A Visit to ONDO Jersey City

Jersey City has many great restaurants, but most have a more low key, relaxed vibe. ONDO brings a touch of Manhattan glamor to Jersey City, with the kind of sleek, modern interior that you’d expect to see in SoHo or West Village.  

This Korean restaurant entered Jersey City’s fine dining scene in 2022 and has become a hit amongst locals and visitors from NJ/NYC. Its name comes from the Korean word for “temperature”, and is meant to inspire warmth and positive energy. Run by the same owners behind Domodomo, ONDO occupies a space at Harborside Plaza on Jersey City’s waterfront, right around the corner from Hudson & Co.  

This restaurant is the perfect spot for date nights or special occasions, or just to enjoy a cocktail to start your night. I’ve personally visited ONDO three times now, and it’s still one of my favorite restaurants in Jersey City. 

Here’s the lowdown: 

The Space

The space combines both modern and traditional elements, respecting Korean traditional aesthetics while incorporating contemporary modern elements. On walking in you’ll notice a lot of wood throughout the restaurant, combined with marble and metal finishes. I loved the plants and retro flowerpot lamps, as well as the bud vases at every table. The restaurant aesthetic certainly feels warm and inviting, while retaining a sleek, polished look.

The Food

ONDO’s menu features a selection of Korean classics, as well as innovative, contemporary dishes with Korean flavors and ingredients. All the dishes are incredibly pretty, and definitely photo-worthy. Portions are tapas-size, so it’s recommended to order a few things to split. 

This time I was sad they’d taken the mushroom rice off the menu, as it was my favorite dish on previous visits. In fact a couple on the table next to me had also come for the mushroom rice and were a bit disappointed it was gone. 

Still, I got to try a few new menu items, including the Shrimp Pine Nut Salad, the Hoe muchim with Ssam and the ONDO Beef Tartare. The Hoe muchim was really good, with raw pieces of fluke and yellowtail buried beneath a volcano of cabbage tossed in a spicy Korean dressing. 

In other sittings I’ve tried the Japchae, which is definitely one of the best items on the menu, as well as the Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, the Spicy Octopus Pasta and the Cast Iron Fried Rice. You can’t go wrong with any of the menu items really. 

Dessert-wise they only have a choice of two desserts – this time I tried the Nurungji Panna Cotta with honey nurungji cracker. The cocktails are very colorful and pretty – I ordered the Bando, which contains soju, gin, Aperol, pineapple juice, lime juice and St. Germaine. 

A Final Word

ONDO is one of those memorable restaurants you won’t forget in a hurry, and although it’s on the pricey side for Jersey City, they also have a Happy Hour if you want to enjoy the atmosphere at a fraction of the price. Happy Hour runs from 5pm to 6pm Monday to Thursday, and includes $10 wines, $10 red sangria, and cocktails ranging from $12-$14. They also serve a selection of affordable light bites, such as spicy Korean fried chicken, bulgogi tacos and truffle fries. 

You can also visit ONDO for brunch on weekends – the deal includes a daily soup, a choice of main, and a dessert with tea or coffee for $38.

Found this useful? Check out our list of the best Korean restaurants in Jersey City and don’t forget to follow @jcityinsider on Instagram for more local eats. 

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