Garden Variety

Christian DeVerger | November 5, 2018 | Feature National

Hwaban reinvigorates the Korean dining scene with fragrant florals.
Scallop crudo bursts from the plate at Hwaban in the Flatiron District.

From edible flowers on scallop appetizers to cakes topped with petals of buttercream frosting, florals are key at Mihyun Han’s new culinary creation. Hwaban, the latest restaurant from the Kosaka founder and her husband, Key Kim, captures the essence of the flower in each delicate dish. Inspired by Han’s South Korean upbringing, the menu blends traditional with contemporary, leading to inventive twists on classics, such as sweet shrimp crudo salad with tomato sorbet, seaweed, pickled cucumber and Korean pear; and king crab with poached egg and spinach in pine nut sauce. Each dish is plated with deliberate sensibility, highlighting the natural beauty of ingredients with a focus on floral color. Hwaban also provides a group dining experience, a full-table affair with an array of dishes and soups. The communal table serves as an anchor for the 60-seat space, designed in collaboration with Super Paprika. Rotating floral arrangements and a blossoming light fixture embody the verdant theme, ensuring Hwaban lives up to a name meaning “as beautiful as a flower.” 55 W. 19th St., hwaban.com



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