One thing that continues to fascinate me about New York City is how different each neighborhood is. They each have their own architectural style, type of person who lives there, unique smell (whether it’s food or another aroma), noises and general way of life. This distinction of places doesn’t stand out as much to a tourist, but it becomes more apparent once you live in the city. As a Manhattan newbie, I’ve been working on slowly exploring all the neighborhoods. My roommate, Christina, and I made the quest to Korea town (also known as K-town) one evening for some authentic Korean food.
Upon Christina’s recommendation, we went to New Wonjo.
New Wonjo is a 24 hour Korean BBQ restaurant with noodles, bibimbap, sushi and of course, BBQ. I turned to Christina for advice on what I should order, and she recommended bibimbap – a bowl of mixed rice that comes with a variety of meats, sauces and spices. The kimchi bibimbap – a medley of kimchi, pork, vegetables and egg in hot pot – caught my attention.
Prior to being served our entrees, we were brought out a variety of small dishes to share. Among them were kimchi, cabbage and sprouts. Honestly, I can’t even begin to list what exactly everything was because I wasn’t even sure when I was eating them. All I was sure about was that they were tasty and I was happy. There’s something about Asian cooking spices that always gets my taste buds going.
When my bibimbap was served, I mixed it together so I could taste the elements as one cohesive unit. The pork was delightful and the kimchi was definitely adding heat to the dish. As much as I enjoyed this entree, I had one minor complaint – I was hoping for more vegetables. However, that’s my personal preference when eating so adding vegetables to this dish may derail from the traditional recipe.
The waitress brought out more food as we started the near the end of our meals. We were served Goguma Mattang, a form of Korean sweet potato. This potato had a delightful candied and caramelized taste to it. It acted as the perfect dessert and sweet element to combat all the spice from the kimchi.
Just when I thought I couldn’t stomach any more food, our waitress brought out Sujeonggwa – an after dinner chilled tea. This drink reminded me of cinnamon tea, which I really enjoyed because it aiding me in digesting the mass amounts of food I consumed. When I purchased an entree that cost less than $15, I never imagined I would be given so much food. And in the expensive city of Manhattan, receiving so much food for so little money can be hard to come by.
In a city full of so many neighborhoods and new places to explore, it can be overwhelming to even decide where to get dinner. For cheaper fare and lots of it, New Wonjo is available in K-town.
23 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001
Mon-Sun open 24 hours