Since the last review a few months ago we’ve been back to this K-Town gem at least 6 times, and each time there was a considerable wait! It’s amazing how popular this place is. Once you’ve eaten here you will understand why.
Located in the heart of Korea Town, New York City, on 9 W 32nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, this place is very easy to get to. Just steps away from Herald Square on 34th Street, it is easily accessible by public transportation – which is highly recommended since the traffic and parking in the area is INSANE!!
Once seated though, the trip over and the long wait time is forgotten as you pore through the sizable menu trying to decide which dish to have. Since we’ve been here several times in the past, we are slowly working our way through the menu. Of course, there are some dishes that we order time and again because we are simply addicted to them like the Dol Pan Kimchee Bokum Bap (their signature Kimchee Fried Rice) below.
Dol Pan Kimchee Bokum Bap – Kimchee Fried Rice, one of their signature dishes. Served table side on a sizzling stone pan, the fried rice is mixed with some mozzarella and a beaten egg to produce a creamy, cheesy, spicy mixture of goodness. The crispy, chewiness of the short grain rice is accented by the creaminess of the egg and melted cheese which also tempers the spiciness of the kimchee. Available with a choice of beef, chicken, seafood, or none for vegetarians. This is one of their most popular dishes almost every table orders this.
Ogam Extra Crispy Chicken Wings – Triple fried for extra crispiness and bathed in a sweet, salty, slightly spicy garlic soy reduction, these wings are surprisingly moist, tender and incredibly addicting. Great for late night snacking with copious amounts of beer.
Banchan – the ubiquitous assorted side dishes traditionally served with cooked rice. The variety of the dishes depend on what is available to the chef that day.
Oh Gyup Sal Gui – Five layered grilled pork belly. Unctuous, rich, meaty, with a crispy char. served with a side of pickled onions marinating in a sweet soy vinegar bath. The pickled onions add a delicious counterpoint to the richness of the meat complemented by the creaminess of the steamed short grained white rice. For even more deliciousness, add some salt to sesame oil for use as a dipping sauce for the meat.
Go Dung Uh Gui – Whole grilled mackerel. Moist and flaky, with a crispy char on the outside and served with a choice of cha dol deonjang jjigae (Korean bean paste stew with beef brisket), kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew with berkshire pork belly), or a small mool naeng myun (buckwheat noodles in a cold beef broth). We ordered the cha dol deonjang jjigae which was spicy, rich and savory. Personally, the accompanying side was unnecessary as the mackerel was substantial enough. Be advised, however, that there are bones in the fish so be careful.
Ju Mok Bokum – Stir fried baby octopus and berkshire pork in a sweet, spicy house special gochujang sauce, served in a sizzling cast iron platter. Deliciously hot and spicy. Best eaten with glutinous short grained white rice, since the creaminess of the white rice tempers the spiciness.
Yangnyeom Galbi – Prime marinated grilled beef short ribs. Flavorful and juicy with just the right amount of char from the grill. in a word – Yum!
Hae Mool Cheese Ddukboki – Rice cake and fresh seafood in a spicy house sauce covered in a layer of mozzarella cheese. Another one of their signature dishes. Sweet and spicy with a creaminess from the rice cake noodles and melted mozzarella, and a slight saltiness from the seafood. This is a pan full of ooey gooey goodness.
Overall, this place is solid. We’ve not been disappointed yet given the number of times we’ve been there. Oh wait, there is one disappointment – they have one dish in their menu that they are always out of. The Chilean Sea Bass Chicharon. I always order this whenever we come and am always told that they don’t have it – pretty annoying actually. Why not take it off the menu and just have it as a special in a separate addendum to the menu?
Barring the Sea Bass Chicharron issue, this is a place that we will definitely be frequenting.