Support these Korean eateries while indulging in the flavors of the Land of the Morning Calm.
Mul-hwe is a skewered dish with scallops, fluke, perilla leaf salad and tiger’s milk at Kochi.
Sungchul Shim’s first solo project presents traditional Korean dishes with an emphasis on skewers. Kochi, literally meaning “skewer,” combines local and seasonal ingredients for its signature nine-course meal worthy of the royal table. Warm up with skewered scallops before moving on to saengseon-gui (grilled mackerel) and tteokgalbi (charcoal-grilled ribeye stuffed with sweet rice cake), among others. Jooyoung Yang’s beverage menu includes the Signature Pear (soju, Korean pear syrup and sparkling chardonnay) and Plum Island (rum, Korean plum extract and ginger bitters). Youngmi Ham designed the restaurant, showcasing a white marble chef’s counter along with the main dining room with its walnut tables, gray leather chairs and brass globe light fixtures. 652 Tenth Ave., kochinyc.com
This new establishment near the Flatiron District focuses on wood-fired dishes. Chef Hoyoung Kim’s meal starts off with raw mackerel before moving on to jjajangmyeon (Korean-Chinese-style black bean noodles). The latter is not normally seen as an example of fine dining in Korea but rather as an affordable way to celebrate special occasions. However, Kim puts a luxe spin on his version by adorning it with truffles. Finally, the course culminates with roast duck, dry-aged for two weeks and smoked on cherry wood before being slow-roasted and served with half a persimmon. The bar also offers an a la carte menu featuring items such as galbi (ribs), steamed shrimp buns and more. The 42-seat restaurant, designed by Two Point Zero, gives off the rustic vibe of a mountain cabin or smokehouse, which ties in well with the restaurant’s main theme of wood-fired food. 36 E. 22nd St., juanyc.com
Chef Jae Lee stays loyal to his roots while also bringing in local taste in his new restaurant, Nowon. For instance, the seemingly American dry-aged double cheeseburger is adorned with kimchi mayo, and the wok-fired clams combine Korean-Chinese-style black bean sauce with ingredients more familiar to the locals of the East Village, such as chicken and lemon sauce. The chopped cheese rice cakes are a version of a popular Korean street food with a twist of beef, secret spices and soy-pickled jalapenos. Inspired by Lee’s home district in Seoul before he moved to Queens, Nowon is designed to represent a hybrid of both Korean and American nightlife with the dining room resembling a Korean pojangmacha, which encompasses street food and drink vendors. 507 E. 6th St., nowonnyc.com
Photography by: Melissa Hom