CHUNG KI WA

If K-Town restaurant prices aren’t measuring up to the taste, it’s time for you to hit the boroughs. Nestled in Jackson Heights, one of the growing Asian neighborhoods in Queens dotted with great ethnic restaurants, Chung Ki Wa offers the best of authentic Korean food at moderate prices. Conveniently off the bustling subway stop where the E, F, G, R, and 7 trains converge and a step away from Little India, the restaurant is brightly lit, with long-tables all equipped for grilling.

For serious eaters, Kalbi is a must. A marinated beef dish in Korean soy sauce grilled to perfection at the table and you can’t go wrong. A great litmus test of authenticity for any restaurant is in the simpler dishes, like pajeon, or seafood scallion pancake. The crust should be crispy and the interior soft, but non-too-oily. The seafood (like squid) should taste fresh, crunchy even, and no-too-rubbery. Chung Ki Wa’s pajeon comes stuffed with seafood weighing on your palette.

As Korean restaurants are famed for, all entrees come with a prelude of appetizers, a dozen little dishes filled with fresh pickled vegetables, the infamous kimchi, lightly flavored with spices and sesame oil. Not only are these appetizers scrumptious and fun to eat, kimchi is known for being rich in vitamins, aiding digestion, and helps build immunity, a welcoming factor in the transition to spring.

Open 24 hours, Chung Ki Wa also boasts a great selection of lunch specials. With dishes under $10 dollars, including ban chan (side dishes), bi bim bop, and steamed eggs with your meals. A welcoming staff mostly from the border of North Korea and China, Korea, Chinese and English flow with ease here. If you miss lunch and dinner, this is a great spot for an after party chow-down for some of the warm and tasty spice found in good Korean food.

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About the Author: Rick Lin

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