Edison, NJ 08817
- Cost: $$$
- Credit Cards: All Major
- Alcohol: BYO
- Parking: Public Lot
April 30, 2014
Chung Sol Bat (청솔밭) is in a small shopping plaza (next door to Happy Edison Noodle) facing Old Post Road just off of Route 1 North. Across Route 1 on Old Post Road is Keum Ho Jung, another popular Edison Korean restaurant.
Chung Sol Bat is bright and uncluttered, compared to other Korean BBQ spots like South Plainfield’s Kimchi Hana. The dining room color scheme is bright yellow walls with lime green accents and minimalist decor. About half of the well-spaced tables are equipped with barbecue grills in the center.
For an appetizer, try the crispy scallion pancake (pajeon) with tasty tiny shrimp. The array of small dishes (ban chan) that precede the measl are impressive. Spread across the table are little plates featuring kimchi, black beans, a block of spicy tofu, pickled vegetables, bean sprouts and various dipping sauces. My favorites are the spicy daikon radish slices with jalapeño and a light, fluffy steamed egg soufflé topped with scallions (gaeranjim).
Each table has a large vent hood over the space in the center where you can grill over hot coals. A convex circular ceramic grill, heated by gas, cooked the meat slices and drained the drippings when we visited for lunch on a Saturday. We ordered kalbi (marinated beef short ribs) and hum sam kyup sal (thinly sliced pork belly). Helpful servers tend to the barbecue while it is cooking. When the meat is grilled to your liking, grab a slice with a lettuce leaf and dip or garnish the morsel as you wish. The kalbi goes well with the radishes.
Chung Sol Bat’s extensive menu goes beyond BBQ, including noodles, fish dishes, soups, stews and casseroles. The rice casseroles, like traditional bibimbap (spicy rice with beef and vegetables) or chicken gob-dol (stir-fried chicken with rice in a hot stoneware pot), are very good. Next time I think I’ll try one of the chef specials – stir-fried kimchi and spicy pork (doobu kimchi bokeum) or steamed pork belly with pickled cabbage and spicy radish (gaeseong bosom).