Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Variation On A Plan At Shin Chon Garden

Chapchae at Shin Chon
Our standard order at Shin Chon Garden has become so standard that it's the basis of a "Korean 101" post and a bit of a bore.

Don't get me wrong.  You won't ever go wrong with four people eating dolset bi bim bop and some grilling their own meat.  But we go to Shin Chon enough that we wanted to venture into other dishes.

New variation: Order chapchae as an alternative to bi bim bop.

Chapchae is a Korean staple that should be easy for anyone to try.  It's thin noodles served warm and dressed in a light sauce with vegetables and, if you want, a little marinated beef.  We went on a Friday night as a twosome, so we didn't sit at a barbecue table.

Barley tea
I've been trying other restaurants on Rte 40 -- like Tongnamoo House and Han Sung -- but Shin Chon is still our far ahead favorite.  The chapchae was fresh and light, although so filling that we couldn't finish all the noodles, mushrooms and other vegetables.  We paired it with dolset bi bim bop because I save my pork belly orders for nights when I can barbecue at the table.

The standard chapchae comes with a few pieces of marinated grilled meat to mix in the noodles.  If you want a vegetarian meal, just tell the Shin Chon staff.  Vegetarian chapchae or bi bim bop are easy, and a vegetarian pancake would help you fill a table for four.

Seriously, Shin Chon is one of Howard County's best restaurants, so check out the Korean 101 post for step-by-step thoughts for a first visit.  Or skim all the Shin Chon posts.  Shin Chon's waitresses will generally offer ice water for the table.  Ask them for tea if you want hot barley tea.  It's free so you should try it.  You'll get a large plastic glass of hot tea.  Traditional and a way to warm up on a cold night.

1 comment:

Jim Gross said...

I just have to say thank you. I had never had Korean BBQ before, and last night my father and I got together, feeling like something new we went to Shin Chon Garden.

It was amazing. I did not know what half the things I was eating were, but they all tasted great. We shared some of the beef and pork fried dumplings and split the Brisket and Pork Belly BBQ meat for grilling. The Waitress walked us through everything and it was a meal to remember. I am sold! Cannot wait to go back and try some more! Thanks!!

Jim from EC