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108 E. 4th St. (2nd Ave.) Send to Phone
Korean with a French spin from chef Soogil Lim in the East Village.

Dinner Tues.-Sun., Brunch Sat.-Sun.
Open late Fri.-Sat.
  • Dress code: Casual
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Soogil, New York, NY

Soogil Restaurant Review

About the food & drinks: Chef-owner Soogil Lim brings his high-level training at Daniel and Hanjan to his eponymous restaurant in the East Village. With a menu that concentrates mainly on Korean dishes and ingredients, Lim elevates Asian flavors with techniques gleaned from his tenure as sous chef at Daniel. Lim isn’t shy about adding traditionally French dishes to the mix, however. Foie gras, here called nurungji gras, is served over spinach and oyster mushrooms atop a rice cake. The most successful selections are the ones with the strongest flavor combinations. Try the mini French beignets filled with Korean sweet potatoes with a side of chilled white kimchi soup, or the short ribs braised with soy sauce also served with traditional Korean kimchi. Skip the mung bean pancake and instead tuck into a plate of lively hiramasa sashimi, gorgeously dressed with a wasabi garlic vinaigrette. The seasonal apple salad is a crisp artistic combination of apples with candied walnuts, baby kale and onion with a hint of honey and cider, showing off Lim’s deftness with flavors and textures. For dessert, every table orders the dramatic Jenga Tower, a concoction of delicately placed pastry sticks topped with honey chestnut gelato. Korean spirits mix with a few select European, New Zealand and American wines on the short beverage list. A tasting menu is available for a very affordable $65.

Likes: Cocktails are inventive too.
Dislikes: Some of the dishes are too bland like the mung bean pancake, lacking the fiery Korean spirit.

About the restaurant: The room takes a back seat here, espousing minimalism with painted white brick walls, a counter area, a row of two-tops paralleling a blonde wood communal table and a nook with a couple of private tables.
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