Kimchi, Chili and Kicking Korean. Dining @ Danji
It has been almost 2 weeks since we dined at Alinea. Now don’t get me wrong we’ve eaten some great food while we have been travelling but I am having what I like to call michelin star withdrawal syndrome. So tonight we are dining at Danji, an unassuming hole in the wall that I stumbled upon whilst walking through the streets of New York yesterday. What a discovery!
We step through the glass door and are greeted and seated. The tiny little space is filling fast and we are glad to get a table. Now up until this point dear Aunty Tanya was feeling a little skeptical about dining at this delightful destination but with the heavenly Korean scent wafting from the kitchen she was an instant convert. The menu is split into traditional and modern Korean dishes and I just don’t know where to begin. Do we have the scallion & Korean pepper pancake, the poached sablefish with spicy daikon or the bulgogi beef sliders. Choice is a difficult thing at times.
Luckily enough we have some fantastic locals Eve and Theresa to steer us in the point of seriously good dining, thanks ladies! Now to the food.
We chefs have a tendency to eat some strange things, for me I eat snails, crickets, sea urchins, animal organs and everything in between. The other thing we like to do is consume as much raw material as possible. So we open with steak tartare with quail yolk, pine nuts and Asian pear.
The meat is phenomenal quality, the yolk gives richness and depth whilst the underlying tartness of Asian pear hums in the background. Even Tanya got involved in this one! The plate is quickly polished off and followed with some crunchy crisp calamari and wasabi mayo. Served with lots of lemon to counteract the wasabi these slippery little suckers get demolished as quick as the tartare.
Next is the only thing we devoured before getting a photo. Dammit Jess! Spicy pork belly sliders are chomped down in two bites. The pork is rich and succulent, and the heat of chilli only adds to the tantalising little buns. Thinking that we are eating way too fast and won’t be full we decide to order more. Spicy “k.f.c” Korean fire chicken wings. These ultra crisp delights were ridiculously good. Double fried for extra crunch the skin on the outside was puffed and golden and dripping with spicy chili sauce. I want to move in and gorge myself on these things. If you’re in New York get yourself here if this is all you order. It was insane!
Once the last spicy morsel was finished our next dishes arrived. Vermicelli noodles with beef and Korean pepper, and kimchi, bacon, spam fried rice. The beef here is mouth meltingly tender with the Korean pepper adding a soft floral note. The vermicelli are addictive and I keep slurping them up as fast as I can. The rice comes topped with a glorious fried egg, chunks of spam and spicy kimchi. Yum, sweet ricey goodness.
Korean food is food with attitude. Sweet spice and great flavours. There is depth and creativity here at Danji. Everything is delicious. I’m only sorry I couldn’t stay for longer and work my way through these delectable delicacies. Make this hole in the wall on your visit list when you’re in New York.
Come to the kicking Korean kingdom.
Josh and Jess
346 W 52nd St New York City, New York USA