Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 28, 2008 09:48 AM

Korean restaurant with good variety of banchan (side dishes)?

Which Koreatown restaurant has the best banchan? I like Kum Gang San but is there anything better? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I also like Madangsui a lot, and Shilla is oK too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jeanki

      I would have to agree that those are probably the better restaurants for banchan. Kun Jip is also decent as well. Won Jo, even though the restaurant is good, their banchan is stale.

      Gam Mi Ok -- even though they only serve kimchi, it's the best kimchi in K-town. I always have to ask for a second helping when I'm there.

      1. re: Miss Needle

        agree with miss needle and jeanki on madangsui and gam mi oak (best kimchi and gak dugee), chung moo roo is also not bad panchan wise

    2. Woo Chon has the most traditional array of banchan in town. The restaurant is old and the atmosphere is dated. However, it's a good old-school Korean restaurant (that also happens to make the best kimchi around.)

      8 Replies
      1. re: MetroDad

        I never thought Woo Chon's banchan was anything out of the ordinary. But they have this great spicy lamb and perilla seed casserole that you can't easily get in the other places.

        1. re: Miss Needle

          do they have lamb too? i thought it was goat. but i may be mistaken..

          1. re: liveloveat34

            I know some Korean restaurants have this goat dish, but Woo Chon has lamb. Perhaps they ran out of lamb and substituted goat one day. I don't seem lamb and goat too often in Korean cuisine.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              Country Korean can often have goat. We have a Korean restaurant around Orange County, CA that specializes in goat.

              1. re: Hoc

                You definitely see some Korean stuff on the West coast that's harder to find on the East coast. In fact, that's where I had fugu -- at a Korean specialty restaurant in LA.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  that hae jang gook place yang pyung on 33rd used to have a goat casserole that was good (unfortunately it's now closed)

                  miss needle - did u have fugu at dae bok in LA? (i had it there a few months back)

                  1. re: Lau

                    Lau, I don't remember the name of the fugu place. It was about five years ago. But it was a pretty modest place that only served fugu in different ways. I had it sashimi style and cooked in gochujang. I preferred the gochujang one. But I've got to say it really wasn't that tasty -- I think people do it for the fear factor.

                    Did you like your fugu?

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      you know i thought it was just okay, there was a panchan that used the skin that i did like alot, but the actual dish was a stew and i didn't think it was any different than most other white fish

                      i would like to try it when im better able to taste the flavor, but i have a feeling that id probably feel the same was as you

      2. I have def. heard kum gang san has the best banchan (and maybe not much more going for it); dae dong sometimes has some nice stuff, various seafood kimchis and some actual banchan that could pass for entrees if the portions were larger.

        1. Please please stay away from KGS-it's a tourist trap!

          I visit Dae Dong just for the Spicy Soft Shell Crab Banchan, which is truly tasty. This a complimentary side dish which is not served at a lot of Korean restaurants along 32nd St.

          I also like KunJip's egg soufflee (Gyeran Jjim)