>> Hanyang Bunsik | Eat the World NYC

28 February 2019

Hanyang Bunsik

The entrance to look for, just behind the Korean pears.

If you believe everything that is said on Yelp, a website that seems to exist for the sole benefit of grudge holders, you probably would not ever venture out of the house. When it concerns this almost 20-year old business, the grudges seem severe and anger the biggest takeaway. But then again, I saw none of Yelp's usual demographic while eating here on a few occasions, they are obviously not the target of the vibe here. My neighbors at other tables were in their 40's, 50's and up, many times eating solo or sometimes in pairs with beers, soju, and arguments.

Regardless of whether the food is edible, as some folks seem to think not, I like it here. The 24 hour establishment has changed hands in the last couple years, but remains a good place to hide if nothing else, the wooden tables and benches a quiet respite from Northern Blvd and the busy Hanyang Mart to which it is attached. Come in through the building's only entrance off the parking lot and turn left when you see "Snack Corner," or Hanyang Bunsik if you can read Korean.

During the 1960's rice was scarce in the Korean Peninsula, so the government started promoting foods that were made from flour (bunsik). Nowadays the term is more generally used to talk about all manner of inexpensive Korean dishes, and many restaurants take on this name if that is the type of business they are offering.

The menu above the kitchen and on the surrounding walls promises a lot of options, but all in Korean. If like me you are unable to read the language yet, get your hands on one of the laminated menus stuck in a corner somewhere and sit down before choosing. Rushing this decision would be unhealthy, as the kitchen can cater to any mood and you might find something you were not expecting.

In the mood for something warming on my last visit, I chose the odengguksu ($7, below) a clear broth with noodles and soft fish cake. It is plain, but sometimes that is exactly your soup mood. Coming in from the cold, it was heaven.

A couple vibrantly red banchan are served beside it, making for a varied assortment of flavors and textures, but a jar of earthy red pepper paste is on every table and can make even the plainest soup full of fire as well.

A stroll back to the full grocery inside of Hanyang Mart provides a little stretching of the stomach while perusing the aisles. Treasures are always to be found when exploring grocery stores in different parts of town than where you live. If you can get there of course. Stalls with clothing, other snacks, and everything in between are there to slow you down.

Exterior of Hanyang Mart on Northern Blvd.

Han Yang Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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