At HanGawi, you will be asked to take your shoes off before entering the dining space as you would in a traditional Korean house.
image courtesy of HanGawi
HanGawi offers vegetarian food including vegan and gluten-free options. Their belief lies in the fact that vegetarianism is the healthiest and safest diet. Even if you’re a meat lover, HanGawi won’t disappoint.
image courtesy of HanGawi
Lychee Mojito (left): The mojito consisted of lychee juice, mint leaves, lime juice, and tokki soju. Succulent, fruity and just perfection. One of the best mojitos. A favorite!
Blushing Lotus (right): Prepared with Schissandra, korean black raspberry wine, strawberry and tokki soju. Such a stunning drink. A fruity and refreshing with a hint of raspberry Tasted like sweet wine, not too strong.
Combination Pancakes: The combination pancakes consisted of three different types of pancakes – leek, kimchi mushroom and kabocha pumpkin with mung beans. The pancakes reminded me of the Indian/Malaysian parathas (flatbreads) that are pan-fried so this appetizer is a definite treat. My favorite out of the three was the kabocha pumpkin with mung beans. The sauces paired with the pancakes were delicious too, the ginger sauce was my favorite. A must-do!
Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms: This appetizer resembled sashimi, but of course, these are vegetarian. Shitake mushrooms sit on a bed of crunchy tofu. I promise you won’t be able to even tell you are eating tofu. This appetizer was outstanding and my favorite out of the 3 appetizers. Yes, a favorite.
Kimchi Stone Bowl Rice or Bimimbap: Kimchi, a spicy preserved Korean cabbage, served with vegetables and rice in a stone bowl. The stone bowl arrived sizzling hot and our waiter added an ample amount of hot sauce to our liking and then stirred up all the ingredients in front of us. Allow the flavors to marry before eating the fried rice, this will help enhance the flavors in this dish. Overall, a good dish, but something was lacking, I wasn’t quite blown away.
Crispy Mushroom in Sweet and Sour Sauce: Fried mushrooms tossed in a sweet and sour sauce. This dish reminded me of General Tso’s Chicken which is also a sweet and sour combo. A delicious and popular dish at HanGawi.
Organic Zen Noodles: Organic buckwheat noodles with a variety of vegetables served with a spicy sauce on the side. Although the texture of these earthy noodles was perfection, the taste fell short.
Vegan Dessert Platter: Consisted of 3 desserts – a cake, tofu pudding and soy vanilla almond ice-cream and vegan marshmallows.
Tofu Chocolate Pudding (left): Honestly, I was unable to taste tofu in this tofu chocolate pudding, the flavor of the tofu was masked completely. Outstanding and my favorite!
Soy Vanilla Almond Ice-Cream (right-center): Delicious, creamy texture.
Chocolate Mocha Cake (right-bottom): Almond flour and almond extract with a a scoop of vanilla almond ice-cream. This dessert was slightly dry and was just okay for me.
Red Beans & Ice-Cream Rhapsody: Chocolate and vanilla almond soy ice-cream with sweetened red beans, multi grains, walnuts and dried dates. Whoever came up with this concoction right here is pure genius. Who would ever think of adding red beans to ice-cream? The combination actually worked, believe me. Unique and innovative dessert with a slight amaretto flavor. Phenomenal.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: HanGawi
FAVORITES: Lychee Mojito | Combination Pancakes | Stuffed Shitake Mushrooms | Crispy Mushroom in Sweet and Sour Sauce | Bean Curd with Kimchi and Vegetables in Spicy Sauce | Tofu Chocolate Pudding | Red Beans & Ice-Cream Rhapsody
VERDICT: 4.5 / 5
This was the first time I dined at a sit-down Korean restaurant, and I was blown away. Everyone always talks about how incredible Korean food is, especially Korean BBQ which I have yet to try. HanGawi serves Korean, vegetarian food in a Zen-like setting. This restaurant is a haven for vegetarians. The ambiance here is calm and soothing. The food melts in your mouth, and even if you aren’t a veggie lover, I promise that you’ll leave HanGawi feeling satiated and happy. Additionally, HanGawi offers organic, gluten-free and vegan choices for those of you who have specific dietary needs, and thus the food here isn’t heavy or cooked in a lot of oil. Given the price, the portions are small, however keep in mind that you are also paying for ambience and good quality food. Furthermore, the food is presented beautifully, it’s almost too pretty to eat. Take advantage of HanGawi’s lunch special for just $24 which includes a starter, an appetizer, entrée and a dessert. It’s a steal if you ask me. HanGawi is my first real introduction to Korean food and I can’t wait to explore Korean BBQ next. A must-do for both the veggie and meat lovers! Very highly recommended.
Food: Excellent | Drinks: Outstanding | Décor: Romantic/Zen-like/Intimate | Service: Outstanding/Polite | Value: Fair
12 E 32nd St., New York, NY