Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 15, 2024

Kong Pocha is the perfect spot for your next weekend debrief!

By EMI GONZALEZ | March 13, 2023

COURTESY OF EMI GONZALEZ Gonzalez praises the cozy atmosphere and delicious food at Kong Pocha.

Sundays are for three things: homework, laundry and the weekend debrief. The first two lack the importance of the third, but we have to be somewhat productive. I was craving my weekend debrief with friends, but the dining hall atmosphere wasn’t exactly appealing. I needed to leave campus to cure my Sunday scaries. So I called my friend, freshman Kamila Wong, and we went to the one place I knew would do the job: Kong Pocha. 

I’m a Kong Pocha veteran (I’ve now been twice!), but my friend had never been before, and she had high expectations as I hadn’t shut up about the place since the first time I went. If you ask anyone about Kong, you’ll always hear good reviews and recommendations. 

We called a Blue Jay Shuttle and rode in luxury to West 20th Street. It only took us about ten minutes to reach our destination. The restaurant may look small on the outside, but once you push open those double doors, you’ll see the mightiness of Kong Pocha.

The vibe you want is the vibe you’re gonna get; Kong really is for all occasions. You can go before an event to get pumped up or after one to settle down (or for a continuation of the fun!). Inside Kong, there are tables for all party sizes. You can have a nice little group dinner or enjoy a cozy date! The ambiance of the place really lets you choose your own adventure. 

We ordered the corn cheese as an appetizer: a simple dish consisting of grilled corn with mozzarella cheese on top. It was a perfect corn-to-cheese ratio. They melted the mozzarella to the correct point of gooeyness but not overbearingly stringy. Overall, I would order again; you can’t go wrong with corn and cheese.

For my main dish, I ordered the bulgogi cup-bap: another simple dish that consists of a bowl of white rice topped with greens, cooked onions, half of a cherry tomato (the best part), thin strips of marinated beef and a delicious white sauce drizzle. You cannot go wrong with this meal. I used to avoid eating beef, and this put me back on. The heat from the meat and rice causes the greens to soften right in the bowl, letting you avoid the awkwardness of eating a stiff leaf. You can get this dish with pork, fried chicken or tofu; a protein choice for everyone. This bowl can be the perfect single serve or a nice sharing size. 

Wong ordered the Kongbination, which had their signature Korean-style fried chicken, chicken and beef bulgogi, mixed greens and a fried egg over a pile of white rice. 

In an interview with Wong, it’s one of the best Korean food restaurants she has been to since coming to Hopkins. 

“The fried chicken was definitely the highlight; it had a crisp exterior and was extremely juicy when I bit into the piece,“ she said. “They were also a manageable size, which I appreciated. I would definitely go back to Kong for just that fried chicken.” 

Her egg was also perfect; it was cooked just to her liking with a slightly runny yolk. She did have one critique though... the bulgogi was just a little too salty! 

Go beyond St. Paul Street and visit Kong Pocha. Have some good eats and create some good memories with your friends.

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