Madangsui - taking the bbq crown
After hearing some vague reports about this place, my gf and decided to go there to try it tonight. I'll get to the point, its definitely the best korean bbq in Manhattan. Its on 35th bet 5th and 6th on the northside of the street. It's actually pretty nice for a korean bbq restaurant as its pretty modern looking with nice wood paneling and reasonably well lit. It was jam packed, we actually had to wait (only place ive ever had to wait for in ktown is kunjip at like 3am after everyone goes there from drinking)...more importantly it was jam packed with korean people (i'm believer in the whole thing where if you go to a restaurant and its filled with people from the same ethnicity as the restaurant its usually good). I think they are somewhat english challenged, but luckily my gf speaks korean so it always makes things easier in korean restaurants.
Anyhow on to the food:
- Banchan (small dishes they give you at the beginning of the meal) - they give you a ton of panchan, my favorite was the blue crab, which is served raw and in a semi sweet gochujang type sauce, its similar to like a shanghainese crab dish where they serve it raw, but its marinated in wine for a long time. Also liked the egg dish, i dont know what its called, but its like egg thats been boiling in a hotpot with some water and its like a really fluffy omelette type of thing. They also gave us free chigae (tenjang chigae) and some kimbap type of stuff....great service on that front
- Saeng Kalbi (unmarinated kalbi) - i had heard this place specializes in it b/c the meat is like not frozen or fresher in some manner...i generally don't like saeng kalbi, but we got it anyhow. It was good, meat was nice and buttery and tasted good...i think id go back to try the marinated kalbi, but if you like saeng kalbi this is good
- Sam gyup sal (pork belly strips) - this is like huge strips of thick bacon...sooo good, they made it very well here, had good flavor and we both thought it was very good
Definitely will be coming back as A) its nicer than most ktown restaurants and B) the bbq is much better than most of the restaurants in manhattan ktown (which are very mediocre, im from LA, so i can be somewhat of a snob about this). Highly recommend