Sunday, March 22, 2009

Incredible BBQ at Hanjoo in Murray Hill

Alright, so you already know that my favorite spot to get Korean BBQ in Flushing--or NYC for that matter--probably would have been Imonae Gui. Unfortunately, I just learned that the business has been taken over by new management--and I have yet to try it since.

However, I was happily introduced to an extremely scrumptious and high quality alternative, one that really compares to the old Imonae, perhaps even takes the crown. This place is located in the small, but bustling commercial neighborhood surrounding the MurrayHill LIRR station, east of downtown Flushing. There's no shortage of Korean restaurants around here, but this BBQ joint is a true gem.

It's called Hanjoo Chik Naengmyun & BBQ (or simply Hanjoo by the English signage) and is located on 149th Place, bet. 41st and Barclay Aves. Originally specializing only in naengmyun (cold noodle dishes), Hanjoo has taken to barbecuing with impressive confidence. The first thing that caught my eye was the grill: a slab of crystal placed over the fire. Hanjoo's is the only place I've ever seen with this. Next, the meat. It was thick and juicy and satisfying. We got Samkyopsal and the slabs of meat were well looked after by our waitress as they simmered on the crystal plate. Finally, what really caught my attention (and palette) was the rice on squash--dark blue chakokbap ("mixed grain" rice) on top of a slightly sweet cut of orange squash. The contrasting colors complimented nicely and the sweetness of the squash melted subtly into the rice.

prices: comprable for Korean BBQ (~$15-$20/person)

service: A (fast)

food: A+

Check it out:
Hanjoo 41-06 149 Pl. Flushing, NY 11355

Best way to get here:
Take the LIRR Port Washington Line to Murray Hill Station ($3.25 City Ticket on weekends--app. 25 mins from Midtown).

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Learn more about NYC's other Murray Hill in this interesting Times article about the neighborhood's changing demographics (written in 2003).

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