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Jul 20, 2008 06:42 PM

Sanmaroo - interesting and mixed

So ate at Sanmaroo tonight, which is a new korean restaurant on 8th st bet 5th and 6th. It's a the manhattan branch of a Sanmaroo, which is in Tenafly, NJ. The place itself is actually very nice for a korean restaurant...its got a bar to sit at on the right and a series of tables on the left. Part of the kitchen is exposed (mainly the grill). Its well lit and has an interesting wall that looks like its made of fire wood. The service was reasonably quick and good. It was fairly dead as we were one of 3 tables there.

The menu has all the regular korean dishes that you'd expect at any general korean restaurant, one issue is that they do offer alot, which typically isn't such a great idea b/c you end up with a bunch of just ok food (almost all manhattan ktown restaurants suffer from this), but it is in the village, so i guess they're trying to show all types of korean food

So we got two dishes:
- panchan (small side dishes): these were generally good, just as good as any place in ktown
- nakji bokum (stir fried octopus in spicy sauce): this was good, sauce was right, spicy and tasty, the udon noodles were good...the only thing was that the octopus was a little overcooked. gf and i both liked it
- bibim naeng myun (cold noodles in a spicy sauce): this was bad, the chili sauce was all wrong as it wasn't sweet at all (should be a bit sweet) and the chili sauce just kind of tasted bland. the noodles, sliced pears, pickled radishes were all fine, but the chili sauce just killed the dish. I tried to add more mustard and vinegar, but it couldn't help the dish

despite the bibim naeng myun debacle, I think the place has potential based on the nakji bokum as naeng myun in the city is typically bad anyhow...i look forward to trying more dishes.

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  1. Thanks for the report Lau. How many kinds of panchan did they serve?

    3 Replies
    1. re: DarthEater

      they gave us like 4 or 5:
      - kimchee
      - one made of thing strips of potatoes
      - a vegetable one, i forgot what its called, but it kind looks like eels
      - beat sprouts
      and maybe one other one

      1. re: Lau

        lol, I guess only ktown can satisfy me.

        1. re: DarthEater

          their panchan are fine, quality wise they are just as good as any of the ktown places, but they dont give u like 8-10 like some of the ktown places do

    2. uh well me being korean i know that bibim naeng myun doesnt really have to be sweet. it just depends on the cook who's making it. ok well if it wasnt spicy and just bland theres a problem but its not all wrong if its not sweet....

      3 Replies
      1. re: krnfoodlvr

        well i didn't say it has to be sweet, "a bit sweet" is what i said...alot of good versions i've had of it (none in NY) have been slightly sweet although that maybe a function of the korean pear they put in it. Anyhow, my gf is korean as well (and i'm from LA --> great korean food), but thats beside the point. the point is the sauce was all wrong and wasn't spicy and bland

        1. re: krnfoodlvr

          Welcome to Chowhound, krnfoodlvr. What did you think of Sanmaroo's bibim naeng myun? And where's your go-to place to get it?

          22 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: krnfoodlvr

            Speaking as a Korean, all of the versions of bi bim naeng myun (including my mom's) has been slightly sweet -- perhaps not as sweet as the packets included in the ready-to-go versions, but sweet nonetheless.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. this place still around? and more importantly, do they have bing-suu? been looking for an east village/downtown bing-suu.

              6 Replies
              1. re: bigjeff

                i dont know if they are still ard, haven't been over there since its not that close to me pretty sure they don't have bing su though

                the takoyaki place on 9th st have bing su although its not that good

                Gama on st marks serve bing su, havent tried it there though

                1. re: bigjeff

                  you might want to check out cafe zaiya too...i dont know if they have it, but its the type of place that might have it

                  1. re: Lau

                    on it!


                    so far, it's still koryodang; at least the summer is young! gama eh? interesting . . . makes sense, it is a cafe-ish type place. how's the rest of the food there, sucks or good?

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      gama's food is alright, its nothing special; my friend likes the spicy chicken wings, they're not bad...ive eaten there once or twice, ive mainly been there to grab a beer

                  2. re: bigjeff

                    Koryodang should have bing soo. I had a huge one there one summer with ice cream, fruit and everything.

                    1. re: janethepain

                      yeah they do have it, but i think he was looking for something downtown / e village