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Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville (CLOSED)

posted on January 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm
I have been stalking Nak Dong Gang for months. All of my recent trips to Buford Highway included a slow drive past the paper-lined windows of the restaurant, with the simple but exciting phrase: “Korean Duck Restaurant.” I was beginning to lose hope given the current state of the economy until a reader emailed me it was finally open. Moon and I were there as soon as possible and ready for yet another new Korean dining experience; something our town has been blessed with plenty of in the past year.
The restaurant is owned by one of the people behind Hae Woon Dae and is unique versus other Korean barbecue establishments because of it’s specialty: Korean-style duck. The menu, while short, is chock full of duck-based dishes. The duck entrees can get a bit pricey, but they offer plenty of value for what you receive. We chose the smoked whole duck, the spicy duck bulgogi and duck porridge (or juk).
Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville
Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville

The menu

Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville

If you order a dish made with smoked duck, the birds are smoked on this slick contraption outside of the restaurant, prepped according to your order (i.e. boneless, bone-in, etc.) and brought to your table to grill. Our order was broken down into these uniform slices with a solid fat to meat ratio.
Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville
The meat is cooked on an electric grill split by slices of “Korean yam” until the fat is rendered out leaving what can only be described as crispy duck bacon. Just a warning: be mindful when you are tending to the meat; the fat tends to get a little projectile as it cooks and can burn your hands if yours aren’t made of asbestos like mine.
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Get on the grill
While you are waiting for the meat to finish, banchan arrives at the table for nibbling.
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Banchan (some dishes not pictured thanks to the lighting fast staff)

The duck bulgogi was just okay. The chili paste in the coating tasted incredibly vibrant and it was perfectly salty. However, the sauce prevented the duck from crisping and the texture was ultimately gummy. Again, not bad, but there is much more to explore.
Our smoked duck was a different story. After the meat is cooked to your liking, take a piece along with a few strands of crunchy onion and swipe the bite through this honey-ish mustard.
Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville
Moon noted the duck was not overly smoky and I agreed. But we both enjoyed it very much. It still had plenty of gamey undertones and the crisp fat against the mustard and onion was a textural smack-down in my mouth.
Maybe it was the chilly weather, but the dish everyone was craving more of was the duck porridge (or juk). The porridge reminded me of a loose risotto in terms of consistency. The rich broth is studded with tiny bits of carrots, herbs and other vegetables. Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville
We finished the entire thing. There may have even been some bowl scraping going on, but I digress. The dish does not come with any chunks of duck but I placed some of the finished duck slices into my bowl per my friend and fellow Korean cuisine enthusiast, Joel Silverman.
Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville
A craveable combination.

Verdict: Winner, winner, duck dinner.

INFORMATION:

Address: 7130 Buford Hwy., 30340
Phone: 770-242-0201
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4 comments

  • Re: Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville (CLOSED)
    posted by: Anonymous · January 20, 2009  4:25 PM

    That duck looks really good but expensive. Is the whole duck enough for two people? (Also, if you happened to notice, do they have alcohol?)

    By the way, it says that the “mixed” one includes smoked duck, smoked samgyupsal, smoked (pork) back ribs, smoked pork ribs, and pigs’ feet (jokbal).

  • Re: Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville (CLOSED)
    posted by: The Blissful Glutton · January 21, 2009  3:49 AM

    It is definitely enough for two people. I did not see any alcohol on the menu, but I would assume they had something.

    Thanks for the translation on the “Mixed.” My Korean is a little rusty 😉

  • Re: Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville (CLOSED)
    posted by: Jang · January 25, 2009  9:43 PM

    I just went to this place and ordered the duck congee. It was awesome! I highly recommend it.

  • Re: Nak Dong Gang Restaurant: Doraville (CLOSED)
    posted by: Anonymous · April 18, 2009  4:44 PM

    Finally made it to this place. Excellent smoked duck and smoled pork belly… Also tired the Juk and that was also very good. Great place! The menu has changed a bit since this blog – the mixed grill is gine and I beleive so has th pork ribs…

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