Since 2003, Shin Chon has dominated Korean Barbeque circuit in Howard County and overcharged the Korean community for a less than superior “traditional dining” experience. Conveniently located next to the Lotte Plaza in Ellicott City, Shin Chon was built at the right place at the right time. The establishment became THE meeting place for Korean family reunions and business dinners. No competition. No problem.
However, the reincarnation of Honey Pig Gooldaegee Korean BBQ in the Ellicott City on April 1st, 2010 area built trouble for the older sister. She’s sweatin’ and I’m definitely not talking about onions here.
- Portion/Price: Korean college students know that if they’re going to complete the dinner/karaoke/hangover pho cycle in one night, they need to conserve as much money as possible. Honey Pig definitely delivers in terms of “meat quantity” for under $20. Two portions of sam-gyup-sal (pork bellies) and a plate of marinated beef Galbi (short-ribs) do the body good. REAL GOOD. Unfortunately, Shin Chon fails to deliver the decent portions of meat for a reasonable price. If you have cash left in your wallet, expect to come home hungry.
- Quality: Cut Shin Chon some slack? It’s actually a Korean restaurant that specializes in a variety of intricate dishes such as Korean-styled sushi, noodles, seafood, and steaks. It also focuses on serving quality banchan (side dishes). However, this does not excuse the restaurant for a lesser quality of meat. Honey Pig strictly “specializes” in one thing and does it right. MEAT MEAT & adorable t-shirts.
- Ambience: Honey Pig wins by a landslide unless you’re my seventy-year-old Korean grandfather who expects absolute silence during dinner time. HP caters to the modern-day foodie by embracing the loud, electrifying Korean youth lifestyle. Don’t be surprised when the boisterous drunk next to you passes out after soju shots or when your clothes to smell like garlic, cheap Korean beer, and Marlboro cigarettes after you come home.
Honey Pig Tips:
- Travel with a Korean friend who fluently speaks the language: It’s bad enough that you don’t understand the menu!
- Learn how to use the utensils: The Honey Pig waitress WILL whip out the trainer chopsticks and that looks bad for the entire table.
- Tip well: The waitress lady expects a decent return for her dedicated service. Don’t be shocked when she chases you down and demands more cash. It’s your responsibility.
Overall, Honey Pig serves a pretty mean Korean Barbecue. It really can’t compete with the big boys in Los Angeles, New York & Virginia, but the attentive service and the satisfying portions of beef and pork make for a pretty fun night.
Thank you to Willy, Alexis, Ashley, Sera, Robert, Eric, Dan, O’B & Sari for a wonderful senior dinner.