MOST RECENT DINNERS
Korean Offal at Woo Chon
By Courtney Kelly
We tried a lot of great dishes at Woo Chon. I would go back, even if I wasn’t trying to gross out my friends. I’ll try to capture some of my reactions to what we ate, as long as we can make an agreement, dear reader, that the facts won’t be scrutinized to closely. My clearest memories are of several Hite, OB (oriental brew), glasses of Champagne and some cloudyfermented rice concoction. Consequently, my other memories are hazy at best and in some instances fully inaccurate. Think of it as Gonzo reviewing. (RIP HST).
We started with some great appetizers. I really liked the rice noodle in sweet & spicy sauce. The omelet in a pot was just okay. The scallion and seafood pancake was fantastic.
There was broad consensus that the raw liver was a high point of the evening. We all enjoyed the ceremony of squeezing lemon over the cool liver slice, swirling the slice into the salt & red pepper & sesamesauce, touching that to the seaweed sheet, and garnishing with sprouts. The liver had a rich, strong, complex flavor and the process heightened theanticipation. Ben got to do a demonstration, which allowed him to feel important.
The main draw of the evening, the chicken assholes were okay, but probably not something for daily consumption. We had them prepared 2 ways: First, in a spicy sauce and second grilled over gas flame right at table. Both times they were very chewy. They were reminiscent of the Nigerian Bat Snails we had in August at New Combination.
Other items off the grill were
Pig Skin – which really needed to be cooked down to a crisp, otherwise it was like eating congealed grease straight from the drain pipe
Lamb Tripe – Now that I am a tripe expert, I have a highly nuanced scale for evaluating tripe dishes were chewy and smelly scores a 2.65 and delicate and tasty scores a 21.13. I would give this tripe dish a value that is > |-5|
Beef Bumpkis – (or some other nonsense word) that sounded scary but tasted fine
Beef Tongue – thinly sliced, tender and delicate. I dipped it into one of the many sauces and also used the lettuce wraps and jalapenos to make tongue tacos
Intestine casserole soup was actually great. I pickeda round the intestines this time because my new year’s resolution is a 50% reduction in tripe intake. The sauce was spicy and the noodles were really good. Thelarge knots of intestine were easy to pick around and looked like medical tubing. Ben found an umbilical cord in his soup.
The fish and tofu soup/casserole was a little bland and did nothing for me, but other people seemed to like it.
The sides and condiments really added to the banquet. The kimchi was widely acknowledged to be top notch. The “6 years underground” dragon weed was pretty awesome to in a more pickled, less pungent way. Onething for sure, there was no shortage of tiny bowls full of sauces for dipping, garnish and sides all night.
We finished the night with a refreshing plate of fruit, which we wolfed down, despite being stuffed.
I would describe the service and atmosphere as typical for Koreatown. The price was fair and the portions were generous. You should probably check it out for yourself, if only learn which portions of this review are hallucinations.
10 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
Tuesday, January 9, 2007