BY GABE HERMAN | HYUN, a Korean barbecue restaurant that opened this March at 10 E. 33 St., specializes in giving diners a unique and personalized experience with their own grill masters and imported A5 Wagyu beef from Japan.
The servers grill at the table on traditional Korean cast iron pans, which use electric induction instead of gas for less smoke and a shortened grilling time so that more flavor is given to the Wagyu, according to the restaurant.
The eatery was founded by Jae Kim, a business entrepreneur and restauranteur. When he moved from Korea to New York City three years ago, he became homesick and decided to open a Korean restaurant that included traditional elements in the food.
The menu features many sharable dishes, including Chawanmushi, a steamed egg custard decorated with sea urchin and truffle mushrooms. There is also Kimchi Biji-Jeon, a pancake with soybean curd and stuffed with kimchi. The Galbi Mandoo are leaf mustard kimchi, tofu that is made in-house, and dumplings wrapped in thin slices of Wagyu short rib.
For the barbecue, HYUN offers over 30 cuts of the Wagyu meat. The server starts the grilling by placing a cube of Wagyu fat, rosemary and garlic in the cast-iron pan on the grill and then adds a salt preparation, which there are several to choose from and change weekly, including truffle mushroom salt, Pinot Noir salt and wasabi salt.
The menu also includes soup and rice dishes, and several desserts, including homemade ice creams and sorbets. Another dessert is Hodo Gwaja, a small walnut-shaped pastry filled with red bean paste and a large chunk of walnut.
The restaurant has mostly good reviews on Yelp, getting four out of five stars overall. The general consensus is that the food and service is good, though pricey. The cost of the Wagyu dishes is generally in the $44-$59 range. Sharable plates can range from $12 up to $46.
“Yes, it’s expensive,” one man wrote on Yelp, “but it’s expected for this quality. Very much worth it for a special occasion with clients or with a date.”
HYUN is open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 5 p.m. to midnight. More information can be found at hyun-nyc.com.