Korean food has gotten to me. So when a Southern Korean BBQ pop-up opens at 168 Bowery and Kenmare serving 12-hour smoked brisket with kimchi fries you know I’ll tap that. This Kimchi Smoke Pop-Up is only around for one more day only, today Friday, Jan. 24 from 4-10 p.m. I command you to cancel any standing plans you have during this time and walk yourself over to this one man show joint to try some of the tastiest brisket for just $13. While the food is indeed stellar, what really blows my mind is that Chef Rob Cho is prepping these meats in New Jersey and the only person behind the tiny kitchen cooking. He’s serving guests one by one as soon as their orders are taken by the cashier who also delivers your food. It’s not the service that counts here. It’s the idea that you can’t get this food again or at least until Rob Cho finds a permanent space. Snag a wooden table and join others as you prepare to feast your eyes on all kinds of meat preparations.
Start an appetizer off with the Cho Lander Fries topped with Karls Dust, Smoked Kimchi, Cheese and Fatboy Sauce. They usually top it with pulled pork but were out by the time we got there. Sad news, but the spice and kimchi were so delicious we didn’t know what we were missing, and it saved us a few pockets in our bellies for more meat down the line. Go for the Bad As Texas Brisket which is Sliced Angus Brisket, Fatboy Sauce on a Roll. While the sauce is superb, they use too much and it hides the fantastic flavors of the tender cuts of meat. I vote order the brisket sans roll so you can get a few slices and dip it into the sauce as needed because fella’s this brisket is so tender you don’t even need a fork to cut it. The sauce is just secondary here, and you don’t want it to mask the natural flavors.
The Fat General Cho is Hickory Smoked Char Slu, Guanghzhou Glaze, Sautéed Greens served on a massive hot dog bun. The pork chunks are indeed smoky, and the amount of sauce is just right. However, I’d pick the brisket and the ribs over this. Speaking of the Memphis Dry Rub Spare Ribs, these babies basically fall of the bone, and you can cut the meat with two forks making it easier to share (there ain’t a knife in sight here but who needs it when meat is this good?) You get about three pieces and it’s more than enough.
My experience at Kimchi Smoke was so much fun. Watching Rob work in such a small space to produce an outstanding product is extremely humbling. To get the word out he used twitter and social media, and the people came to his calling. It’s a fun little adventure, and when brisket is this good that you are tempted to order a second plate even when you have ribs, fries and another pork sandwich in front of you, then you know this chef has got something up his sleeve. Do not miss this. Go check it out today and grab a seat or get it to go on the fly.