It was more than welcome news when I heard that a new Korean restaurant has opened in Gurgaon – in one Horizon Centre. So far, Gung in the Sector 29 market had been dominating the Korean food scene in Gurgaon. I have started loving Japanese and Korean cuisines of late as they are not overly doused with spices or curries and only the freshness of the ingredients shines through in their cuisine.
Hyong Yung Cho and her husband Patrick Hahn run Hahn’s Kitchen in partnership with Lite Bite Foods. We were lucky to have met Patrick Hahn who is really warm and hospitable. After exchanging a few notes with him, it felt like I was meeting a long lost foodie friend.
The décor is really simple yet classy. The place is done up in beige and brown, has some Korean pottery on display, a big colourful Korean drum which was gifted by a friend and three PDRs (private dining rooms). Hahn’s Kitchen can seat 70-80 people including around 30 people in the 3 PDRs which can all be combined together for a big party. Each PDR has a traditional tatami flooring with kotatsu (low wooden table) table and has a calling bell to call the waiter attending to you.
Patrick told us that in Hahn’s Kitchen, they have tried to do away with the traditional way of serving Korean cuisine and have introduced more modern twists like the introduction of a bar (which no Korean restaurant has) and serving cocktails along with soju (Korean wine). They are also not grilling meat on the table itself as is done traditionally. Emphasis is more on pre-plating to get a more modern and visual appeal.
The menu currently has no pictures and the staff is trained on a regular basis to help Indians order their food. So as not to make the menu bulky with pictures of each dish like in Europe, they are planning to make a video of each dish in I-Pads along with how it is meant to be eaten so that the same can be shown to non-Korean customers before they order their food. They want to introduce their culture and want more Indians to frequent their restaurant.
As is customary in Korean restaurants, my friend and I get the complimentary kimchis. We start with the traditional kimchi served in five different colours –red cabbage kimchi, brown lotus stem (marinated in soy sauce and honey), white egg omelette rolls topped with ketchup, green marinated zucchini and black aubergine tempura tossed in honey and soy sauce.
Salmon Nigiri Sushi was served with a Japanese radish, wasabi and gari. Gari is traditionally served with sushi to cleanse one’s palate between different types of sushi. Philadelphia rolls (salmon, cucumber, cream cheese) were next. The freshness of the salmon, the crunch from the cucumber and creaminess from cream cheese all beautifully complimented each other.
Seafood Doenjang Jjigae is a hot pot served with tofu and vegetables in a traditional soybean and kelp broth. I must say that this was one of the best hot pots I had ever had. It was not overly spicy and had fresh mussels, calamari, onion, tofu and cucumbers.
Chicken Kampunggi (fiery garlic and chili chicken) is batter fried in a thick gooey batter so the final product is a non-crispy chicken. We were expecting a crispy chicken after we got to know its batter fried but this is how it is supposed to be traditionally so the chef was not at fault. Patrick had taken the liberty of ordering for us and told us that instead, he should have ordered the Yangnyum Chicken for us which would have been crispy….and this is after I gave him feedback on how to improve their traditional dish Chicken Kampunggi. 🙂
A delightful Vegetarian Tempura Platter appears with potato, sweet potato and capsicum tempuras. They were the most perfect tempuras with a thin, crispy coating. To get a good tempura batter one must always use cold water to mix the batter is what a Japanese chef had told me when I had attended a sushi making class.
When I had been handed the menu, I had searched the same for the char grilled sliced pork belly which I had eaten at their stall in the Asian Hawkers Market and that was what I indulged in next. Gochujang Marinated Samyyupsal or char grilled sliced pork belly was just the same as I remembered but with comparatively less of the heavenly sweet sauce. A must try for all pork lovers. The pork was well cured so did not have blubbery fat and was melt in the mouth literally with a lovely char coming from the grill.
Lamb Bulgalbi is lamb marinated in a blend of ginger, Korean dark soy and garlic and then grilled. Lettuce leaves are served separately in which you are supposed to put the grilled lamb, add a spicy thick sauce served on the side and then roll and eat. Another delightful treat for the palate and a dish cannot be healthier than this.
I couldn’t but help compare the pricing with Gung as Hahn’s Kitchen was much cheaper with almost the same serving portions. What added to the pleasant evening was the ever smiling hostesses and serving staff.
I am already looking forward to my next visit here. Trying out some new and some old dishes was a beautiful learning experience. In spite of eating so many dishes, it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy on your stomach.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs.1800 | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Awaiting their liquor license
Address: Hahn’s Kitchen One Horizon Centre, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon | Phone: 0124-2575600
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.