NYC is a city of extremes, that’s clear, and it applies to food too. Blink your eyes and you’ve been served a plate of greasy carbs, the size of your head, or stumble, without much planning, into a restaurant that offers ridiculous culinary pleasure.
Cho Dang Gol’s special claim to fame is making homemade tofu since 1997, I think it is. It’s unlike tofu I’ve had before: with a texture that’s a bit lumpy and with some spring in it, like a soft cheese, but in a pleasant way. Without the uniform consistency and texture of the usual blocks of tofu, it really does taste homemade. You get a little bowl each as a complimentary appetizer.
We went totally Chinese diaspora in the ordering, and thought we’d ordered way too much, but hey, we’re good eaters. The egg crepe with cod roe and green tea mayonnaise was amazing. The jap chae lovely and unctious. The tofu and vegetable stew was delicious. The cod pancakes were amazing, almost like a cod omelette, mostly cod, very little batter. Loved the pork belly dish with spicy kim chee and picked radish. The crowning glory was the Korean Fried Chicken. I’d had quite a bit of KFC in my time, but this was the best. Light and crispy, super tender, and some mysterious spice. Really crispy in an addictive way, but without tasting over-battered. Not sure how they do that.
The big surprise, aside from how totally amazing the food was, ended up to be the bill. $120 before tax and tip, for the four of us, ordering so many dishes that they didn’t fit on the table, and two beers. That’s one of the cheapest meals I’ve had in this very expensive city. This will go on my recommendation list for anyone visiting NYC…
(The photos do not do this place justice. When I’m with groups of people, I usually take less photos. Food blogging is not for everyone. But as I said, I would recommend this place to anyone.)