Monday, January 17, 2011

Food Gallery 32 01-14-2011

Location: 11 W 32nd St.
Time: 1pm
People: MKang and myself

Feelings: If you feel intimidated by all the options in Korea Town, this food court concept was created for you. The food hall/food court invasion in Manhattan continues with this extensive space serving predominantly Korean dishes as well as Taiwanese and Korean influenced Chinese and Japanese food.

The ordering system is similar to the one I experienced at my recent trip to Bon Chon. When you go in, you would place your order at the cashier counter where you're given a buzzer a la Outback Steakhouse. There were seven restaurants to choose from, but without reviewing the entire menu thoroughly, I ordered Jjol Myun ($7.95, thick chewy noodles with veggies in spicy sauce) from Big Bowl Noodle House. I later saw perfectly unhealthy and interesting "Cheese Ramen" and regretted not reviewing the menu better. That may have been a better post considering I write for Ramen and Friends.

When the buzzer vibrates and lights up, you pick up your food from the station you ordered from. If you order from various different stations, it might make your pick up more difficult. Also if you go with a big group, you might end up losing someone, but on the other hand, it might be a good way to lose an unfortunate blind date. I ordered 'to stay', but mine unfortunately showed up as a take out. There is a massive seating area available on the second and third floor, and oddly, also a cell phone shop present on the second floor. This made me smile since setting up an unexpected store in the middle of food court is truly a quintessential Korean and Japanese marketing style.

My jjol-myun was spicy and chewy and a perfectly tasty lunch. The flavor was not the best compared to other authentic Korean restaurants, but considering this is a food court, it was adequately delicious. MKang enjoyed her kkan poong ki bob, and she went back on the weekend to get some more.

The space was surprisingly empty, so I would definitely go back to try other dishes before the New York Times crowd gets wind. I do feel that this food court would do much better if it was located in non Asian food central since it is perfect for K-food beginners.


Anonymous said...

The ramen tastes like instant ramen. They put yummy stuff in the soup, and it's probably the most delicious instant ramen you could hope to have, but at the end of the day it's still instant ramen. For $5, it's not a horrible deal, but there's much better food to be had.

Btw, you're wrong about the location. This place could not survive with a mostly white clientele. Most people *don't* want to try new things.

Yosh. O said...

I hear you about the K-ramen. Korean ramen tends to be more instant ramen-esque unlike Japanese ramen.

Mina said...

Gee, I wonder how all the ethnic restaurants manage to stay in business in New York if most New Yorkers don't like trying new things.