So Kong Dong Tofu Restaurant
in Fort Lee, NJ is a restaurant that could break my heart if it ever closed down. We have been going to this restaurant for the past ten years and it has never failed us. The soondubu (tofu soup) and the kalbi (Korean BBQ ribs) are the best we’ve ever had. Although they have raised their prices recently, it is still very affordable at $9 per soup (serves 1-2) and the kalbi is now $15 (then $10, but that was ten years ago).
|House Specialty: soondubu jigae (tofu soup).
Pictured here, a boiling cast iron pot of seafood and beef soup, spicy.
The paper placemat also serves as a menu with only two main items: tofu soup and ribs. There are different varieties of soup such as beef, seafood, pork, kimchi, mushroom, beef & seafood, and plain. There are different levels of spice as well: not spicy, not too spicy, medium, spicy and very spicy. I would recommend medium for the novice who can tolerate a bit of heat, but I find that the spicy once is very tasty. I don’t think I’d go past spicy.
I love the unlimited banchan (appetizers), which include bean sprouts, kimchi, cucumbers and radish.
The soup arrives boiling in a cast iron pot. One has the option of adding an egg into the mix.
I like cooking my egg whole and then eating the semi-cooked yolk with my rice.
The ribs are tender, juicy, and very flavorful. I’ve been unable to find kalbi this good anywhere.
The secret is of course the thinly sliced, well-marbled meat. The seasoning is also out of the ordinary and tastes like it’s been marinating for a long time.
Rice is served in steel bowls. Here I have my rice topped with a piece of beef and two shrimp from my soup being made to cool.
After they serve the rice, they pour barley tea into the pot and the resulting mixture it makes with the burnt rice in the bottom is eaten as a palate-cleanser at the end of the meal.
As you can see, I hated it. :o) This is a bowl that might be big enough for two people but because it is so good, we always get our own.
A father cuts the beef into pieces with scissors for his daughters.
There must have been an overhaul of servers recently because the grumpier legends have all gone and have been replaced by kinder wait staff, a welcome change for this great place.
Outside the restaurant just reads “Soft Tofu Restaurant”
There is no dessert available on the menu but they do serve “Dessert Gum.”
So Kong Dong is a must if you are in the area.