We’ve mentioned several times now that Chinese food is better in Queens (mostly Flushing) and that Chinatown in Manhattan is a real disappointment these days. We’ve been hearing the same from our Korean friends about Korean food. The restaurants in Queens and New Jersey are now favored over K-town (32nd Street between 5th and 6th avenues in Manhattan) for both quality and quantity/price.

Last night, our friends, Angie and Scott, took us to Hahm Ji Bach (Bayside location)Hahm Ji Bach to witness the differences for ourselves. Right off the bat, there’s at least 30% more panchan. Yet Angie complained that they must have cut back, not offering the steamed egg and whole fish panchan. Lon hovered over the tiny dried fish while I ate lots of bean sprouts. The kimchee was also nice, lighter than usual and rather refreshing. The rest was pretty standard.

panchan panchan 2

Our favorite offering was the complimentary soup. A full bowl was given to each person. (You get less when you pay for soup at most Western restaurants.) My best guess is that it’s made of beef, escarole, and some kind of crushed bean.

On to stuff we actually ordered: We saw lots of people having pork belly so we gave that a shot. It’s not marinated, just sprinkled with a bit of sea salt, grilled at your table, and served with a dipping sauce.

pork belly

My favorite at Korean BBQ is always Galbi, marinated beef rib. The meat was extra moist. Good thing we got 2 orders.


Of course, the regular accompaniments were given: lettuce to wrap it in, dressed scallion curls, thin slices of pickled radish, fermented bean paste, jalapeno and garlic.


We asked for extra garlic. It’s so awesome on the grill, caramelized into garlic candy.

You also get a choice of white rice or “brown rice”, that isn’t really brown. It’s white rice mixed with some purple-ish/dark red-ish rice, which is still as soft as white rice but gives a little nuttiness.
red rice

The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the Haemool Pajeon, seafood pancake, because it was a lot thicker than usual, making it too doughy and kind of chewy, rather than crispy. Lon liked it though.

seafood pancake

All this food for the 4 of us came out to $92.07, which is similar to what you’d pay in K-town, but you get a lot more here, more pan chan and more meat in each order. The service is a lot better too, friendlier and faster. Scott has a place he favors in NJ, so we’ll be heading out there next time.
posted by jessica at 11:46 AM Filed under Asian, Restaurants. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.