean fast food joints. Myung Dong differentiates itself from the myriad of Korean offerings by specializing in hand cut noodles (kal guk soo).

The inside of the restaurant was spacious and clean. It looked newly renovated with gleaming wood floors and tables. No reservations were needed on this cold and wet January evening as it was also mid-week. I am sure the place gets crowded on weekends. The menu was extensive with a number of noodle soups, BBQ, and casseroles; they even had jajjangmyun, which Sam ordered. However, I had to order the kal guk soo since it was the restaurant’s namesake and most likely will be the best dish. Myung-dong kal guk soo and omelet rice, Korean fried rice wrapped in a scrambled egg blanket, was what I ordered.

The banchan (Korean side dishes) came out and it was the standard fare. Actually, the kimchi was nothing special and the gak toh gee (block kimchi) was to my surprise a little off. In other words, I am pretty sure it went bad somehow. Not a good start to the meal. Out came the entrees and we dove into our soups. To make a not- so-long-story even shorter, the noodle soup was disappointing. The soup broth had potential but the beef stock just didn’t come through enough. Add to that the blandness of the thick flour noodles and the soup becomes a flavor black hole. It was just dying for some more beefy stock, or kombu/anchovy broth or what have you. Perhaps my taste has been numbed by all the ramen soups we have been eating but the bottom line was, this soup was NOT tasty. It was just plain. Some block kimchi was definitely in order but oh yeah, it went bad and tasted like salmonella. The omelet rice put up a valiant effort to save the meal. True, it was no Hama omelet rice but it was tasty and had the necessary wok-fried flava. And I am glad it came with ketchup on top albeit not in a smiley face (yes, Hama you were definitely the best, RIP). Back to reality, the meal was mediocre and below average by Palisades Park standards. However, as a shameless plug to the future eat clubbers, the awesome company and hilarious conversations more than made up for our boring food.

Good:
No wait for tables mid-week.
Clean restaurant with plenty of seats.
Omelet rice was above average.

Bad:
Namesake dish is plain and tasteless
By Korean food in Palisades Park standards, not worth it for taste or value.

Ugly:
Gak tog gee (block kimchi) that went bad (first time I ever experienced this anywhere!)

-bru