Originally, we were scheduled to eat with Costanza and Elaine on our first night in NYC, but since they missed their connecting flight, we would have to do it alone. All the while, we made it into NYC and took our sweet Blacklane limo to our hotel. We considered many different choices, but my son insisted we eat Korean. Well, that wasn't a stretch nor was it a suggestion out-of-left-field because our hotel was right next to K-Town. We were a bit nervous about getting a table since it was Friday night, yet heading out at 9:30pm meant it was not as difficult. We decided to hit up The Kunjip due to its relatively reasonable prices and diverse menu.
Not surprisingly, we were presented with the obligatory Banchan consisting of kimchi, spicy daikon, potato starch noodles, pickled cucumbers, seaweed, pickled daikon and sausages. Nothing was particularly memorable and the kimichi was a bit too sour for my tastes. I found the seaweed a bit difficult to eat as it was dry and chewy. Whatever, it did its job and there wasn't anything terrible. Next we had the Bossam with the usual kimchi radish, hot sauce, fermented shrimp condiment and in this case, oysters (David Chang anyone?). I liked how they served it where the fatty pork was kept warm. It was decently flavourful while buttery soft. When wrapped with the condiments in the blanched cabbage, the whole thing ate quite nicely. I wasn't a huge fan of adding the oysters though as it became too briny and took away from the pork.
Probably my favourite item of the meal was the Kam Ja Tang (pork bone soup). It arrived bubbling hot with many large pieces of pork bone. The meat fell off pretty easily and was super tender and well-spiced. In fact, the whole soup was very flavorful with a balanced spiciness which was accented by a certain meatiness and the herbs, specifically the perilla seeds. Also arriving super hot, the Dolset Bibimbap with beef was quite hearty sporting a bevy of ingredients. I found that the veggies and the big slices of beef were well-prepared. However, the rice was a bit wet and did not form a crust, even with my pushing it to the sides. They forgot to provide us with the side of gochujang until I asked for it.
We really never ate much of the Japchae as I over-ordered and the fact there was something similar with the banchan. However, the appetizer portion was prepared well with chewy noodles that was not overseasoned with sugar. It was a tad greasy though. I liked how there was quite a bit of ingredients to be found including beef. Our last item was the BBQ Chicken that was prepared in the kitchen (we didn't have room to BBQ). The predominantly white meat was seared well, but ultimately was dry and not moist. Despite its shortcomings, the meal was reasonably-priced while the portions were generous. It did the trick for our first meal in NYC.
- Generous portions
- Decent eats
- Not particularly comfortable to sit there
- Hurried service
- Some hit and miss