Kong’s Tofu & BBQ Korean House – Cupertino, CA

V found a personal trainer for Zumba and asked if I wanted to join in on the class. I figured, why not since I am in need of a good work out. After Zumba, we were starving! Made plans for DK & Meep to meet us at Cupertino for dinner after our class (and a good shower). We were deciding between Japanese or Korean and ended up w Kong Tofu & BBQ Korean House.

The restaurant is deceivingly large. As you walk in, there is a mural on the wall:

The dining area near the front

We walked towards the back, and there were another dozen or more tables.

Meep was staring at the menu when I was taking pictures and exclaimed “Hey! that’s a bean w the name Kong in it… how strange, why a bean of all things?”. Then I replied “Maybe Kong means bean?”. So I looked it up and yes, indeed “Kong” in Korean means “bean”.

Menu has a good variety of the more popular dishes, not very extensive but enough that there is something for everyone.

.Our meal:

Banchan (Complimentary)


My favourites of the night were their kimchi (not too spicy or sour, just perfect), pickled spices cucumbers (sweet, spicy and a little tangy), potatoes. I was not crazy about the bland tasting japchae or beansprouts.

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Seafood Pancake $12.99

Honestly, I have had some bad experiences with Seafood pancakes in so many places that it scares me to order them now. V wanted the Seafood pancake so we ordered some. It looked pretty good when it got placed on the table, seemed to have nice crisped edges but that is where the good things end. The pancake was doughy, filled with green onions and barely any pieces of teeeny seafood. It should be renamed as Scallion Pancake. Ah well…

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Beef bibimbap in Stonebowl $10.99

The bibimbap came to the table hot but not piping hot as I would expect. The rice was not crisped up at the bottom at all. I could not find the egg till I looked hard and it was a tiny quail egg. I liked it better with the regular chicken egg so the yolk gets incorporated all over. The ratio of rice to veggies were not what we are used to. There is so much rice that the underseasoned veggies gets lost.

Not bad but almost too light. The veggies were not seasoned enough with any salt or sesame oil. There actually wasn’t the usual pungent smell of red pepper paste and sesame oil. The sauce was very light and diluted, so it took quite a bit to give it the flavour/heat we wanted.

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Seaweed soup (served with bibimbap)

Meh… Just seaweed in a light broth.

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Korean Short Ribs $16.99

I appreciated that the rib was cut into bite size pieces, but this was not the most tender piece of Kalbi. It was a lot chewier, tougher and less fatty than the nicely marbled fatty kalbi from other restaurants. It was still marinated well, grilled well with nice char from the grill but the cut of meat was just a tad inferior for $16.99. Just not as good as we could have gotten on El Camino.

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Spicy Pork $13.99

For the first time ever, we did not order Soondobu (Soft tofu stew). Instead we ordered the spicy pork as requested by DK. I am glad we ordered it. This was the first dish that had all the flavours I was looking for. It was marinated right through with a salty, spicy, pungent sauce. Tender and amazing with rice.

It was a little over salted, but the rice countered the salt well. Meep didn’t like it too much, the pork had a grainy texture because of the marinade but it didn’t bother me at all.

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Rice (served with spicy pork & short ribs)

I was excited to see this purple rice, it is the first restaurant I have been to that serves it. The rice was delicious. Rather than just the sweeter white rice, there was brown rice and black rice mixed in had their husk on so it gave the rice a different texture.

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Korean Spicy Rice Cakes (Complimentary)

Our server, who happened to be V’s classmate brought over this complimentary spicy rice cakes with cabbage and fishcake. I am not the biggest fan of rice cakes because they feel really heavy after a few pieces. A very simple dish but cooked well. Nice chewy rice cakes in a fairly spicy sweet sauce. The cabbage is nice with barely some crunch left and the fish cakes are the typically korean fishcakes that are doughy and a tad spongy. Not the greatest but not any fault of the restaurant, just the dish itself is not appealing to me. Everyone else enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Yoghurt drink (Complimentary)

Nice touch at the end of the meal – this came with our bill. Meep and I were a tad too full to enjoy it but DK polished off 2 of them!

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Extras:

Pepsi $0.99 – it was surprisingly to see coke was not $2.50! 😀

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Total Damage: $75

Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 (Good)

Other than the Seafood Pancake, all the other dishes were pretty average (a couple were good) and priced well. It is not cheap like a handful of places on El Camino, but were not ridiculous either since the portions are quite generous. The free Spicy Rice Cakes was a nice touch and greatly appreciated by us, eventhough we barely managed to finish the rest of our entrees.

We were seated right at the very back corner of the restaurant, but service was still ok. The little service button came in handy. Food was served pretty shortly after we ordered, in less than 5 minutes we got our banchans, then the rest of the dishes trickled in in the next 10 minutes.

I probably won’t make my way to go back there but if I were in the area and was craving Korean, I would definitely stop by.

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Kong Tofu & BBQ Korean House

19626 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014

(408) 863 0234


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