Review: Samwon Garden Korean BBQ, NYC

Review: Samwon Garden Korean Restaurant NYC

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Samwon Garden has been a fixture in Seoul's upscale Gangnam neighborhood since 1976, known for its excellent Korean barbecue, which is Michelin Guide restaurant. Its NYC outpost opened in 2018, and we recently had a chance to try it for a casual family meal.

Samwon Garden Korean Restaurant NYC

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Samwon Garden NYC Location and Hours

Samwon Garden's NYC location is located at 37 West 32nd Street, a short walk from the 34th Street Herald Square subway station (B, D, F, M, N, Q trains) and the 33rd Street Station (4, 5, 6 trains).

It's open from 11am daily, until 1am Sundays-Thursdays and until 3am Fridays and Saturdays–great for night owls. We made a reservation with OpenTable, and as the place gets quite busy in the evening, I recommend a reservation for dinner, especially during peak dining hours and on weekends.

After checking in, we were led through the bustling main dining room up to the much quieter second floor. This was perfect for us, as we prefer to hear each other without shouting, but if you want a lively atmosphere, request the downstairs when making your reservation.

Samwon Garden NYC Review: Seating

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Samwon Garden NYC Menu and Food

Samwon Garden's menu is extensive, ranging from its well known beef barbecue choices (minimum of two orders required) to Korean favorites such as kalbi/galbi and braised pork belly, to rice dishes such as bibimbap.

Samwon Garden Menu-Starters
Samwon Garden NYC Menu
Samwon Garden NYC Barbecue Menu

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One of my favorite things about good Korean restaurants are the delicious ban chan, the complimentary assortment of vegetable appetizers served before the meal. I especially enjoy the seaweed, watercress, and of course the kimchi.

Review: Samwon Garden Ban Chan Appetizers
Watercress, Samwon Garden NYC Review

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We started with an order of steamed mandoo dumplings, which arrived piping hot, with tender wrappers encasing a good but somewhat bland meat filling; fortunately the dipping sauce was spiked with chiles and made the dish.

Mandoo Dumplings, Samwon Garden NYC Review

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We shared a couple of mains. The Dolsot Bibimbap, is our litmus test for a Korean restaurant, and Samwon Garden's version was excellent, made with very fresh ingredients and a nice crunchy rice crust on the bottom of the dish. We were glad that our server asked if we wanted two helpings of the hot sauce to mix it with, as we used both of them, even after removing some of the dish for our son, who doesn't yet care for spicy food.

Dolsot Bibimbap, Samwon Garden, NYC Review

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As our second main, we chose Eundaegoo Jorim, braised black cod with a spicy sauce, although we asked for ours to be toned down, since we were sharing with our son. The fish was fantastic, but the fish portion was on the small side given its $33 cost. Also be aware that there are quite a few bones–I didn't mind this too much, but my husband wasn't keen on that aspect.

Eundaegoo Jorim, Samwon Garden NYC Review

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A nice touch at the end of the meal was this very refreshing cold plum tea–even our son liked it, and he never drinks tea.

Plum Tea, Samwon Garden NYC Review

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The Verdict

We had a great meal at Samwon Garden, even though we didn't try the barbecue on this occasion. The black cod was a highlight, and the bibimbap very solid. We definitely plan to go back to try more dishes, and are very happy with this great addition to NYC's Korean Town.

If you've dined at Samwon Garden, which are your favorite dishes?

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