There was a time not so long ago when it was nearly impossible to find a high-quality meal in the same vicinity of Madison Square Garden/Penn Station that wasn’t Keen’s or a slice of Famiglia Pizza. When there were no cool hotels around, and the area between Herald Square and Flatiron didn’t matter enough to have its own identity. These days, the “NoMad” is actually a hot area to live, work, vacation, and, believe it or not, eat in.
Hanjan was one of the first new guys to move into the now well-populated restaurant row on 26th Street. We’re big fans of Chef Hooni Kim, who executes Korean fare in a modern style in an environment that’s fun, welcoming, and way more on brand with the current restaurant culture of NYC than what you’ll find in K-Town. He’s essentially David Chang without the pork buns and the fanfare.
As we discussed in our initial review of Hanjan over two years ago, Hanjan picks up right where Kim’s other restaurant, Danji, left off. His food is absolutely delicious, and every time we return to Hanjan, which is often, it seems to get better and better. The menu at Hanjan has more depth and dives deeper into traditional Korean flavor than Danji. The salmon sashimi is one of our favorite raw fish dishes in NYC. Both the Spicy Rice Cake with Pork Fat and Kimchi and the Beef Brisket Fried Rice are automatic orders, and don’t sleep on the late night Korean ramen.
When it first opened, Hanjan was a solid new addition for the locals to frequent in an up-and-coming neighborhood. With time, it has grown into a fantastic restaurant, worth a trip on its own merit. If you love the food at restaurants like Momofuku Ssäm Bar, you’ll be thrilled to discover Hanjan.
A light and refreshing way to start you meal. the tofu at Hanjan is creamy and perfect. Do it.
Pretty much the perfect salmon dish. Raw salmon over lettuce with radishes, salmon roe, and a spicy gochujang vinaigrette. Trust us, you will love everything about this.
These chicken skewers are a necessary part of the Hanjan meal experience. Nope, they’re not killing chickens in the back, thankfully, but yes, their chicken is just as fresh as it gets. They’ve got wings, thighs, gizzards, breasts... you name it. If it’s part of a chicken, it’s on a skewer and should wind up in your belly.
Spicy rice cakes that absolutely must be on your table. They are gummy and soft and dreamy. This batch of pig and cake rivals those at Momofuku Ssäm. They’re in the same league, which is saying a lot, because Ssäm’s may be the best ever.
We’re not entirely sure exactly what is going on in this heavenly bowl of noodles and squid, but it’s glorious. Don’t ask questions, just enjoy.
A ridiculously tender spicy BBQ pork dinner that will make you very, very happy. Don’t be scared.
AKA Hooni Kim’s bibimbap. So good. So satisfying. It’s a home run and an absolute must.
These are not life-changing chicken wings, but they get the job done nicely. The soy-sake marinade they are bathed in gets an A+.
Their Korean take on ramen is only available after 9pm, so have a late-ish dinner, or start early, and just order ramen for dessert. However you play it, just make sure this is part of your Hanjan experience. The combination of pork, chicken, and fish bones is a flavor-packed bowl of ramen with thick noodles and broth with a slight kick.