One of the best things about dining at different places is learning new environments. It gives you the opportunity to expand in different areas you’re not as strong in and provides you with the ability to have intelligent conversations when discussing certain cuisines or establishments. I had a learning experience during my visit to New York. I wanted to try a different cuisine and one that I could learn from, so taking my talents to Koreatown was an easy decision.
Gopchang, which refers to the small intestines of pig or to a grilled dish made with small intestines. If you’re experiencing a Korean dish, it’s usually stewed in a hot-pot with other intestines. Gopchang was used as a source of rich in iron and vitamins and was served as a health supplement. Today it’s known as a delicacy and helps break down alcohol. The restaurant is located in Manhattan, which is a few blocks away from the Empire State Building.
During my visit I was able to dine on two dishes. Fried Pork Dumplings and Octopus and Shrimp Casserole. I’ll start off with the review of the main dish. The Octopus, Intestine, and Shrimp Casserole which included Octopus, Ox and Beef Intestines, tripe, beef, shrimp, and vegetables was absolutely surrounded with flavor and excitement. The overall dish is presented raw then cooked table side on an extremely hot burner. The Octopus, which is the first to be prepared, is presented whole then cut with kitchen scissors so that it is much easier to fully cook through. The waiter then comes over to finish cooking the overall dish. The overall mixture is then ready for serving. It is generally served on top of white rice and seawood with roe. It is spicy, smoky, flavorful, gamey, hearty, and an overall savory dish. I can’t express how much I loved this dish. The intestines were gamey, but still had an amazing texture. The tripe was buttery and provided a chewy texture, but still had a mild flavor. This is one dish that I can certainly eat a thousand times.
The last dish that was ordered to go along with the Casserole was the Fried Pork Dumplings. The Dumplings were filled with Seasoned Ground Pork and a mixture of vegetables. A Crispy Dumpling that had a great filling which was perfectly seasoned and had the right amount of crunch. These were great starters and the only thing that was missing from this was some kind of sauce. I would’ve loved to have a sweet and sour sauce to go with this, but maybe it just doesn’t go well with this kind of dumpling.
Overall, this restaurant is a please seek and find. The flavors and atmosphere are all amazing. The restaurant looks like it’s in an abandoned building, but once you take the elevator up one flight (because you’re lazy like I am) you’ll walk through the pearly gates of heaven. Remember to bring your appetite and an open mind, don’t let the intestines freak you out.