KPOT Korean BBQ and Asian Hot Pot is looking to expand into South Jersey, with a location in the works for Deptford’s Court of Deptford shopping center on Almonesson Road (Burlington Store, Hobby Lobby)
From my quick research, when opened they will be Gloucester County’s first Korean BBQ restaurant. Actually, the first one south of Cherry Hill’s Route 70!
If you are unfamiliar with Korean BBQ, it has nothing to do with our American slow-cooked barbecue.
Korean BBQ is a deliciously fun dining experience where each table is outfitted with a center hotplate bowl, and the guests get to cook their own meal! Plus KPOT also offers Asian Hot Pot.
And at KPOT they offer an impressive variety of entrée options, and it is All-You-Can-Eat!
They are advertising the Deptford location as coming soon on their official website, and we’ve confirmed with the center that a deal for the space is in process.
We’ve learned that they are targeting the center’s rightmost end unit which used to be home to Pier 1, and would position them next to the Phenix Salon Suites
Right now KPOT lists 11 New Jersey locations (either open or coming soon), and this Deptford location is the only one planned right now for South Jersey.
So it’s interesting to see Deptford jump ahead of other foodie hotspots such as Cherry Hill or Marlton! Although those areas do have Korean BBQ but under other brands. Likely this was a factor in KPOT choosing Deptford.
KPOT BBQ and Asian Hot Pot
KPOT takes things to another level, offering both Korea BBQ and Asian Hot Pot
it’s a deliciously fun dining experience where each table is outfitted with two different types of cooking processes that the customers are in control of!
Yes this is a restaurant where customers are delivered their uncooked entree choices (such as beef, pork, chicken, fish and vegetables) which they get to cook at the table via the provided tongs.
And then customers can choose from a variety of delicious sauces from the Sauce Bar, which is setup like a salad bar.
Honestly, I was not completely familiar with this style of dining so yesterday I drove over to South Philadelphia’s Oregon Ave. to visit the KPOT location over there, just so I could share the experience and photos with 42Freeway readers of what to expect in Deptford NJ.
For Korean BBQ, KPOT has outfitted each table with a recessed center hotplate bowl which is easily accessible by all guests at the large tables.
You take your entrees that you’ve chosen and place it right on to the hot plate, where you are in complete control of cooking the food!
It makes for a fun and interactive experience for the dining guests.
You’ll notice that the hotplate picks up black carbon on the bottom, but have no fear… the KPOT system is designed so your server can pop out the hotplate and provide a clean one. (I’d hate to be the person who has to clean them!)
So what is Hot Pot? While I knew about the concept of Korean BBQ I had never heard of Hot Pot, which is a similar concept, but instead guests are given a small hot bowl of delicious soup broth… And in a similar process you get to cook your own meat, shrimp or vegetables in the broth.
So considering that the center of the table is allocated to the BBQ hot plate bowl… The four corners of the large table each have an individual round hot plate where the Hot Pot soup bowl is placed.
For my visit in South Philly, I only went with the BBQ, but i did get to see other folks enjoying the hot pot process
One thing I want to call out is that many of the KPOT locations including South Philadelphia, feature a full bar. But a bar is not a requirement.
At this point I do not know what the plans are for Deptford, regarding a bar, and if I had to bet on it.. I’d say that likely they will not.
As you probably already know, liquor licenses in New Jersey… especially in popular commercial districts like Deptford… are very difficult to acquire, and typically are very expensive.
KPOT South Philly – A Visit
As I mentioned, yesterday I took a ride over to South Philly to try out the KPOT experience for lunch.
It is located on Oregon Ave in the Whitman Plaza, where ShopRite is located.
Honestly it’s only about 5 minutes from the Philadelphia side of the Walt Whitman Bridge, and just blocks away from the popular Tony and Nicks (Tony Luke’s) cheese steak spot.
The South Philly location is a very substantial restaurant with a nicely designed interior… and as mentioned in this location they have a full bar
So let me say this again, I don’t know what the plans are for Deptford regarding a bar, and if I were a betting man I would say that Deptford will not have one… but that is completely unconfirmed.
The South Philly restaurant is long and wide, and you enter in the center of the space to see the full bar directly in front of you.
I visited at lunchtime and was taken to a large booth which likely can seat six people.
While I didn’t pay too much attention to this, I believe most of the table configurations are the same because every table is a custom designed and outfitted for KPOT’s innovative cooking hot plates.
As mentioned they feature a center bowl-like hot plate for BBQ, and four corner hot plates for the hot pot.
I’ve never had Korean BBQ before so I asked my server for some “newbie” guidance!
You are provided a laminated full color menu of the food options, and honestly the choices were very significant.
In each category of beef, chicken, pork, seafood or vegetables there were multiple choices which included a variety of preparations and seasoning.
So honestly after telling my server that I really would eat everything on the menu, I left it to her to bring me out my initial servings.
I was quickly delivered chicken, shrimp, marinated beef and raw onions, to cook for the beef. (But this was round 1. Have I mentioned they are all-you-can-eat?!)
So now this is important! KPOT restaurants are all-you-can-eat…but while you are in the restaurant. If you order too much food to your table and then don’t eat it and try to take it home with you, they reserve the right to charge you for what you take home.
Honestly it makes complete sense. They simply don’t want people ordering a ton of food at the table, cooking it up in the restaurant, and then taking home meals for the week!
Very soon after ordering I was presented with selections including beef (two styles), chicken, and shrimp. I also chose to have serving of rice with my food
My server Angela had already started the heat up in the center BBQ plate, and then started the process to show me how to cook my lunch.
Along with my food delivery they also provided a bowl of butter, and that’s where Angela started… melting butter on the hot plate to give it a good cooking foundation for my raw entrees.
She took my three of my entrees and placed them in separate sections of the plate, and used the tongs to move the meat around to cook it.
Very quickly I “had the ropes down” and thanked her for her instructional assistance, and went about cooking my food.
The plate truly is hot, and you get the sounds of sizzling food and a light hint of smoke coming off the top of the plate!
It seemed most of the food items were sliced thin or small so that they would cook rather quickly on the hot plate, and I’m sure that helps ensure that the food is properly cooked by the customers. So it only took a few minutes for my meal to be ready.
Directly behind the large center bar is the Sauce Bar.
It looks very much like a salad bar but the biggest portion of it is allocated to a variety of sauces which you can use to dip your deliciously cooked meal in.
There was also a section of the sauce bar that had some other food items such as fresh fruit, and I took advantage of that and grabbed myself some delicious pineapples to eat after my dinner… to cleanse my palette.
I paired my meal with a cold fresh beer and a Pepsi.
Angela stopped over several times to check on me to see how I was doing, and yes I crushed that initial set of entrees… and then tried some pork and spicy chicken.
Honestly, even visiting by myself, I had an awesomely delicious time! And absolutely the experience only gets better when you have a group of friends or family with you.
I absolutely will be back soon with the family.
Links and Location
KPOT Korean BBQ (Proposed for Deptford)
Court at Deptford
1500 Almonesson Road
Deptford NJ 08096
KPOT South Philadelphia
330 W. Oregon Ave