New Seoul Garden’s chefs conduct culinary tours of East Asia without setting foot on the continent. Instead, they bring the food stateside through a hefty menu of Korean and Japanese specialties, including barbecue and sushi. Like shark-themed mylar balloons, most of their entrees celebrate seafood such as sushi with squid and salmon, though many plates star beef or chicken. Hot-pot dishes actually simmer at the table; rolls of soft-shell crab or sweet shrimp come into being at the sushi bar. The restaurant's interior itself bespeaks Asian roots; spindly tree branches open toward a skylight and several low tables are ringed with mats or seats for sitting on the floor. East Asian fans and artwork cover the walls, culminating in a rooftop tier that evokes a pagoda.
Since 1988, Charlie Kangs Restaurant has treated its customers to hearty, homey Korean and Chinese cuisine. Tender morsels of beef, fresh veggies, and fried egg bubble in stone bowls of bibimbap, and jajangmyeon noodles glisten with a savory black-soybean sauce.
The fare in an average lunch box is typically nothing to get very excited about, as it usually consists of convenient foods such as leftovers or crumbs found in between the couch cushions. But Tomo's bento boxes break the mold and eschew the cartoon characters, too. In each box, the chef pairs the sushi or sashimi of the day with gyoza, inari—fried tofu—barbecue beef, or tempura. Boxes are complemented by orders of baked mussels, fried chicken wings, and mushrooms stuffed with spicy tuna.
Soho's low-lit dining room is cut in half by a meandering line of smooth, barren tree trunks. This touch of nature where it's least expected creates an aura of romance that complements the menu's artistically rendered Japanese cuisine. But sushi isn't the only highlight here; the restaurant also specializes in Korean dishes such as beef bulgogi. There's even some attention paid to contemporary trends, especially on a brunch menu that features Asian omelets and chicken katsu benedicts.
Sushi Kami's chefs bring the distinct flavors of Southeast Asia to metro Detroit as they craft entrees using Japanese and Korean cooking techniques. They carefully carve fresh eel and king crab into exotic maki, sushi, or specialty rolls. The multitalented chefs also assemble customized bento boxes during lunch service, filling each compartment with chicken katsu, sauce, and a series of smaller bento boxes.
The seasoned chefs at Biwako Sushi, led by head chef and owner Andy Kwon, concoct a variety of traditional Japanese and Korean dishes, often experimenting with playful sushi arrangements. Rolls can be found laid out in neatly staggered rainbow rows, organized into the shape of a heart pierced by an arrow, or arranged as tiny dioramas populated with plants, sushi clusters, and tiny sushi traffic lights. Casual splashes of soy sauce and garnishes surround exotic and custom rolls, tightly wrapping ingredients such as tempura shrimp, masago, and eel.
The more than 25-dish menu also encompasses Korean meals such as kalbi, bibimbap, and tonkatsu, letting diners sample a range of flavors without having to stow away in a UN ambassador's luggage. When not crafting dishes in the secrecy of the kitchen, Chef Kwon teaches others the art of sushi-roll preparation in hands-on classes.