Muk Eun Ji’s Lunch Specials Are Another K-Town Lunch Bargain

Mukeunji exterior

Any savvy luncher in New York knows by now that Koreatown (32nd St between 5th and 6th Ave) is a wonderland of cheap and filling lunches. In fact, it’s almost becoming difficult to choose between the overflow of options – Shilla, Food Gallery 32, Woorijip, Miss Korea, Arirang, etc etc. Last week, I stumbled across yet another lunch deal at Muk eun ji, the reincarnation of the old Hang Gang space, where you have an option of at least 10 different dishes that fall at or below the $10 price range.

Global Kitchen bibimbap

All of the lunch options come with plenty of panchan, or side dishes featuring various pickled or fermented vegetables, kimchi, potato salad, and in this case, a pair of spicy kimchijeon (kimchi pancakes).

kimchi jjigae

On my visit, I ordered the kimchi jjigae ($9.99), the ubiquitous Korean stew featuring nubs of pork, firm blocks of tofu, and of course plenty of the restaurant’s namesake, muk eun ji, or aged kimchi. At Muk eun ji, the ingredients swim in an astonishingly spicy and pungent broth, which is served blazing hot atop a small burner. The meal is also served with a cooling side of white rice – in this case, a necessity to tame the fire of the soup. And like most of the restaurants in K-town, the food arrives commendably fast, and my kimchi jjigae clocked a little less than 10 minutes from order to table. Not that you’ll want to slurp this meal with haste – the soup is damn hot, the panchan is free, and the calm, cool, and dim dining room is an attractive break from a busy day of work.

Check out the full menu of lunch specials here.

Muk Eun Ji, 34 West 32nd St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-736-0099

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