New York Kimchi Packs Big Options in an Even Bigger Space
Back in October, Midtown Lunch reported the future opening of New York Kimchi. We didn’t have much in the way of details, but we did know they would be selling kimchi, and that the space was over 7,000 sq. feet. This, to me, seemed like a huge store simply for selling kimchi, but what the hell do I know? A fellow Midtown Luncher sent us an email letting us know New York Kimchi had opened, so I made my way over to, what I could only imagine would be, kimchi paradise.
New York Kimchi is located at 16 West 48th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue. It’s far closer to 5th Ave, and this was an unusually long walk for me to make when it was just a few degrees above freezing outside. Nevertheless, we had reported that this New York Kimchi location was operated by Kum Gang San, who claim to operate the “No. 1 Korean Restaurant in New York City”. That’s a lofty claim to make, and I am in no way the individual capable of declaring that to be true or not, but I like kimchi, so I made the trek.
Walking into New York Kimchi, there is a counter directly in the front. I approached this counter, and something about the look on the employees face immediately clued me into the fact that I was in the wrong place. I looked around, and there was a bar with fresh fruit – yep, definitely in the wrong place. Leading down a long hallway, I found where I needed to be.
The main food area, pictured above, contains three different “sections” broken up into A, B and C. Each station has different lunch items, and each station has a different place to order from. It’s a great idea, in theory, but I found it to be rather unorganized while I was there. I began looking up at the menus above, planning my attack. Please enjoy my lousy attempt at capturing each menu in a picture below (the original files are much larger, which can be viewed by clicking on the image).
There is a bibimbap menu to the right of the kim bap menu.
As I made the walk to New York Kimchi, I envisioned myself ordering a nice rice bowl, with kimchi, fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and, of course, brown rice. I figured this healthy, nutritious meal, plus my longer than average walk would yield an unusually healthy afternoon for this Midtown Luncher. However, all of this came to a screeching halt when I looked up at the last menu:
That’s right, a Korean Style Cheesesteak, I didn’t stand a chance. If someone wants to put marinated prime rib-eye beef (bulgogi), with onions, mushrooms, and peppers onto a flattop grill, then cover it in provolone cheese, and put it between two nicely toasted pieces of bread, who am I to stop them? I figured the only appropriate thing to do in this situation was order the sandwich immediately, and eat it as quickly as possible.
There are a few tables upstairs, but I was more interested in the additional seating available downstairs. I was delighted to find the space almost completely empty, so I sat down and went to work. The sandwich didn’t feel too heavy in the box, but it turned out to be larger than I imagined.
The bread was a little too large for the contents of the sandwich, I was getting bites with just bread and no meat. However, the bread had clearly been placed on the flattop, and the inside had a perfect golden brown crust.
The bulgogi was super moist, flavorful, and scorching hot (temperature hot). The cheese had melted completely, and everything was dripping delicious beef juice. Fortunately, the bread was up to the task, and did a commendable job holding everything together. I had no problem finishing the sandwich without it completely falling apart, although my hands were a total mess.
They definitely didn’t hold back on the veggies, but I could obviously use some more beef, but hey, when is that not the case? I absolutely devoured this Korean Cheesesteak, and at $9.95, it wasn’t the worst deal ever. Sure, it comes out a little over the ML limit, but just take a look at how moist that meat is.
New York Kimchi has way more to offer than what I have shared above, and I can safely say I would order every single item on their menu. The majority of their offerings will bring you +$10, but they have plenty to order that won’t. Take that, as well as a restaurant that is brand new, clean, and nicely appointed, with ample seating space, and you’ve got a recipe for success. If New York Kimchi were a little closer, I would definitely be a repeat customer. This is another welcome addition to the Midtown Lunch menu.
New York Kimchi, 16 W 48th Street (between 5th and 6th)