Post-dim sum at Grand Harmony, Hungry said she was going to walk… from Chinatown… to Midtown. I’m no stranger to walking long distances after gorging, so a couple of us trooped upwards, making a lot of stops along the way… Doughnut Plant (expect a new review shortly with all BlackBerry pics, ha), then Pommes Frites (I really need to update and get a new review out- this one doesn’t quite count, smushed in as it is), East Village Cheese Shop for cheap cheese, Madison Square Park Shake Shack, Eataly, Hill Country Fried Chicken, and my final stop before I bid the others adieu to get on the subway, Woorijip (I’m not sure if the noodle bar is still available, actually). Yeah, that’s how we walk Manhattan to work off what we just ate: stop and eat at other places to fuel up for the walk. What, you don’t do that?
In any case, I’ve mentioned Woorijip enough times but never really showed what I like to get there. I stopped in and picked up food for dinner that night – stuff to pick at and eat while watching the Jets kick the Patriots to the curb. (Note: by the time this gets posted, we’ll know if the Jets are going to the Super Bowl or not. I’m not a football fan, but I am pro-New York, so would root for any New York team that makes it to the playoffs of any sport, including my own. So please do not leave me rude comments regarding football, I simply don’t care.)
First up, my combo platter of spicy chicken and regular kimbap. I don’t see them selling regular kimbap by itself anymore when I go – maybe they sell out?
This is one of my favorite lunch meals from Woorijip. Spicy chicken and kimbap on the side to round out the meal – give you some veggies and carbs.
This time around, the chicken, which tends to be not-so-spicy, just a nice lil kick to remind you that you’re eating Korean food, was bordering on wayyy too spicy for me. My mouth was burning and I had to stop eating for a few minutes until my mouth calmed down in order to deal with it. Eek.
The kimbap, which I adore because I can stick it in the fridge and I’d swear it’s still good the next day instead of getting all hard and yucky like rice tends to do.
A good mix of pickled items, egg, and krab. Tasty!
The above platter at $5.50 also gets you your choice of soup from the soup fridge – seaweed, bean sprout, and one more that I forget were on offer that day, but I chose bean sprout. Clean tasting, with just-cooked bean sprouts still crunchy. Like.
I decided to try two dishes I hadn’t tried before, though I’ve often ogled them: croquettes, which I adore normally anyway, and inarizushi or fried bean curd pockets stuffed with rice. Please note that because the item on the right has the “VEG” sticker on it and the item on the left doesn’t, I thought perhaps there was meat inside the potato croquettes, but this is simply not the case.
Both dishes are of a Japanese slant – croquettes are popular in Japanese bento and at izakayas, while inarisushi is directly a type of sushi served at many Japanese restaurants.
The croquettes suffered texturally from sitting in the enclosed box, and were a little soft around the outside as opposed to crispy, but had a nice flavor to them. Inside, mashed potatoes with a bit of vegetable mixed throughout the potatoes. Yum. The included katsu sauce was welcome to add a bit of salty sweet counterpoint.
Inarisushi; I usually make these or have these stuffed simply with sushi rice, but I’ve heard of the rice being mixed with other things before being stuffed inside the fried tofu pocket. This was mixed with vegetables and perhaps a touch of soy sauce, as the rice was brown – I see onion, carrot… it was actually rather tasty and I really liked this, will definitely get it again. Yum! The sweet and yet, slightly vinegary fried tofu pocket (which is soft, as you can see) yields to your bite easily, and you get a mouthful of really tasty rice.
Yvo says: I really like Woorijip for the cases of goodies you can just look through and pick out a box that suits your fancy; lots of different types of kimbap (tuna, cheese, bulgogi), and all sorts of snacks. There’s also a buffet area that I’ve never tried, and don’t know how the pay structure works. Woorijip is just a fun place for munchy type foods for me. Also: make sure you get a frequent buyer card, I’m still working on mine from 2 years ago, but every $5 you spend, you get a stamp. When you collect enough stamps, you can pick goodies from their shelves! You can even collect multiple stamp cards to save up for the ‘bigger’ items.