Friday, December 19, 2014

"But the last stop on the Flushing Local line is just the beginning of the Korean strip. It stretches east for about five more miles, following the Long Island Rail Road tracks and Northern Boulevard all the way into Nassau County. There are hundreds of restaurants in Murray Hill, Auburndale, Bayside and Beyond, serving famous Korean dishes and obscure ones: beef barbecue and blood sausage; wheat noodles in deep steaming bowls and arrowroot noodles in chilled broth with ice crystals; tofu casseroles and live octopus; Korean-Chinese restaurants and Korean-French bakeries; beery pubs and studious expresso bars; chicken fried in a shattering crust of rice flour and chicken boiled with ginseng.

The Queens kimchi belt has got to be the least explored, discussed and celebrated of the city's great ethnic food-districts. For variety of dishes and excellence of cooking, the only areas that compete are the Japanese clusters in the East Village and the East 40s or the city's three Chinatowns. Koreatown in the West 30s, which was once strong, doesn't even get on the scoreboard.

'I believe that right now, Queens is the closest you can come to authentic Korean food,' said Hooni Kim, the chef of Danji and Hanjan in Manhattan and a frequent prowler of Northern Boulevard. Unlike the restaurants on 32nd Street in Manhattan, Mr. Kim said, 'the kitchens actually cook for Koreans.' And while there are excellent Korean places in and around Fort Lee, N.J., some of which have sibling branches in Queens, Mr. Kim said the flavors along the Northern Boulevard are closer to what he has tasted on his trips to South Korea.

From the December 16, 2014 New York Times article, In Queens, Kimchi Is Just the Start: Pete Wells Explores Korean Restaurants in Queens, written by Pete Wells.

Fact: Flushing, Queens has the best Korean food in New York City.

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