I have never been to HanGawi in Manhattan, despite it being a well accoladed decades-old vegetarian Korean restaurant. But after some city errands at the very start of my summer break (after a unusually grueling school year), it was time to treat myself. Their prix fixe lunch was just what I needed.
It started with the HanGawi salad: mixed fresh greens with shredded pear, cucumber and crispy taro strips.
Steamed veggie dumplings were next. In the background, a mango and soju cocktail.
My sizzling Vegetarian Stone Bowl Rice was set down sizzling, served with house kimchi. It lacked something–a protein? A bit more flavor? It was more a side than a main.
The dessert, chocolate sorbet, was delicious but unadorned.
Overall, I left pleased but not overwhelmed, which I like to be while shelling out $50 for lunch and a cocktail. But I do see why they’ve been around so long. Good, clean understated food in a tranquil setting. You’d barely know that the bustling city was outside their doors. That kind of ambiance has a definite allure and certainly complements the food.