Thursday Stroll Thru K-Town Yields Noodles, New Froyo and the DOH

Han Ah Reum

If you are a longtime reader of the site, you know my boundaries are well defined.  Central Park to the North, 8th Ave. to the West, 3rd Ave. to the East and… er… 32nd St. to the South.  Sure, *technically* it should be 34th, but then I wouldn’t get to eat in Koreatown “for work.”  Today, I found myself walking down 32nd St. btw. 5th & Broadway- past old Midtown Lunch standbys Woorijip and Mandoo Bar, the now closed Arang buffet, and places I have yet to write about, like E-mo.  I settled on the Han Ah Reum Asian Market, where they had noodles and brown sauce as one of their pre-made lunch box options.

$5.50 and you get a free soup… it was just ok, but doesn’t turn me off to trying more of Han Ah Reum’s lunchtime selection.  Next time I want noodles and brown sauce, I’ll get them from Shanghai Mong across the street.  More expensive, but I’m sure they’re better.

Also noticed a few other things…


It’s not a Midtown Lunch, but there were plenty of confused Midtown workers with disappointed looks on their faces walking up to Won Jo and finding it “closed for the day.”  Farther West the signage was a litle more joyful…

Looks like Red Mango finally getting their own location on same block that Pinkberry launched the FroYo madnessin NYC almost a year and half ago.


  • Mmm, my parents make the best noodles w/brown sauce (I only know the Chinese name for these- sounds like Jah-Jong Mein). I haven’t found anywhere in NYC yet that compares (also, it doesn’t seem to be that common around here, although maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places?)

  • The brown noodles in sauce are called “cha-jang-myun”.

  • @mish – You might want to try Sam Won Gak in Queens (the Flushing or Bayside one, both are on Northern Blvd). Sam Won Gak is Korean-style Chinese food (at least that is how it is explained to me, think Chinese food for Koreans).

  • I had a great meal Woorjip today! Just missed you I guess.

  • Wonjo has such good kalbi…. I just had it a couple of weeks ago!

    Zach, if you end up at Han Ah Reum again for lunch, do not get their ddukbokki (rice cakes with spicy sauce) – it’s is rice cakes covered in uncooked red bean paste.

    Red Mango put up their signs first in Flushing…. then Pinkberry swooped in and opened well before them. It looks like Pinkberry beat them in ktown too!

    @ Nicholas – Sam Won Gak IS yummy for jja jang myun for sure!

  • Jhajungmyun! My first ever Korean dish in a restaurant (for serious). Sometimes I eat the packaged kind. It satisfies the sticky/gummy noodle with thick brown sauce need, but my favoritest place will always be Uncle King’s in Flushing on Main St. up by Union, long since DOH’ed and closed. I think it was $5.75 for a bowl about um, 10 years ago. Ah, those were the days.

    PS I’m under the impression the Chinese (Sichuan, I think?) version is super spicy.

  • arang is closed?!?!?!

  • @ arc – the all you can eat buffet they used to have during the day is.

  • @yvo – chinese zhajiang mian is a northern dish. dan dan mian is sichuan and the spicy one.

    years ago i had zhajiang mian at the peking duck house on mott st. not sure if it’s still on the menu. an assignment for the downtown lunch department?

  • Zha jiang mein is kinda like a Chinese spaghetti Bolognese. A meaty sauce mixed with linguine-like noodles. Dude, it’s like comfort food.

    They have something that sounds similar at Hop Won on 45th between Lex and 3rd called, “noodle with spicy meat sauce.” Zha jian mein isn’t normally spicy, but who knows what this version is like? Will try some day.

  • tho i wouldnt wish DOH signage on anyone, wonjo’s pretty awful. the ban-chan tells you a TON about any good korean restaurant, and theirs was by far one of the worst on the block. which is a shame, cause back in the giuliani days, it was actually ok. for grilling, kang-suh is still the best on the block, or better, just go out to hanjibap in queens.

    and sam won gak’s ok, but there are better places out in bayside that unfortunately, i cant quite remember the name of.

  • guh song, imo, is the best chinese/korean restaurant in queens. it’s in bayside, on bell blvd. the owner has been doing this for decades. my family has followed her around queens to whatever reincarnation she opens.

    to be clear, there are 2 types of “jja jjang myun”. the original, which is chinese, is nothing like the korean version. the chinese version, as described above, is meatier and has chunks of veggies, like a chinese bolognese sauce. i am yet to find this version anywhere in nyc – any suggestions?

    the korean version has the thick, gloppy black bean with onions sauce. i have no idea how this came about to be the korean version of the chinese dish, as it’s different besides the noodles.

    in terms of korean kalbi joints in queens, i highly recommend nam oh jung on northern blvd and around 160th street or so in bayside/flushing. ham ji bahk, the 2 locations in queens (murray hill and in bayside), are the best locations for sam gyup sal, the korean pork belly bbq.

  • second Guh Song, I won’t go anywhere else for jja jjang myun

  • Linda, Rai Rai Ken, the Japanese noodle place in the East Village has a version of the Chinese one. Don’t know if i’s any good, but saw it on the menu.

  • There is a midtown location for this dish you must try. It is amazing and 7 dollars. Hyo Dong Gak at 51 w 35th. They give non-asians a different menu and different treatment, so ask for the dish and the kimchee/onions for the table instead of the fried noodles. It is the perfect lunch.

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