Moim @ 206 Garfield Pl
- soupcommie Jun 25, 2007 05:03 AM
There is a new restaurant, "Moim", billed as Modern Korean Cuisine, on Garfield Place just east of 7th Avenue in Park Slope. I looked at the menu on the door and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't predominantly meat, which was my association with Korean cuisine. I decided to try it this past Saturday. I had a rice and vegetable dish cooked in a hot stone and my wife had a dish of rice noodles in Asian vegetables. Both were excellent, with distinct and vibrant flavors. We had an appetizer of mussels in a delicious broth. The portions are somewhat on the small side. I would guess that the mussel appetizer had about twelve mussels, so I was mildly irked that two of them were unopened and therefore not to be eaten. (I didn't bother to complain about this to the owner, who greeted us as we left and asked how we liked the food.) Other than that, we both thought the food was superb and would go back. They don't have a liquor license just yet, but expect it soon. In the meantime, they invite you to bring your own wine, with no corking fee. Has anyone else tried this place? Please post if you have. Thanks.
I ate here last week and agree that it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, but with some reservations -- mainly that their prices are a bit high and that some of their dishes are underseasoned. You are encouraged to order banchan, when the norm at Korean places– particularly for a restaurant at this price point – is to provide them gratis. After you place your order a very limited selection of "house" banchan is brought to you, at no cost, but it would be best to know this before you order (BTW, the house banchan was white kimchi, seaweed salad, and soybeans.) I heard our waiter giving a table near ours a hard sell about banchan, encouraging the customers to order some by saying that Korean food is "all about the banchan." This isn't necessarily misleading, just in the sense that he was implying that it was customary to buy banchan at Korean places. When you are paying $22 for kalbi, you should expect a "free" and varied amount of banchan.
And about that Kalbi: it was fine, but not great, bland with some less than tender pieces and it was served with a dipping sauce that was far too mild, almost like pure miso without any pepper kick (in contrast to pepper miso sauces usually served with kalbi). I had the black cod in red pepper sauce ($19)and it was beautiful and delicious, perfectly cooked, but the sauce was sorely underpeppered. I think they are aiming for a more upscale, "refined" take on Korean, but it is a bit too delicate. We started with a delicious seafood pancake (pajun) that was perfectly light and crisp and a bit creamy inside. We also tried a pork with tofu appetizer, which was good – bits of pork in kimchi with hunks of standard tofu. The restaurant space itself is attractive – sort of a Long-Tanish look to it and they have a great-looking bar for when they get their liquor license.
I have hopes for this place and will try it again, but they should get their banchan act together.
Park Slope is still in need of an authentic Korean restaurant.
On my maiden voyage to Moim last week, something I had been eagerly anticipating for over a month, I was saddened to learn that "modern Korean cuisine" actually means mediocre, overpriced, bland food.
For starters, banchan, which is (a) free in every Korean restaurant in the universe, (b) generally homemade, and (c) often a point of pride amongst chefs and grandmothers alike - is neither free, fresh, nor flavorful at Moim. The kimchi, for example, which arrived in a thimble-sized bowl, appeared and tasted as if it had been purchased by the bucket from Costco. And the mandoo (dumplings), which were of the H-Mart freezer-section variety, were priced at an insulting $8 for five pieces.
As for the entrees (all priced at $18 and above), they all seemed to have a generic, very weak red pepper sauce plopped atop them. It actually got to the point where I could no longer discern beef from pork. Given the limited menu, the few entrees that they do prepare (and at the pricepoint they are offering them) should be better marinated/seasoned, and presented. The addition of some sesame oil to the chapchae would be qood start.
The space, however, is what steals the show. What was once an old-school Chinese laundry - think Calgon commercial - has been transformed into a Marcus Samuelsson type dining room from which the spacious, newly created sub-basement kitchen is viewable from the cedar-lined outdoor space. Very, very nice. Clearly a lot of money and thought went into Moim's construction - but aside from a some framed prints and a few pieces of pottery, the decor does not suggest that the restaurant is Korean owned and operated. It could become a Spanish tapas bar next week, and it wouldn't even require a paint job.
The owner, who greeted customers at their tables, seemed like a pretty nice guy. And the waitstaff, who claimed to have been plucked from the chef-owner's prior place of employment, also seemed friendly and knowledgeable.
I wish Moim much success, but I'd like to learn that they've got the basics down before I went back.
I was so excited to finally have a local Korean restaurant...until I finally had dinner here. summed up in 5 words: DISAPPOINTING. WILL NOT BE BACK. The food was overall really salty. The flavors were there, but it's like they were being masked by a wall of salt. Moreso than that, the service was really rude--it's like you were doing the wait staff a favor to have them serve you. Things definitely need to change for this place to survive.
I noticed this place for the first time last week. I agree that making someone pay for banchan is a bit greedy. Especially when the prices are so steep already. Too bad- I was excited about a Korean place in the Slope finally.
I had lunch there recently. I think if you are to eat here you need to adjust your expectations from traditional Korean restaurants. You're not going to get the superfluous complimentary banchan (last week in Flushing, I received about 13 including a couple of casseroles). The portions will be smaller and the food probably not as spicy. You will pay more here than in K-town or Flushing.
That said, I thought their kimchi pork mandoos were awesome. Really generously filled and well-seasoned, they didn't need the dipping sauce. I actually thought it was better than what I have received at traditional restaurants -- perhaps I like the larger meat to dough ratio.
The dol sot bi bim bap was well done. It was served sizzling hot and stayed really hot. It's really hard to screw up that dish unless you use really old fixins. The kimchi (that came with my bi bim bap) was actually spicier than what you would find at most Korean restaurants. There was a good level of fermentation as well.
Unfortunately the tacos and minced pork in steamed buns were a bit too sweet for my taste. But I think you can eat well if you order carefully.