HOUSTON – The husband-and-wife owners of the modern Chinese restaurant Duck N Bao recently launched a new Korean barbecue concept in Houston’s Asiatown.
Situated in Dun Huang Plaza at 9889 Bellaire Blvd, Ste. D-229, Grace and Leo Xia’s Hongdae 33 Korean BBQ offers all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue paired with a soju-focused beverage program.
Named after one of Seoul’s most vibrant nightlife districts, Hongdae 33 is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and “aims to differentiate itself by offering late-night revelers an inviting, neon-washed party atmosphere to gather for great food, creative drinks and after-hours fun,” a release reads.
“To Koreans, barbecue is not just grilling meat,” Grace Xia said in a statement. “It is part of the culture. It’s gathering and making memories while cooking at the table and enjoying a meal with your date, family, friends or co-workers. Barbecuing together is a great way to relax and have fun. We hope to create that special experience at Hongdae 33.”
The new 3,000-square-foot restaurant space has a dining room that accommodates 80 guests and a full-service bar featuring a takeout window.
In line with the traditional Korean barbecue format, Hongdae 33 offers all-you-can-eat pricing. Guests select meats, seafood and other specialties to cook themselves over tabletop gas grills. For grilling, the restaurant has sourced exclusively USDA Prime meats, including galbi, brisket, beef or pork bulgogi, garlic- or miso-marinated flat iron steak, pork belly, pork jowl and chicken in choice of soy, garlic, or spicy marinade as well as seafood options, such as garlic-butter shrimp, spicy baby octopus and spicy ika squid. Premium selections include American wagyu beef from R-C Ranch, short rib, New York strip and ribeye. Vegetables and tofu are also included.
The menu includes myriad house-prepared Korean side dishes, called banchan, and appetizers, including kimchi, marinated bean sprouts, japchae, scallion and seafood pancakes, kimchi and soybean stews, spicy rice cake skewers, a corn-and-mozzarella mix and steamed rice. Marinades and dipping sauces are crafted with house recipes developed through extensive research by Leo.
The all-you-can-eat menu is priced at $33 per person for 90 minutes. There is a five item per order limit.
To complement the tabletop grilling experience, Hongdae 33 has a full bar program complete with special house cocktails. The drink menu is heavily focused on South Korean spirits, including different styles and flavors of soju and Korean rice wines (makgeolli). Hongdae uses these traditional pours in various combinations with beer to create Korean-style bomb shots. Signature soju cocktails include the Asian C-Cup (grapefruit soju, sweet vermouth, lemon, egg white and tonic), Banana Drama (soju, lemon, banana curacao, banana liqueur and egg white), K-Shawty (strawberry soju and puree, Yakult, lemon juice and Milkis, a creamy Korean soda) and Anger Issues (soju, sour mix, jalapeño, fresh mint, grenadine and soda). Classic cocktails, including lychee, lemon drop, and cucumber-lime martinis, along with Asian and domestic beers and soft drinks are also offered.
For more information, visit hongdae33kbbq.com.