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Ding Dong brings classic Korean menu to Bell

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Young Hee Kimsong has long enjoyed the wide variety of cuisines offered along Bell Boulevard, Bayside’s restaurant row, but she always noticed a distinct lack of Korean eateries.

Born in Seoul, Kimsong ran a Korean restaurant in Flushing for three years, serving the healthy, flavorful food her country is known for.

On April 30 she brought that expertise east across Queens, opening Ding Dong Take-Out at 39-23 Bell Blvd.

“There are no Korean places around here. On Bell Boulevard there’s always been multicultural food besides Korean, so I wanted to add Korean food to the other cultures’ foods, and I wanted to get Korean food out there,” she said through a translator. “I just want people to come try Korean food.”

Kimsong’s pastor gave her the name Ding Dong because he said it was something that people would remember, and it seems to be working as she said business went very well in its first full week since opening its doors.

The clean, modernly appointed restaurant in the middle of Bayside’s commercial district is aimed at the local business lunch crew as well as the dinner crowd, with lunch box meals running between $6.50 and $8.50 and dinners costing $8.50 to $12.50.

Kimsong says the restaurant cooks very traditional Korean dishes, and her specialties include gal bi, grilled marinated beef slices; bulgoki, thinly sliced beef and vegetables; and vegetable bibim-bap, a spicy, colorful blend of vegetables and steamed rice that she describes as very healthy.

Entrees go well with Ding Dong’s homemade side dishes such as kimchee, a traditional Korean treatment of spicy fermented cabbage; or buchu oi muchin, a spicy salad of cucumber and chives, said Kimsong. Snacks such as fried dumplings and rice cakes are also on the menu at Ding Dong. None of the eatery’s foods contain MSG.

“It’s very traditional, healthy food,” she said. “As the seasons go by we are going to make more Korean cultural foods.”

The restaurant hopes to add low-fat frozen yogurt soon; po-ri bap, a bean and rice dish, in the summer; and dduk guk soup, a spicy rice cake soup meant to give diners good luck, in winter.

For more information or to place a take-out order call Ding Dong at 718-225-4898.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

Updated 5:50 pm, October 10, 2011
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