Chinatown in Chicago is just as vibrant and bustling as in other big, American cities. In a recent post, I sang the praises of Strings Ramen, an authentic Japanese ramen shop, located in this tasty part of town. Today, I want to talk about Ahjoomah’s Apron.
Celebrating 2 years in business, Ahjoomah’s Apron is a Korean restaurant located just 1 1/2 blocks west of the Cermak-Chinatown ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Red Line. It is also 3 blocks west of the McCormick Place ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Green Line.
I don’t go out for Korean fare nearly as much as I should. The love the particular hot spice and sour tang of Korean ingredients. Mind you, I am not a fan of Korean bbq joints. I much prefer to be served when I go out to eat versus paying to cook my own food at the table. Also, I don’t dig smelling like bbq when I leave a place. I am so glad I found Ahjoomah’s Apron. Here’s how my lunch went down:
I was presented with the full menu as well as the lunch specials. I had a tough time choosing between meat, seafood and veggie options. If I had been with a friend or two, I would have ordered more food. That said, I decided to go for the Dolsot Bibimbop with bulgogi (marinated beef).
Bibimbop is a traditional Korean dish served in a bowl. Generally, it a mix of rice, bean sprouts, veggies, a sunny egg and another protein(s) of choice. Small dishes of add-ins like kimchi (spicy, fermented cabbage), cucumbers, spicy tofu, seaweed, dried fish and potato accompany the meal. However, the Dolsot Bibimbop (dine-in only) goes a step further. It comes in a screaming hot stone pot which is coated with sesame oil. This allows the rice to get super crunchy and adds another layer of flavor and texture to the dish.
Well, this was a stunningly beautiful and dramatic meal! I enjoyed the tasty bulgogi, the crunchy rice and the cucumbers. The egg was perfectly sunny and runny. The tofu and kimchi add-ins were among my favorites. Of course, my meal would not be complete without adding additional hot sauce. Ahjoomah’s is delightful.
You might be happy to know that my lunch stayed super hot, until I made my way toward the bottom of the pot. That’s right. Steam was rising from that bad boy the entire time. Exactly as it should be! This sort of attention to detail is exactly the reason I will be coming back here again very soon. I have my eye on the seafood and kimchi pancakes, as well as the cod fish stew. I can’t wait.
The space at Ahjoomah’s Apron is modern, bright and clean. I felt really chill and comfy here. My server was very attentive and helped me navigate the menu really well. Lucky, Me!, I live very near Ahjoomah’s, so I know I will make a sizable dent in their menu over time 😉
Where do you like to get your bibimbop on? What are some other Korean dishes you enjoy?
Ahjoomah’s Apron is is located at 218 W. Cermak Rd.. It is open Sunday – Wednesday from 11am -10:30pm and on Thursday – Saturday from 11am – 2am. Catering is available, too. For more information, click here.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red or Green Lines to Ahjoomah’s Apron. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!