Posts Tagged With: Best Korean in NYC

Jeju’s Six Courser May be the Best Deal in Town

Ok, so now that I got your attention I will tell you the truth.  Jeju Noodle Bar’s deal is most likely not the best deal in town.  Not even close.  There’s a guy in Sunset park’s Chinatown that makes delicious steamed rice noodles for a buck fifty.  You can get an entire meal at the new Momofuku Bang Bar for less then six.  There’s a 2-for-1 groin massage plus flu shot special every other Friday in Brighton Beach.  Its New York City.  There are hundreds of great deals out there.

But Jeju’s Six Courser is unlike anything I’ve had in NYC, and something I would like to repeat.  Like very soon.  The set menu was introduced about three months ago, just in time for me to rediscover this gem in West Village.  the set menu is unconventional and the perfect fit for our sharing style.  Instead of being your average tasting menu that features small dishes, some not on the menu, it showcases the menu highlights at a lower price when combined.  It costs $45 per person.

Jeju Noodle Bar

Jeju Noodle Bar

Jeju is like the Cote (Korean BBQ) of Korean noodle joints.  I’m sure many balk at the idea of a Ramen like noodle bar in a fancier environment, but the concept is not much different than that of a Momofuku Noodle Bar.  At the helm is a man with an impressive resume.  If we would play Fantasy Michelin Stars (and we should) he would have been a first round pick.  Its almost like Jeju’s brand new Michelin star is an afterthought at this point.  But the recent change to get rid of reservations altogether made Jeju more approachable (are you reading Missy Robbins?).   The current set menu:

Roasted Mushrooms – The best compliment I can give to a mushroom dish is that Mrs Z, a Mushroom hater, coming from a long line of mushroom haters, ate and liked this.

Jeju Noodle Bar - Mushrooms

Jeju Chicken Wings – Simple yet your typical (in a good way) expensive light battered fried chicken with a dip you want to dip your car keys in.  But you cant.  Because its keyless entry now.

Jeju Noodle Bar - Chicken

Toro Ssam Bap – This was incredible.  Layers of fatty tuna, scrambled eggs and Tobiko (fish roe) rice.  Nori on the side to help you make the sickest spicy tuna rolls you’ll ever have.

Jeju Noodle Bar - Tuna

Prime Ribeye Ssam – Anything over 4 courses in NYC usually means a “tasting menu” where the meat course consists of a few slices of high end beef.  Here you have 12 oz of perfectly cooked sliced ribeye (they dont ask you how you want it cooked – a good thing).  You can eat it as is or dip in their own nutty Romesco sauce which they should bottle and give away as party favors at the end of the night.  It should go well with scrambled eggs.

Jeju Noodle Bar - Rib EyeGochu Ramyun – There are so many Ramen variations in the city that its hard to understand the difference between Korean Ramyun and Japanese Ramen.  This pork broth carried some serious depth, and is essentially like the best Tonkotsu you will ever eat.

Jeju Noodle Bar - Ramyun

Dessert Course – Your choice of Ice cream or Sorbet.  We had both, like together at some point.  While forgettable compared to the rest of the meal, this was a solid finisher.  This is a GO!

Jeju Noodle Bar
679 Greenwich St (Christopher), West Village
Rating: 2.5 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that.
Recommended Dishes: 6 course menu

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Categories: New York City, West Village | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oiji – Men at Work. Korean Men!

Oiji Jang-Jo-RimFirst, an apology to you readers, both of you, for the lack of quality posts as of late.  Busy with work, family, various projects, avoiding Obama.  Yes, Obama visiting the Daily Show the other day causing major havoc to many New Yorkers trying to go home or just go about their business.  Have you ever seen an American president stuck in traffic?  There’s no such thing.  At some point the entire 52nd st was converted to Obama freeway where no cars or pedestrians could cross from north to south.  Close to three hour commute.  My friend and fellow blogger at Smum County told me today about the commute nightmare of his daughter’s camp that day.  Even the homeless guy on 52nd and 11th had to be temporarily displaced, and knowing him and his apparently very annoying invisible friend, I feel sorry for the poor cops that were tasked with that one.  And for what?  15 minutes of American entertainment.

But I digress, quickly.  Since not even Obama can steal the spotlight of this post about one of the best meals we’ve had lately.  No coincidence it was in East Village.  No coincidence from young chefs opening their first restaurant.  In a way this place reminds me of Tuome nearby.  Very young chefs (I was told 12 years old by our waitress but it was a little loud), playful Asian inspired menus, no desserts (I dont consider the chips dessert) and that overall casual, buzzy East Villagy feel.  In fact since this was a last minute rezzy, I was wondering if perhaps I was underdressed for the occasion after reading on Chowhound that this was more of a chic, romantic joint.  So I asked the guy on the phone if sexy long shorts with sandals (and desperate need of pedicure depending on the light) were ok and he just burst out laughing.  As for the food, plenty of hits, and no bad dish in sight

Fried Chicken –  Started with a bang.  Tapioca flour coated, far from your ordinary battered fried chicken.  Shredded Leeks was a nice touch

Cold Buckwheat noodles – Excellent!  Pretty much exactly what you expect but with the much added bonus of spring Ramps preserved from the previous spring. Those ramps soaked in a lot of punch

Jang-Jo-Rim – Enjoyed this one.  If I have to pick the weakest dish this might be it, though its more of a testament to the other dishes and I still recommend you get it.  Buttered rice once mixed in with the egg and everything else had a nice flavor.  The King Oysters Mushrooms was my favorite part, but the beef shank could have been a little warmer

Truffle Seafood Broth – Best dish of the night.  Mussels, Shrimp, two Crispy Rice “Sheets” that sizzle when the broth is poured table side, need to be softened a little for best taste.  But its all about the beautiful, dark, rich broth that makes this a winner.  Just a small hint of truffle, perhaps not enough to be part of the name, but just right to round up the perfect broth

Oxtail – Finger licking exceptional good.  I was concerned that it would be too sweet but it wasnt.  Pick it up and suck on the bones for the true affect.  More tasty root veggies here.  Really liked the use of veggies throughout the meal.  Their mama must be proud

Potato Chips – The most disgustingly addictive thing I ever ate.  Apparently a thing in South Korea nowadays.

Go!

Oiji
119 1st Avenue (7/St Marks)
$$$
Recommended Dishes:  All of the above

Oiji Fried Chicken Oiji Buckwheat noodles Oiji Truffle Seafood Broth Oiji Oxtail Oiji Potato Chips

Categories: East Village, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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