Posts Tagged ‘korean’

The Art of Eating Chapter 1: Korean Food (Bonchon on 23rd)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

Welcome! I’m excited to get the opportunity to share my love of different cultural cuisines on here and hopefully introduce some people to new foods (along with getting introduced myself!). As much as I am eager to dive in and begin trying food I’m unfamiliar with, I am grateful to be reviewing Korean food today because it is a long time favorite of mine. Bonchon on 23rd Street is just a step away from the SVA studios (where I spend far too much of my time) as well as a short walk from Manhattan’s Koreatown. Still, it competes with any of the restaurants there just as well and surpasses my expectations for most of the Korean food I’ve had before.

It’s Monday afternoon when I manage to drag my friend, Dilan, into the city with me for our meal. He’s not so familiar with Korean food, so I’m enthusiastic about bringing him with me and giving him the full experience. Already when we step into the restaurant it gives a strong first impression with a welcoming waitstaff and an open space full of tables for customers. 

Illustration of the interior of Bonchon

For a beginner, a meal of Korean food wouldn’t be quite complete without some of the main staples. One of the first dishes brought out to us is kimchi, a traditional cabbage dish that ferments in a mix of Korean seasoning for a couple days before it’s ready to be served to customers like us. Kimchi is one of the most well known banchan (or Korean side dishes) and for a good reason; it’s got a satisfying crunch, a refreshing flavor, and a slight heat all in one bite. In addition to that, the manager, Susanto, also recommended we try japchae, which happens to be a personal favorite of mine. Japchae is unique because the noodles are made from sweet potato starch instead of egg and flour like Italian noodles or rice like noodles typically used in asian stir fry. Sometimes this starch can give the noodles a sticky quality or an overwhelming sweet taste, but the ones at Bonchon suffered from neither such conditions. It’s a perfect glass noodle to accompany an assortment of vegetables like peppers and onions.

Japchae (left) and kimchi (right)

However, in addition to serving more traditional Korean dishes, Bonchon also has its own distinct specials that set it apart from other Korean restaurants and give it a more modern edge. Their main item is fried chicken which comes in a variety of shapes and is served with two different special sauces (both imported here from Korea itself). The first of the sauces is the spicy sauce. I’m glad Susanto recommended this one to us because Dilan loved it, but after a piece or two I can feel my whole face heat up to the point both Dilan and Susanto laugh at me a bit when he comes over to check in on us. Despite this the flavors are still great and sweat or no sweat I wouldn’t hesitate to try it again. However, the second sauce, soy garlic, is much milder and doesn’t leave me with a bright red face. The slightly sweeter flavor contrasts with the spice of the other sauce and goes well with the crunchy texture of the battered wing.

Fried chicken in spicy and soy garlic sauce

Overall, Bonchon is a super convenient place to satisfy Korean food cravings, as it’s within just an arm’s reach of most of my classes, as well as a gateway to Korean food for those who are eager to try the cuisine. They offer a range of dishes from traditional to their own unique Bonchon flavor, but either way there’s something for everyone. 

To both students who are looking for a handy place to satisfy their cravings for a cuisine they love, or those who are looking to experience something new, make sure to use the student discount below when you visit!

For more about my experience you can also check out my TikTok video on the Campus Clipper TikTok!

By: Peter Schoenfeld

Peter Schoenfeld is an illustrator and self proclaimed food fanatic from New York. If he’s not trying new food, he’s drawing it (and if he’s not doing either of those things, then you can probably find him curled up on the couch watching dramas). As an incoming sophomore at the School of Visual Art he focuses on creating art that connects people to his personal passions– like eating!

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.