Saturday, August 11, 2012

NYC - Danji

After Sleep No More I headed up to Hell’s Kitchen and got on the waiting list for dinner at Danji.  This is a tiny Korean restaurant that I’d discovered in the Michelin guide – it’s got one star, the first Korean restaurant to get a star.  Amanda and I had tried to go there when we were in New York in March, but we’d arrived too late to get in.  This time I was determined to get in.  They don’t take reservations, so I resolved to stand there until a spot opened up. 

After about half an hour of my standing there patiently as other people were seated before me (the restaurant understandably, though annoyingly, gave preference to groups of two or three before my solitary self), the bartender took pity on me and told the hostess to seat me at a two-person table in the corner.  Then a charming waiter sat down in front of me and walked me through the menu (which was stored in a small drawer inside my table).
Menu drawer
Fortunately, in addition to the waiter’s suggestions, I also had the recommendations of the New York Times food critic in my head (I’d read his glowing review while waiting for a seat), and felt confident ordering myself a little tasting menu for one.  The food came quickly and was delicious.  The tofu, in particular, was amazingly good – frankly, I’d say it was even better than the tofu I’d had at Soto (which to that point had been the best I’d ever had).  The whelk salad was also remarkable.  As for the steak tartare and the pork belly sliders, I’m glad I tried them but in future will probably order something else… (turns out there are limits to what I like, even in Michelin-starred restaurants).
Pork-belly sliders
Tofu with scallions
Steak tartare with apple and quail egg yolk
Whelk salad with whole wheat noodles

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