Thursday, February 3, 2011

Food Gallery 32 -- The New Food Court in K-Town; Hanok Food Reviewed

Hanok's Jyuk Dupbop
photo with iphone.

Food Gallery 32 ; 7 Food Stalls; An Abbreviated menu is provided.

Watch out Woorijip, the new Food Gallery 32 may give you a run for your money! Last night, a friend and I checked out the new Food Gallery in K-Town and although we loved the food, we were overwhelmed by the vast-amount of choices on the scrolling food boards. Just to give you a sense of the place -- there are seven food stalls and two dessert stalls located in this three-story building.

The layout of the international food emporium is as follows: Ground floor - seven food stalls , Red Mango, and an ordering station; Second Floor - lowered ceiling seating area with a MetroPCS mini-retail shop; Third Floor - Crepe-making dessert station and additional seating.

Even though I will give you a precursory of what to expect inside this food emporium, make sure you take a walk inside, otherwise the list below simply does the food court an injustice:

  1. Boon Sik Zip - Menu is orientated towards Korean Appetizers/Snacks with Kim Bob (Yummy korean-style sushi-like rolls), Fried Vegetabls/Squid/Sweet Potato, Dduk Bok Ki, Bo-Ssam, etc.
  2. Pastel - Menu is more Asian-Americanized foods with Japanese infusion of Pork/Chicken/Fish Cutlets, Hong-Kong infusion of Seafood/Tomato Spaghettis, and Korean infusion of Kimchi Omlet Rice...
  3. De-ppangi - Japanese Style foods -- with Donburi's, Teppan-Yaki and Onigiri's...
  4. Bian Dang - Taiwanese Food - also has a food-truck selling taiwanese lunch boxes -- I had this at the Food Truck Drive-In last year and it was good.
  5. Big Bowl - serving all sorts of ramen!
  6. Hanok - Traditional Korean food-fare, including Haemool Pajun, Jap Chae, BiBimBop, Kimchi chigae, Mandoos, Jeyuk Bokum, Chicken/Beef Bulgogi, and Kalbis! (Read review below!)
  7. Jin Jja Roo - a mixture of Chinese and Korean together -- with Jja Jang Myon (Ja Jiang Mien), Lo-Meins, Ma Pa Tofu over Rice, Deep Fried meat served with vegetable and sweet & sour sauce
  1. Red Mango - SURPRISE! The new red mango has changed its business model to "SELF-SERVE" similar to 16 Handles in Lower East Side. It has a lot more yogurt flavors for you to try! It starts at 49 cents per ounce.
  2. Crepes - Didn't catch the name, but there is a creperie on the top floor...


Did you want to order some food here? Well, let me save you some time and frustration by letting you know that you order your food at the entrance to the food court. Seems a bit strange since your instinct is to walk-up to a counter and place your food order there... but, nope Food Gallery 32 had to be different from other food courts in the world. :D But, to be fair, and if I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt, I assume the food court is trying to save space at each stall and/or to keep the exchange of "dirty" money to a minimum, especially since food is being handled. So, think of the process of paying for your food like buying a ticket for a ride at the carnival... You pre-order your food at the entrance, walk-up to your stall and hand them your ticket to get on the ride -- its the same process to order and pick up your food (well, you pick up your food once the machine they give you vibrates).

So my recommendation is to walk around the food stalls, figure out what you want, and then go back to the food ordering station to order. Inefficient? Yes, but what are you going to do?

Also, as an FYI -- make sure to order your drink at this station, otherwise, you'll have to go back... And if you're not interested in ordering a drink for $1.50 (water/can soda) there is water on the second floor.



I like the variety of foods here -- although most of the food IS Korean (but what do you expect?, its in k-town), I do like that there are a few other Asian cuisine options -- such as Taiwanese and Japanese. As a side note, I was pleasantly surprised that I could order Taiwanese food here and not have to trek to Chinatown for pork chop over rice! (sorry, a bit biased here since I'm Chinese - at least I'm being honest!).

Prices are not outrageous, and I would say mildly less expensive than sitting at a formal Korean restaurant (for example: ordering Jeyuk DupBop @ Woorijip is ~ $5.50 w/ soup; @ Wonjo ~ $8.95 during weekday lunch specials; and @ Hanok in the food court ~ $7.95... albeit the food court lacks all the pan chon you would get at the restaurants)...

Overall, Food Gallery 32 is a great spot to grab a quick and
good meal ... and is a great spot to meet up with friends for an easy, inexpensive meal and to hang out afterwards. Food Gallry 32 has ample seating and I can see this as an ideal spot for college kids, tourists, overspill from Kunjip and Woorijip, and people on a budget who want good food for their money.


I wasn't a fan of the ordering system. I would have preferred to order my food at my food station, especially since images of the foods are located at the stalls. If you aren't annoyed by the scrolling food menu board at the ordering station, then I would say you're a patient person... When ordering, I would recommend picking up the printed menu and make your selection from there (that is, after you've taken a walk around to see what food items you want). I just hope the inefficient ordering system won't be the "downfall" of this good food court -- especially since this place just opened and the "buzz" of a bad ordering system could potentially deter impatient/not-so-smart people - for the Food Gallery 32's sake, lets just hope it doesn't turn out to be a Kyochon disaster. As a "p.s." the ordering location is right at the entrance and could prove a bit chaotic when the place is extremely busy!

Separately, for some reason I thought the black trays were a bit heavy -- especially if you have to carry your food up to the third floor to eat - so I would suggest getting not so heavy trays (but i'm sure it serves a purpose -- i.e. it doesn't flip over as you walk it up to the third floor).

Lastly, patrons are encouraged to leave their food behind because bus boys are expected to come by and clean up the tables... however, we were there late night and there weren't that many bus boys cleaning up the tables and I can imagine how messy that could turn out to be.

Overall the cons are not noteworthy enough to deter me from the Food Gallery, especially since I thought the food from Hanok was good!


I visited Hanok and ordered the Jeyok Dupbop, which is Spicy Pork with Vegetables over rice. It was $7.95 and included seaweed soup (yum!) and mini-dishes of mung beans and kimchi -- all of this was more than enough food for anyone to consume in one seating. For food court style food, I was pleasantly surprised that there was TASTE in the food and a good serving size. When compared to Woorijip, which is across the street, this is definitely better than its competition -- and mind you, this is made-to-order and is not sitting in a heating case. In my opinion, I think the quality of the pork is better here than at Woorijip.

(L) photo of the Hanok stall (R) Jeyok Dupbop on tray (the black tray was heavier than normal trays)
taken with iphone

As a departing note, I liked the food I tried at Hanok and am willing to overlook the ordering system to eat here again. If it wasn't for the ordering system, I would say "hands-down" that this Food Gallery would be a better place to eat than Woorijip -- especially since you are getting "better quality meat" than at Woorijip... but something has to be said about the convenience of Woorijip's pick up and pay model that we shall see whether customers will go for CONVENIENCE or BETTER FOOD.

In due time, we shall see if the food court will take-away business from the neighboring restaurants or not ... who knows ... but I do know that restaurants that serve Korean Fried Chicken, such as Mad for Chicken, Bon Chon and Kyochon will be safe ... for now.

Until next time, Happy Eating!

Food Gallery 32
11 W 32nd St
(between 5th Ave & Broadway)
New York, NY 10001

1 comment:

Charlito the Bandito said...

i was wondering how this place was! thanks for the pioneering susan!

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