Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shin Chon Garden

The Shin Chon Garden restaurant was Howard County's first Korean barbeque spot when it opened about five years ago. It was closed for a few months earlier this year to remodel, but it reopened in June and is now prettier and seemingly busier than ever, with more tables available for barbeque. We stopped in on a recent Saturday night and had to wait a while, but once we got a table the food came quickly and was very enjoyable.

I'm no expert on Korean cuisine, but I like the adventure and new tastes, especially the array of small dishes or banchan that accompany each meal. The assortment we received was plentiful and tasty, but had few real standouts -- several variants of kimchee, namul and a scoop of potato salad that seemed to wander in from Costco. We played it safe with the entrees, going with beef brisket and marinated bulgogi, and they were fine. It's fun to cook them on the table top "grill" (more of a steamer, really, but it does the job) and wrap the results and condiments in lettuce leaves or have them with rice. Toward the end of the meal a steamed egg dish and a hot soup arrived, both of which were big hits with us.

Next time I'll want to branch out or bring friends. The galbi, or ribs, and spicy marinated pork barbeque both looked good. And there's a large selection of non-barbeque rice and noodle dishes that were very appealing. The largely Korean clientele like to bring large groups and linger over a variety of dishes; that's clearly the way to go. Lunch is also a good time to try the non-barbeque dishes or even some of the Japanese bento or sushi items.

The Shin Chon Garden does not appear to have a website. It's located in the Lotte Plaza or Golden Triangle shopping center at Rt. 40 and 29.

Shin Chon Garden
8801 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD

HowChow has a good review of Shin Chon from earlier this year. So does Elizabeth Large at the Baltimore Sun. There are also some helpful reviews of Shin Chon Garden on Yelp.

Shin Chon Garden on Urbanspoon

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