First Dinner at Myung Dong Noodle House – NJ
Myung Dong Noodle House (명동 칼국수), the New Jersey outpost of the popular Seoul kalgukusu (칼국수, Korean knife-cut noodles) restaurant opened in Fort Lee a few months ago. I’ve been to the one in LA, which some people say isn’t really associated, and I liked it. As for the Jersey restaurant, it was good also, but with a few kinks.
The kalguksu ($9.95) was practically identical to the LA version: wheat noodles in a chicken broth with pork dumplings and ground chicken on top. The only difference was that the portion was much bigger. I don’t know what that says about us East Coasters, but hey, I’ll take it. The only issue I had with the noodle soup was that the broth wasn’t hot enough. I know Americans like soup that can be eaten right away with no discomfort, but Korean people like hot food to be hot. So hot if you were to eat it without blowing on it first, it would burn your mouth and the skin on the roof of your mouth would peel off. We’re hardcore like that.
David had the bulgogi (불고기; $15.95) which was mysteriously shaped into a patty. I had a bite and thought it was incredibly tender, but BF complained he wasn’t a fan of the bulgogi in patty form because the middle wasn’t seasoned enough, and it wasn’t charred throughout.
My brother had the bibim guksu (비빔국수; $9.95), cold noodles in a spicy red pepper paste sauce, but in this case, instead of regular rice noodles, it was made with chlorella (algae) noodles. The chlorella noodles didn’t have too strong of a taste, but it’s supposedly healthier. Whether it is or not, the bibimguksu was tasty, not too mushy and the sauce wasn’t too sweet. My brother didn’t have any complaints.
And similar to LA Myung Dong, the same super garlicky kimchi was there. Everyone love this kimchi, but I find it way too garlicky. Garlic is great, but too much raw garlic is a problem. Eat more than two bites, and say hello to heartburn.
The white kimchi is a bit better, but still pretty intense in raw garlic flavor. Also, towards the end, we found a purple string in it. Not sure where it came from, but it was there. We told the waitress who then took the string and nervously carried it around the dining room for a bit and then returned to tell us the manager wasn’t there. She then left. No apologies, no nothing.
Again, it’s a new restaurant, and they obviously have a few kinks to work out. Perhaps the next visit will be better. Until then, there’s plenty of kalguksu restaurants in New Jersey. A post about a better newish kalguksu restaurant in New Jersey is coming soon.
Myung Dong Noodle House (명동 칼국수)
2013 Lemoine Ave (b/n Bruce Reynolds Blvd & Main St; map)
Fort Lee, NJ 07024