Traditional Korean Dishes, Hospitality Abound at ChogajibFeatures Order of the Day
December 2, 2012
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Just like the traditional grass-roofed Korean house after which it’s named, Chogajib Korean Restaurant offers diners a friendly, clean atmosphere in which traditional Korean food reigns supreme.
While the Keeaumoku Street location attracts a wide array of kamaaina and visitors, chef and owner Jeong Lim encourages local residents to try his restaurant and enjoy a menu full of traditional Korean food and local favorites.
“Our restaurant is like your house, and we make traditional dishes for you,” says Lim, who brings 15 years of restaurant experience to the table. “I’ve run many restaurants, including some on the Mainland, but I came back here and brought back what I learned. Korean food is very popular.”
In addition to serving local favorites such as Ox Tail Soup ($12.95) and Kalbi ($14.95), Chogajib also offers an assortment of soups, stews, noodle dishes and pancake (jun) selections that are more common in Korea. Soon Du Bu ($8.95) is a soft tofu soup, which also includes egg, jalapeno peppers and green onion, and can be enjoyed with a mild or spicy broth. The soup also can be prepared with seafood, kimchi and pork, beef or Spam.
For those looking for a cool, refreshing dish, Nangmyun ($9.95) is a popular cold noodle soup packed full of flavor. The dish includes a plentiful portion of black wheat noodles, egg and cucumber in a beef sauce broth that ties all the flavors together. As with many of the menu items at Chogajib, the soup dish can be spiced up with Korean hot sauce.
The popularity of jun, also known as egg pancake or batter, shines through in Chogajib’s menu with an array of offerings including Seafood Jun ($14.95), an egg and flour pancake that envelopes shrimp and green onion.
Chogajib also offers special items, including Spicy Chopped Chicken Stew ($29.95). Another special dish that has received a great response from diners is Steamed Monkfish ($29.95), which includes large morsels of moist fish atop a bed of soybean sprouts, fresh vegetables and stalked sea squirts. The dish is enveloped in a spicy red chili paste sauce that brings some heat and a boatload of flavor to every bite.
“I usually make the dish mild, but if customers want, I can make it extra spicy for them,” Lim says of the seafood dish.
The eatery is open until 4 a.m. daily, and while it does not yet have a liquor license (expected sometime in January), customers are allowed to bring in their own alcoholic beverages as a supplement to the multitude of menu options. Takeout orders also are encouraged, making it possible for customers to satisfy their Korean food cravings in the comfort of their own homes.
Chogajib Korean Restaurant
825 Keeaumoku St. #111, Honolulu
Open daily, 10 a.m.-4 a.m.