Our NRT gathering for October was at Buk Kyung II in Allston. The space is simple and surprisingly big with pictures of what seem to Korean celebrities.
I am not very familiar with Korean food so was looking forward to trying some staples. Before the main dishes arrived they bought us a sampling of 6 different condiments which could be eaten as is or with your meal. One of which was Kimchi, a spicy pickled vegetable (typically cabbage). There were a few other pickled items and a salty sauce as well. I am not a big fan of vinegar flavors therefore none of these had a particular appeal to me but the rest of the group was enjoying.
I tried the Bibimbab which is fresh vegetables, shredded beef topped with a fried egg served with white rice and red chili paste. It was not exactly what I had expected. It is almost like a salad served over rice. It was a chilly night and I was hoping for something warm and comforting. The waitress explained that the red chili paste (almost like a Sriracha) should be added to your own taste and everything mixed together. The chili paste added a nice flavor and depth to the dish. The beef and rice provide a hearty base and the vegetables lighten the dish and add a crunch and texture. The fried egg also added a nice richness when the yolk was mixed into the dish. Though it was not what I had expected it was still very tasty and satisfying.
We also ordered a couple of noodle dishes which were really tasty. One was the Ganjajang which is stir fried combo of tofu, zucchini and onions in a flavorful black bean paste served with noodles. This dish is typically served with pork but was made with tofu. This was an extremely tasty dish! The noodles were thick and chewy and the black bean sauce added a nice saltiness. The other noodle dish was the Jabchac which is cellophane noodles stir fried in sesame oil with shitake mushrooms, carrots, onions and spinach, tossed in our house seasoning. Again, this is typically served with sliced pork but was ordered vegetarian. It was delicious, very light with a lovely combination of vegetables!
Overall, Buk Kyung II was a nice introduction to Korean food! Unfortunately, I am not sure how many other Korean restaurants there are to try in the Boston area to compare this experience with.
Buk Kyung II
151 Brighton Ave.
Allston, MA 02134