UFC’s lightly fried, thoroughly crispy, delicately sauced Korean-style fried chicken has been both praised and profiled by the New York Times and New York Magazine. Fresh cuts of meat fry in oil free of trans fat and cholesterol, pulling out the fat in the skin and leaving each piece without the build-up of grease that makes American fried chicken so difficult to properly throw. The resulting crunchy exterior gets doused in a coat of one of four sauces, including traditional Korean soy garlic or tangy American barbecue mustard.
"It's a game of chicken wing roulette," remarks Simon Chin on the Gentlemen Know Style blog. He's talking about Debasaki's gyoza wings, which forgo bones for the kind of stuffing you'd find in the traditional Asian dumpling. The chefs fill the meaty morsels with corn, shrimp, hot peppers, or a blend of veggies—order the combination platter, and you'll know exactly what Chin was talking about. Korean fried chicken, both stuffed and otherwise, is the highlight here: aromatic plates of wings that Serious Eats calls "blissfully meaty" with a "spicy gloss [that] is enough to snap you to attention, but not enough to overwhelm the interior." But there's also plenty for the adventurous: kimchi fried rice comes adorned with an over-easy egg to temper its blazing spice, and the seafood oden soup brims with a medley of mussels, fishcakes, crab, and dumplings. As diners cleanse their palates with spoonfuls of green tea ice cream, a ritzy cosmopolitan décor complements feasts with playful, jellyfish-like light fixtures and geometric furniture.
For almost 25 years, Gammeeok has been treating hungry New Yorkers to authentic Korean dishes. The menu includes classics?like bibimbap?as well as lesser-known gems, like seolleongtang, a white ox-bone broth brimming with brisket and wheat-flour noodles, which The New York Times dubbed one of "two things Korean food lovers can't live without". Other must-trys include abai soondae, a sausage stuffed with pork, sweet potato noodles, and steamed pig's feet, and the platter of briny raw oysters, sliced steam-softened pork belly with radish and white kimchi.
Bon Chon Midtown's enticing menu of Asian fusion fare entertains taste buds with a tantalizing spread of fresh local veggies, juicy cuts of chicken and short rib, fresh seafood, and eclectic cocktails. The restaurant's signature Korean-style fried chicken dances across palates with the wholesome flavor of vegetarian-fed poultry free from hormones, antibiotics, or opinions about whether the egg preceded it. As guests sip specialty soju cocktails or frosty draft beers, they can admire Bon Chon Midtown's ultramodern décor, which showcases onyx-black tabletops and pristine white furnishings.
Korean Express’s ensemble of chefs sears traditional eats on hot stones, filling the shop with a piquant bouquet of steam. In the bustling kitchen, fingers fly as they prepare a variety of time-honored dishes such as hot-stone bibimbap and savory seaweed rice rolls that only respond to questions when addressed by their Korean name, kimbap. Proof of the kitchen’s dedication to the region's culinary traditions is evident in the use of established ingredients including sweet-potato noodles, kimchi, and handmade boiled dumplings that don't require a chopsticks-to-fork converter.