After hearing about the marvel of Eastern and Western fusion in the New York Times, I decided that some things needed to be tested and tasted personally. So I hopped on the 6 train and texted some friends. I had about half an hour to wait so I ordered a dirty martini, was not disappointed by the first sip, and smiled knowing that they at least had a decent bar.
While Kori is not located in K-town, they are doing their best to bring K-town and Korea to you. The staff is Korean; the walls hold Korean panel paintings, traditional string instruments, Soju is the vodka of choice, and they still serve Ramyeon (Korean ramen), Bibimbap (number 40 on World’s 50 most delicious foods readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011), and, my favorite – Kimchi Jjigae.
Once seated, we each sipped on Soju martinis and decided to each try one of the three aforementioned dishes. Upon arrival, we held conversation until we each processed the flavors that shocked our taste buds out of their alcoholic buzz. My Kimchi stew – pickled cabbage, organic firm tofu, sliced pork belly, in a spicy stew – still makes salivate as I remember each spoonful.
Kimchi Jjigae is best when the stew and Kimchi are indistinguishable; otherwise you are just eating pickled cabbage and sipping spicy water. This Jjigae was good because the bitter and spicy taste of Kimchi was sweetened by the fatty juices of the pork belly and appropriately simmered to make sure that stew was thick. Try as I might to conduct some attempt at portion control, I all but licked my bowl clean.
When I rose from finishing my stew, I noticed that my friends were equally occupied with finishing their meals. The Bimbimbap was declared too good to share, but I did try some of the Ramyeon and was treated to a saltier stew with equally satisfying spice. With that, we three declared that Kori was worth the hype and the bill.
$75 for three people, including the three cocktails!
Please pick your jaws up off the floor and make a reservation immediately.
P.S. If you are a kinder soul, let your friend taste the Bibimbap!WHERE: Kori-Tribeca 253 Church Street (between Leonard and Franklin) New York, New York Ph. 212.334.0908 By: Mijon Zulu