After the success of his pint-sized, Michelin-starred Korean sophisticate restaurant Danji, chef Hooni Kim has opened Hanjan, a place that brings more savory innovation with a slightly more downtown feel. Expect fluffy scallion pancakes fried up with local squid, or vibrant, spicy kimchi with molten tofu, but be sure to explore the section of the menu devoted to “fresh killed chicken.” “In Korea, chickens are killed the same day they are served, never seeing a refrigerator before being consumed,” says Kim. “I wanted to bring this same concept to New York.” So he sourced the best chickens he could find locally and has them delivered still warm from the butcher in the early afternoon. He excels at skewers of hearts and skins, prepared simply on yakitori grills and served with house-made ssam jang, a fermented mix of soybean paste, red pepper and walnuts. Justine Hah has authored a smart short list of wines with a focus on Austria and France. A 2007 grüner veltliner Sekt from Bründlmayer handily carries the peppery tang of kimchi fried rice, and Christian Vergier’s 2010 release of Brouilly St-Lager seems built for those chicken skins.
36 W. 26th St., New York, NY
This story appears in the print issue of April 2013.
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