Monday, June 27, 2016
Troy's Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen is a charming mix of fast-casual Korean eats and mini-mart all in one. It's hard to pay attention to the menu while a wall of unique Korean snacks is staring at you. Step away from all the temptations and pay attention to the bevy of dishes waiting to be devoured. From bulgogi to bibimbap and japchae, one of each of these classic Korean dishes is a good start to exploring the menu.
My love of Korean food began with bbq and quickly grew with each bite of bibimbap. It's a comforting bowl of rice mixed with a delicious blend of sauteed vegetables, sweet and savory bulgogi beef, and the signature gochuchang pepper paste for added kick. At Sunhee's, this Korean classic gets a fresh makeover with a swap of black rice, turning my love of this dish into an obsession. The dark purple color not only adds a pop of color to this rainbow of flavors but an added texture that is pleasantly chewy and nutty. Aside from the black rice, my favorite component of the bibimbap is the addition of gosari, a wild fern/fiddlehead that adds an amazing earthy flavor. The rice bowl is also refreshingly chockfull of veggies.
Although lacking the usual spread of free banchan side dishes, you'll find a complimentary side of kimchi with the rice bowls. The quintessential Korean pickled cabbage had the perfect balance of spice to fermented funk. Plus my favorite banchan of japchae was available as an appetizer. It's a dish of sweet potato glass noodles with stir-fried veggies tossed in soy sauce.
My only disappointment was the pajeon. The flavors of this seafood pancake were there but it lacked the satisfying crisp texture that I enjoy the most from this dish. As for the mochiko cake, I liked that it wasn't too sweet and the chewy texture reminds me of some of my favorite Vietnamese desserts but alas, I've never liked walnuts in my dessert.
I'm looking forward to returning to Sunhee's and adding the kimbap rolls and tofu stew to my lists of things to try. Hopefully the bar area will soon be opened too; the "coming soon" sign had me intrigued.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
It all started with a single tweet:
I saw a picture of kimchi fries and that's all I want to try now. Can a 518 eatery make that happen ASAP?!— Chopsticks Optional (@chopsticksopt) February 28, 2014
Then our fairy godmothers at All Over Albany, derryX, and Mingle Albany stepped in
and made our culinary dreams come true:
The end result is a unique cultural mashup whose introduction to the Capital Region has long been overdue. Kimchi fries have been on the urban food truck scene for awhile now and my only encounter with these loaded fries has been through my television screen as I salivate over the creation. Lo and behold, one and half days later, Mingle came through with a version of their own: "Our Kimchi Fries begin with skin on & baked fries layered with bulgokee chicken & beef, pork belly and kimchi layered with Havarti from The Cheese Traveler."
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This time, our trip to SKR was J's first Korean food experience. The menu is a modest combination of rice, stir-fry, and soup dishes. A friend once made homemade veggie pancakes and we were compelled to try the restaurant's seafood version (hae mool pah juhl) for an appetizer. This huge pancake was loaded with veggies like scallions, zucchini, and carrots and an assortment of seafood. The textural contrast of all the elements was delightful: crisp exterior, soft and moist inside, crunchy veggies, and chewy pieces of octopus. The pancake comes with soy sauce but I enjoyed it the most with bites of kimchi.
Before our appetizers even came out we were treated to a typical spread of small side dishes known as banchan. These side dishes vary and on our recent trip we got a mix of pickled veggies ranging from the classic fermented spicy cabbage known as kimchi and pickled spicy radishes, a potato and onion stir fry, sauteed mushrooms, and wedges of a veggie egg omelet. They were all simple bites to nosh on but the star of the quintet was most definitely the homemade kimchi. Contrary to my own previous prejudices, Korean food isn't all about blow your head off spicy food. This signature Korean condiment is the perfect balance of sour and spicy and the cabbage still had a lovely crisp and crunch to it. Think of kimchi as Korean sauerkraut that pairs well with just about everything. Bonus: you can even get refills of your favorite banchan if you ask nicely. I recommend loading up on more kimchi.
Friday, June 14, 2013
NWBB prides itself in utilizing local, seasonal foods but also incorporates global flavors that give that unique twist that we love, especially Asian flavors. We love New World so much we're considering using their catering for our wedding. Perfect for blending my Asian family's palette with J's Irish American family's taste.
With each season comes a different menu and sometimes that means favorites like the Korean BBQ pork belly burrito doesn't stick around for long. However, it gives way to reincarnated dishes like the Korean Steak and Eggs. This delicious bowl of Creekstone all natural prime beef skewers, kim chee stew, Korean BBQ and local pea shoots with poached eggs captured those flavors that we were craving.