HYUN Korean Barbecue Newly Opened on East 33rd Street in NYC
A seamless and immersive dining experience awaits guests at HYUN, a new high-end Korean barbecue restaurant, spotlighting the highest quality Japanese A5 Wagyu, which the restaurant flies in from Japan in the form of whole cattle. The new restaurant is the innovation of business entrepreneur and restaurateur, Jae Kim. Kim moved to New York City from Korea three years ago to finish his PhD, but when he became homesick, he decided to bring a piece of home to New Yorkers, crafting the idea for HYUN to showcase the traditional time-honored Korean flavors of his homeland.
While the restaurant is the invention of Kim, Director of HYUN is Euikyu Bang, who has taken the lead to oversee the team of chefs in the kitchen as well as the servers to ensure a perfectly executed meal. At HYUN, the team aims to change the way one thinks of Korean barbecue, presenting elevated dishes that are clean and natural in flavor, using the finest luxury ingredients. The restaurant uses traditional Korean tableware, hand foraged ceremonial brassware known as Yoo-Ki, and a custom-made table mat using a traditional Korean lacquer technique.
As part of the experience one is assigned a personalized server, providing one-on-one service throughout the entire meal. The grilling begins with a traditional Korean cast iron pans with an electric induction grill rather than gas, to not only create less smoke, but also reduce the grilling time and enrich the flavor of the Wagyu.
The menu is expertly curated to showcase a streamlined selection of Korean dishes, all designed to be shared. Begin with the silky smooth Chawanmushi, a Japanese style steamed egg custard, which is decorated with sea urchin from Japan and truffle mushrooms from Italy; Kimchi Biji-Jeon, a soybean curd residue-based pancake, which is made with less gluten than most other pancakes, and stuffed with kimchi that is hand cut by your personal server at the table; Chadol-Jjim, thinly sliced steamed beef brisket with sweet pumpkin, enoki mushrooms, perilla leaf and bean sprouts wrapped inside for a flavor packed bite, accompanied by a honey soybean sauce and yuja soy sauce. The Galbi Mandoo are leaf mustard kimchi, tofu, which is made fresh in-house in batches daily, and starch noodle stuffed dumplings wrapped in thinly sliced Japanese A5 Wagyu short rib.
The Korean barbecue offerings take center stage, where the team will bring over whole cattle from different regions of Japan and butcher them in-house. The restaurant serves over thirty different cuts of Japanese A5 Wagyu as well as special cuts besides the prime cuts such as loin parts. The Special cut is changed daily and limited in quantity. The grilling is started by the server placing a cube of Wagyu fat, rosemary and garlic on a cast iron pan on the electric grill found at the center of the table. The server than presents you with different house made salt preparations to accompany the Wagyu, which rotate weekly such as truffle mushroom salt, Pinot Noir salt and wasabi salt.
Each of the cuts is then flawlessly prepared by the servers with choices including tenderloin, the leanest cut of meat which is best enjoyed with the truffle salt; ribeye, which is best with wine salt or wasabi salt as recommended by the servers; chuck flap tail, the prized cut and the one with all the character with beautiful fine marbling, which should be tasted with wine salt or wasabi; and the Wagyu roll stuffed with perilla leaf and chive, which is served with a mustard and soy sauce. Other cuts offered include marinated short rib, hanger, skirt, flatiron and striploin.
HYUN also boasts a variety of other grilling options such as Guwo Mukneun Cheese, grilled cheese that is brought from the area of Imsil in South Korea; Guwo Mukneun Yachae, grilled assorted vegetables; or a mixture of both can be served.
The Jangajji is a HYUN staple of seasonal pickled medicinal herbs such as plum, dried radish, Ledebouriella Seseloides, Allium Ochotense, perilla leaf and radish.
While in Korea it is customary to have a savory dish after the barbecue, but guests can also order a savory accompaniment to enjoy during the grilling. Sot Bap is a pot cooked rice which comes in two varieties with the sea urchin and truffle, and the sea urchin and Wagyu striploin. They also serve the Yook-Hwe Bibimbap, a traditional Korean bibimbap with seasoned fresh raw wagyu and vegetables, and Wagyu Ramyun, a Korean style ramyun with wagyu chunks.
The small dessert menu concludes the luxurious meal with Hodo Gwaja, four mini walnut shaped pastries filled with sweet red bean paste and large walnut chunks; Shiso Sorbet, a homemade sorbet with chopped shiso; and Chapssal Ice Cream, a soft and light ice cream with seasonal options like Earl Grey as well as green tea, red bean, black sesame and chocolate, wrapped in a thin layer of rice cake.
A well-appointed list of sakes, wines and cocktails has been carefully curated by Director Euikyu Bang to pair beautifully with the menu. Featured cocktails include Mountain Water made with Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo, green chartreuse, citrus, honey and matcha powder; Cloud Remedy, comprised of Toki Whiskey, Makgeolli, Laphroiag 10 yr., honey and citrus; and From Jeju, made with Hendrick's gin, Korean tangerine tea and pineapple for a hint of sweetness.
A number of sakes by the bottle can also be found with categories including Junmai Ginjo and Junmai Daiginjo. While the wine list features varietals from all over the globe by the bottle and a specialty wine by the glass will be chosen by Bang each week.
The space is chic and sleek, split into two dining sections. The owner wanted to create a space where the boundaries of a space, the emptiness of the background, and the peoples' movements have been intertwined. Upon entering guests will be greeted with an open softly lit minimalist room lined with large black barbecue tables, accented with slate grey booths and oriental designed wooden chairs, serving as the main dining area. Beyond the main dining room, there are four private dining booths inspired by those found in high-end restaurants in Korea. Each room seats up to four and one larger private space seats up to eight. Each is then enclosed by slatted wooden doors for a more immersive experience to bring complete focus to the meal and the company.
HYUN is located at 10 East 33rd Street, NY 10016. Visit http://hyun-nyc.com/ or call 917.261.6217. Follow them on INSTAGRAM: @_hyunnyc. Their hours are: Mondays: Closed; Tues. - Thurs. 5pm - 11:30pm; Fri. & Sat. 5pm - 12am; and Sunday 5pm - 11:30pm.
Photo Credit: Greg Rhein Photography