Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Restaurant Chung Dam - Santa Clara

side dish for wrapping with sliced pork (bossam platter)
Found out about this restaurant on Yelp when I was looking for certain type of Korean dishes. Apparently this restaurant was still pretty new. So we decided to give it a try on a Thursday night thinking it wouldn’t be too busy. When we pulled in the parking lot, we saw group of people walking to the restaurant. The parking lot which the restaurant shared with Motel 6 was full. And at that time it’s only 6:30 !

We found one spot and made our way to the restaurant. The restaurant was huge with nice waiting area. The hostess took my name and told me the wait would be 20 minutes. The d├ęcor in the waiting area was nice and made the restaurant felt upscale. There was this huge lighted display in Hangul (Korean characters) that I didn’t understand but I assumed probably some poem ?

The name in Hangul
We were seated on a regular table because we’re not planning on ordering bbq meat. I sort of had some ideas on what to order based on my Yelp reading. Yes, do your homework before visiting a restaurant. But I found out that the menu on their website isn’t entirely complete. The real menu had more selection than the menu online. So I ended up ordering bulgogi quesadilla as a last minute decision on top of the spicy stir fry black pork belly and the bossam (plater of grilled pork with spices).
Vases - part of the wait area decor

Though looked big from outside, the restaurant isn’t that big inside. The wait area took up quite a part of it. Then there were also private rooms (maybe around 5 of them). So from where we sat I could see pretty much the back of the restaurant. The layout of the tables were nice and gave some privacy to your conversation.
complimentary miso soup and side dishes in the back ground

array of side dishes - starting from kimchee, jello, fish cake, more jello (?) and japchae

side dishes from different angle : broccoli and perilla leaves and fish cake

The quesadilla came out first. Four pieces of quesadilla with a pile of greens and sesame salad dressing drizzled on top. My first impression was yummy but why so greasy ? The tortilla skin used seemed to be different from the regular flour tortilla. It’s thinner. The dipping sauce was so so only. I could do without.
bulgogi quesadilla

Then the platter of bossam arrived. This my second time enjoying bossam. Bossam is pork belly that was cooked in spices and thinly sliced. Upon serving, the sliced meat would be wrapped together (hence the name – bossam – meaning wrapped or packaged). So this bossam was served with pickled fermented shrimp, garlic and wrapped with pickled napa cabbage. The sliced pork was tender and it went well with the rest of side dish and wrapper. This dish turned out to be hubby’s highlight of the night. He never had bossam before.
sliced seasoned pork as part of bossam platter

side dish to be wrapped with the sliced pork - part of bossam platter

The last order that came out on a big ceramic platter was the spicy pork belly with squid. This dish was good but I felt that the name didn’t represent the dish. There was hardly any pork belly. I think the ratio of pork belly and squid was not balanced. Beside the pork belly and squid, there was also sliced rice cake which was a nice addition for a change of texture. But seriously, I felt cheated out of my pork belly.

All in all it was a good dinner. The place was nice and the food in general was good. Though It will be a while before we would go back.

Chung Dam
3180 El Camino Real 
Santa Clara, CA 95051
408 246 1208