My knowledge of Korean food is precisely none existent. I tell a lie- I have once bought a bag of Kimchi from Planet Organic and I had a vague notion that was Korean (it’s also super tasty, find it here). With this in mind I had no idea what to expect when we visited Atoboy in New York.
The restaurant itself is cool. With a understated entrance, it is easy to walk past without noticing it (I say this because it is precisely what we did…). The theme continues inside, with concrete walls and basic tables, giving it a cool understated vibe. The menu was Tapasy in style, which was a great way to try a variety of the tasty Korean dishes. We started with a Sake based cocktail before getting stuck in…
The menu is a mix of things you’ve (probably) never tried (or heard of) before, combined with comfortingly familiar ingredients. The Lotus Root with Tofu, Seaweed and Chili Oil was one of those- I can’t claim to have ever tried Lotus Root before but it was delicious. The Korean take on Beef Tartare with Oyster, Potato was slightly more familiar, and just as tasty.
I have a bit of a fear of Sea Urchin after being force fed it in Greece- my memory is a very strong taste of the sea that I didn’t enjoy, so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to trying the Sea urchin with Watercress and Quinoa. Luckily, this had no taste of the sea, but the snotty texture wasn’t my favourite (snotty is a more polite version of what it was described as at the table- I’ll let you use your imagination that one…). The Squid with Pork, Shrimp, and Salsa verde, as well as the Octopus with Kimchi (wooo, my Korean food knowledge coming into play!), Chorizo and Parsley on the other hand were amazing- fresh tasting with a mix of interesting flavours.
Meat wise we opted for the crispy chicken, with Spicy peanut butter and Garlic (what’s not to love with that combo?), the Pork Jowl with Barley, Romaine Lettuce and Ssamjang (I still have no idea what this is… google is telling me a thick spicy paste… mmm) and the NY Strip with Arugula, Poblano and Wild sesame oil.
It turns out the Korean dinner was just the start of a Korean themed evening. After more than a few drinks in the Suffolk Arms (don’t let the name fool you- this is no pub- this is the best cocktails you’ve tasted), we took a taxi to Korea Town where we sang our hearts out at Korean karaoke until 4 am.
Not like it was a Monday or anything… *hangs head in shame*
Find out more about Atoboy New York here: http://atoboynyc.com
For delicious cocktails, head to the Suffolk Arms: http://www.suffolkarms.com