Korean Restaurant: Kalbi Pot (Kalbi-No Tsubo)

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLYERACE

This is the first week that I’m gonna write about a place that I feel just ‘eeh’ about.  Usually when I write about a restaurant, some aspect of it stands out to me – whether it’s the food, the atmosphere, the service.  Something.  And this place was okay.  But, it was just okay.  You got me?

Anyway, I don’t know how many of you guys eat Korean food, but when you get your hands on some good stuff it’s mighty darn tasty.  (This is coming from a woman who at one time loved foods from all corners of the world, except Korean.  But, whaddaya know, I met a man who happened to be half Korean.  We fell in love.  Got married.  And he showed me the light.  Before long, I was eating spicy stuff:

I, still being a Korean food neophyte, use my man’s nose as kind of a barometer for how good the food is when we go to a Korean restaurant.  The more sweat beads that form on it, the better the food.  When sweat is actually dripping off the nose, well, we’ve hit the jackpot.  This does not happen too much here in Japan, except maybe in my house where I add some red-colored powder, paste or pepper to almost all of his meals.  (I’ve learned that even the dried out, overcooked delicacies I turn out will find praise that way.)

Anyway, like I said, in most restaurants here, the sweat is not a-flowin’ for my husband.   Which is not a problem if we’re eating something like Japanese or Italian or food that isn’t supposed to be spicy.  But if we’re eating Indian, or Korean, or Mexican and heaven forbid he’s not using about twenty napkins to dab his forehead, nose, and mouth with, then it’s not hot enough and he won’t eat there again.  So, for example, I have to find other people to go to Mike’s Tex Mex with me, ’cause he won’t step in the place.

Alright, this post is supposed to be about a restaurant, so I might as well go ahead and get started on it.  It’s about a Korean joint in American Village called “Kalbi Pot”.  Yesterday I was jonesin’ for some Bibimbop and my man agreed to check it out with me, for research’s sake.  My girlfriend, the one who told me about the pancake house, joined us too.  Here’s a picture of the outside.

Korean_place

The inside was comfortable enough, but unremarkable.  We sat at the BBQ table but didn’t order any.  Instead, I got the Bibimbop, a rice/vegetable/egg/red pepper paste dish served in a hot stone bowl which cooks the egg and makes the rice all nice and crunchy.  My husband got Spicy Rice Chigae (Soup or Stew in Korean), some kind of rice soup.  And my friend got Kimchi Chigae.  The first thing I noticed is that we didn’t get any of the little Kimchee side dishes (Banchan in Korean) that you typically get for free at a Korean restaurant.  That’s fine, because I usually don’t eat half of them anyway (I’m still training my tastebuds in the Kimchee arena).  But, I was hungry, so I took exception.  (Turns out you can order the Kimchees on the menu for about 400 yen.  Kind of like having to order chips and salsa when you should get it for free.)

The food came quickly enough though and my Bibimbop was piping hot.  I mixed it all up and umm…crunchy and delicious.  Not really spicy hot, but good.  My friend’s Kimchi soup came out next.  It looked small, runny, and unimpressive.  According to her, that’s how it tasted too.  My husband got his soup, and fortunately, there was a little more substance to it.  I tasted it and could eat it – a sure sign that it wasn’t spicy enough for him.  And not spicy enough, at a Korean restaurant, is a cardinal sin.  I knew we wouldn’t be back there any time soon!

But I went ahead and asked anyway.  So guys, what’s the consensus?  Would you come back here?  Hubby -No.  Friend – No.   Me – Yes. (True. My Bibimbop wasn’t the best I’ve had.  But, hey, we’re not in Korea and sometimes when you need to satisfy your cravings, you have to take what you can get.)

Joes_nose_after

Here’s the nose after.  Somewhat damp…but it could be much worse.  Believe me!

So there you have it.  The Kalbi Pot Place.  An inauthentic Korean food fix in a decent location for about a thousand yen.

 

HOURS:

Lunch:  11:30-2:00
Dinner:  5:00-12:00
Open every day.  Phone:  098-936-1129

Address: 2 Chome-2-8 Mihama, Chatan

Google Maps Coordinates: 26.3152695, 127.75971479999998

Directions: Turn off 58 onto the Starbucks across from Lester road. Make your first right. Make your first right again and the restaurant is on the corner.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. there is a korean place across (a little down) the road from sams by the sea in awase (go out gate 2, keep going all the way past the toys r us and thru the main intersection in awase, then turn at the road on the left past the gorilla, take the next right and follow to the end and your there… or follow the signs to sams and just go past sams and you will see the resturant ion the right side of the road) i found thisteh first week i was here because i almost rented an apartment right next to this place, what a great place to live…. we have been there about 11-12 times. it was a every friday for about 2 months then we got tired of the all you can eat for 6 people, becoming a diet plan. we would order the all you can eat for everyone and get, 2 plates of meat and then when we went and asked for more, (i dont think we should have to ask) we would get a single plate about 5-10 minutes later. so we dont go anymore. too bad too cause the food was good, the kinchi was awesome.. fresh crisp cucumbers and cabbage. the potato salad is awesome too!! this should show how bad the service was, i wont go back, but i really really like the food. i spent 2 years in korea and this is by no means a replacement for the “sa mil” joint outside osans main gate but it is pretty good. Try this place for sure, just go in a small group at first. get the side room if you can, it is private and you can really enjoy yourself.. enjoy!!!!

  2. I have yet to try this resturaunt but I see it all the time. My husband was stationed in Korea last year and I fell in love with Korean food the two weeks I spent over there with him. I was also told of a really good Korean resturaunt outside of Gate 3 on 85. Does anyone know of that place or where exactly it is? The way it was decribed to me it has all the food I am craving.

  3. When deciding where to eat it was a toss up between the marching kids place and this one. My husband suggested the marching kids, but I said no ’cause it’s a chain. Silly me. I’ve heard it’s good. Perhaps there needs to be a battle of the Korean Restaurants post?

    Thanks for all the nice comments!

  4. You’re a champ to try that moving octopus! Wow, I don’t know if I would be able to do it. No, probably not. This post is so entertaining! Enjoyed it very much!

  5. I love every bit of this. The nose: before and after. The video. The review.

    I agree about this place. The dancing family was better to me. Yummier. Spicier.

  6. Love this post, Kelly. so simultaneously informative but entertaining at the same time. you’re a true blue food lover if you can eat a live octopus – kudos! We’ve been to that restaurant near the dancing family sign and really enjoyed it. My kids love interactive meals, so grilling the food themselves was a big hit!

  7. I just fell in love with Bibimbap on my recent trip to Korea, I can’t wait to try this place. And I can’t believe you ate a moving octopus. You are a food-reviewing maverick.

  8. I’ve actually eaten at this place a couple of months ago. We ended up getting two pots of the meat and veggie mix that you grill – there were four of us and we were starving. I know there were two different flavors to pick from for the pot of grilling stuff, but I can’t remember which flavor we ended up getting. I don’t remember it being all too bad though, it just seemed to need more spice. Which spice that would be I don’t know. Since it was grill yourself food, my grill master husband took over and whenever I don’t have to cook food just seems to taste better.

  9. I bought my car from a Korean doctor on Lester. When I asked her what the best Korean BBQ was, she pointed me at the place near Pizza House off 58 with the dancing family. (I know this is a chain too, I’ve seen others.) Was she right? Now I want to try Bibimbop. Sounds like a fun dance move. 🙂 Thanks, Kelly! And I was a little disturbed by the moving food… but kudos to you!

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