Lunch’er Chris Reports: Bulgogi & Kimchi Cart Opens Korean Noodle Soup Cart
A brand new cart has popped up on 49th btw. 6+7th, right next to the 3 year old Bulgogi & Kimchi Cart, and Lunch’er “Chris6Sigma” was kind enough to send in this full report…
One of my street meat favorites, the Bulgogi & Kimchi (B&K for short), has firmly established itself in the 6th ave corridor of vendors by serving tasty grilled Korean meats and tender japchae with unflinching cheerfulness. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Lee are the very definition of a “Mom & Pop” biz, and they’ve expanded to the soup business by bringing on Mr. Lee’s younger brother to operate an adjoining cart at the NW corner of 49th & 6th.
The menu is pretty straight forward – noodle soups consisting of a dashi broth, ramyun or udon noodles, and a topping such as bulgogi, dak galbi (spicy grilled chicken), kimchi, etc. There are also a few special items such as jjampong – Chinese style seafood and noodle soup in a spicy broth, jajangmyeon – udon noodles in a rich black soybean sauce, tteokbokki – rice cake batons in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce, and a veggie and spicy tuna kimbap. The menu’s prices range from $5-$8, so it certainly meets ML cost objectives.
Upon receiving my order for spicy chicken udon soup, the somewhat taciturn younger brother put a pot of broth on to boil, dropped in a packet of noodles (yes – all the noodles are off-the-shelf neoguri or shin ramyun), and to my amusement, ran over to the B&K cart for a small serving of spicy chicken. I suppose it makes sense for the B&K cart to provide the proteins and let the soup cart focus on the noodles.
The soup unfortunately doesn’t come with any side items such as rice or kimchi, but is a fair deal at $6. Ingredient wise, you’ve got 5-6 chunks of tender spicy chicken, a few sheets of odeng (fish cake), chopped scallions and a good portion of udon noodles in a savory dashi broth. It was a bit salty, but still tasty and not overly spicy. You’ll want to improvise a bib, as the udon noodles have a nasty habit of flipping flecks of red broth every which way. I should also note that the timing of this cart’s opening is a bit injurious with the rising mercury – hot noodle soup is more suited to cold weather, IMO.
Despite the simplicity of the meal, its incongruity with the coming summer months, and its potential to ruin a shirt and tie with one careless flick of a noodle, I love the idea of getting Korean noodles from a cart in midtown. Now if they only served soju, I’d be one happy boy.
The + (What someone who likes this place would say)
- Korean noodles? In my midtown? MOAR!
- Tasty, filling, authentic, and cheap – it’s the very definition of a good Midtown lunch vendor
- Aside from Hyo Dong Gak and Shanghai Mong in K-town, this is one of the few places to find jajangmyeon and jjampong in Manhattan.
- If the owners of B&K and Noodle Soup were any sweeter, they’d give you diabetes.
The – (What someone who dislikes this place would say)
- OMGz, they use off-the-shelf packet noodles! I can like, buy those at H-mart for $1.
- This $6 bowl of noodle soup just left a red stain on my $260 Zegna shirt.
- It’s so damn hot! …ramyun was a bad choice.
- Seafood. From a cart. ‘Nuff said.
Korean Noodle Soup Cart, 49th btw. 6+7th