Making international cuisine accessible to everyone requires a willingness to adapt recipes without sacrificing distinctive flavors. Kori Tribeca aims to transplant the foods of Seoul to Manhattan, and the New York Times praised its success in creating a menu that is "up-to-date and appealing to Americans but tied to Korean traditions."
Not only do iconic ingredients such as kimchi and Korean-style short ribs populate the menu but the pages also feature authentic cooking techniques. Bibimbap—a mixture of rice, sautéed vegetables, and proteins including pork belly, grilled eel, or organic tofu—arrives at tables in a sizzling stone bowl that continues to cook the dish tableside while diners enjoy the sounds and aromas.
The dining room takes a similar approach, melding small yet prominent aspects of Korean culture into a thoroughly modern setting. A handful of Korean musical instruments and three panels of Eastern Asian artwork adorn the walls. These accents add a distinctive character to the room's otherwise sleek combination of white brick work and black high-backed booth seating.
KuKu Canteen's cooks understand that their fresh Asian fare influenced by Japanese and Korean cooking may appear adventurous to some. That's why the friendly counter staff makes sure to guide their guests toward the right dish through regular, gluten-free, or vegetarian menus available to accommodate special dietary needs.
Regardless of which menu you're referencing, you can expect to find vegetables brought in fresh daily and a number of sauces, dressings, and marinades prepared in-house. Though it's hard to go wrong with any of KuKu Canteen's dishes, the cooks recommend starting out with steamed pork or shrimp dumplings and following those up with their wildly popular kimchi fried rice.
In the backyard of a friend's bar in 2008, AsiaDog cofounders Mel and Steve started testing the culinary limits of the hot dog. They wanted to give the street-food staple a twist that could not be found inside any pushcart. That twist came in the form of ingredients that were a mainstay of their mixed Asian backgrounds. The spicy zing of kimchi. The crisp crunch of daikon. The delicate saltiness of seaweed flakes.
These experiments ultimately gave rise to AsiaDog, a casual eatery that infuses hot dogs and sandwiches with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese flavors. Using beef, organic beef, chicken, or veggie hot dogs as the foundation, the staff piles on toppings such as Chinese-style barbecue pork belly, crushed potato chips, and Japanese curry. They also encase corn dogs in panko breading or kimchi pancake batter, making each hot dog extra comfortable before it’s eaten.
For lunch, design your own dish with a yakiniku grilling set. Try the U.S. Kobe beef set ($22), which includes 3.5-ounce portions of both Harami skirt steak and chuck rib. For non-grillers, the garlic-noodles bowl (from $8) or hot-stone-pot bibimbap (from $8) side well with an order of Kurosawa cold sake ($9). The dinner menu includes everything from grilled veggies such as fresh asparagus ($5), broccoli ($4), or garlic button mushrooms ($4) to spicy Chilean sea bass ($15). Noodle dishes including goma negi ramen or udon ($9) and chicken garlic noodles ($10) round out the menu. For dessert, save room for dorayaki ice cream ($6), in which ice cream is sandwiched between two fluffy pancakes. View complete menus for the Midtown and the East Village locations here.
Though the menu boasts the usual T-bone cuts, new york strip steaks, and lamb chops, Prime & Beyond is not your typical American steakhouse. The tangy smell of kimchi weaves through the dining space, and wagyu beef dishes take the form of hot dogs and sausages, completing the fusion of Asian and North American flavors that Korean-American brothers Kyu and Kevin Lee envisioned when they created the eatery. Known as “Q the butcher,” Kyu takes great pride in his meats, aging them carefully to bring out their full flavor; his wet-aged steaks sit for at least 20 days as 8-ounce filet mignon and 14-ounce ribeye cuts, and his dry-aged meats rest for a minimum of 50 days within the restaurant’s refrigeration unit atop a memory-foam mattress before being shaken awake and cooked.