Zengo DC Test Kitchen: Korean-Mexico

Yesterday I got the opportunity to try out Zengo’s new Fall Korean-Mexico menu courtesy of Google DC and Zagat. The three course meal consisted of three small plates, 2 large plates, dessert, and accompanying drinks for each course. 

The small plates consisted of: Pajean Seafood Scallop Pancakes, Korean Friend Chicken, and Ceviche Dorado. The corresponding drink was a Tehate-Hibiscus cocktail consisting of Tecate beer, ginger, chile lime and hibiscus syrup. Each plate complemented one another and the beer cocktail had a great balance of spicy and sweet. The crowd favorite was the Korean fried chicken which had the traditional flavor of fried chicken but with a sweet and tangy spin. 

The large plates consisted of Adobo Roasted Chicken (Bok Choy Kimchee, Chorizo, Potato, and Garlic-Lemon-Chicken Jus) and Hot Stone Bibimbap (a mixture of pork belly, prawns, sushi rice, Asian vegetables, Salsa Roja, and a fried egg) which was delightful. It was paired with an Agave-Shoju Punch which was good but a bit pulpy for many of the dining guests. Our server shared with us that , for the past year, Zengo began to cure all of their meat in-house. Such a delectable treat considering that the pork belly in the bibimbap was divine. 

Our final course was the Asian Pear Empanadas drizzled with warm carjeta and plated with dulce de leche ice cream. The empanadas were paired with an Asian Pear Mezcal cocktail which was a bit sweet considering the tangy balance we enjoyed for most of the night. I had three although I believe that I was supposed to share with the table. 

The table was blessed with the presence of Zengo’s head chef, Graham Bartlett, who explained each dish served. Daniel Berger, Zengo’s beverage manager, also took the time to explain the blends and gave a breakdown of what went into every drink which hovers around $12 each. 

My Zengo experience was amazing and I can’t wait to go back for more! Do yourself a favor and order the Korean fried chicken as an appetizer followed by the Hot Stone Bibimbap and ending with the Asian pear empanadas. A nice margarita will round it out. 

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