Friday, December 10, 2010

Hangawi in NYC

Although Hangawi has received numerous "best vegetarian restaurant" type awards in NYC, we had yet to ever try it. Because we were in town longer this time, I wanted to venture beyond our usual spots. It was in walking distance from Madison Square Garden, where we'd just went to see Wintuk, Cirque du Soleil's holiday show (recommended!). I also really wanted to visit Hangawi since Asia has been the topic of our homeschool studies.

This picture doesn't capture the restaurant's true loveliness. When you enter, you are asked to remove your shoes, which are taken from you and stored in cubbies. You are seated on floor pillows, but there is actually a hole under the table for your feet. This was our first time (that I can remember) in a Korean restaurant.

This picture is very sad, but I will include it merely to say we started off with the Vermicelli Delight (sweet potato noodles with assorted vegetables). We enjoyed trying new things at Hangawi such as "sweet potato noodles."

The kids really wanted tea, and we agreed it would be perfect for the experience. They shared two (large) cups of Citron Juice "tea."

Combination Rolls:
emperor's rolls, seaweed rolls, mushroom rolls and kimchi vermicelli rolls

one of the cutest, most fun plates I've ever ordered and
so fun to try all of the different ones

Kabocha Pumpkin Pancakes with Mung Beans

My 10 year old, especially, couldn't get enough of these.

Fried Vegetable Dumplings

(you can also get them steamed)

The entrees came in these stone bowls which stayed HOT the entire meal. We enjoyed sharing and sampling all of the dishes.

Avocado Stone Bowl Rice

avocado with a variety of vegetables & tofu over rice, mixed with miso sauce

Ryan said this was his favorite.

a grilled tofu with seaweed bowl

They also served us a cabbage roll and kimchi, which I was thrilled about since I've been obsessed with kimchi lately.

Organic Brown Rice Stone Bowl with Organic Tofu and Mixed Vegetables

I love how you order something seemingly "plain," like rice with tofu and veggies, but it comes out looking beautiful, with nothing plain about it. I also really love how Hangawi has organic options.

Tofu Cheesecake

Tofu Ice Cream

The desserts were tasty (and only $7 apiece, which wasn't too crazy compared to other restaurants). And at least they were served beautifully. On leaves!

As soon as we started eating our food, I was oohing and aahing that this would definitely be one of our main restaurants we choose whenever we're in town. I rarely ever eat Asian food because the potential ingredients scare me a little bit. (This probably started in highschool while I was on a double date. We stopped at a Chinese place, which I was not looking forward to. I ordered "rice," the most benign item on the menu. And it came out rice with tiny shredded bits of fried egg that was impossible to sift through.) Anyway, Hangawi made quite an impression on us visually and orally.

And then we got the bill.

Might not be rushing back here anytime soon.

I questioned our server about the $10 beverage charge (since we all had water). Is this a normal thing at restaurants? He explained it to me, and I still can't tell you what it is. I found that extra $10 tacked on very irksome. The wonderful taste in my mouth was slightly tainted by the almost $200 tab (after tip). Oh, well. I know you can eat there a little more economically. Even though we finished all of our food, we could have done without one of the entrees. (But as I was listing everything we were ordering, I asked the server if that seemed like the right amount of food for us, and he suggested another entree. The ever-agreeable me said, "Okay.") He also told us the bowls probably weren't big enough to share, but they were. And we could have done without dessert. I grabbed a take-out menu, and those prices seem noticeably less.

Hangawi: 10 thumbs up and will visit again most likely when it's just Ryan and me. Or if it's all of us, we'll make sure we're not incredibly hungry before we go.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Other Random Stuff

I'm sorry I haven't announced the Candle Cafe Cookbook giveaway winner. I'm surrounded in my post-vacation MESS that's put me into some sort of funky denial. I don't want to come to terms with the mile long list of things I have to do right now. I have no idea how a Christmas tree or our many tubs of decorations would even fit into my home right now.

So, instead I turned off those thoughts and turned on my DVRed episodes of Life Unexpected and Guliana and Bill, etc. that I missed while I was gone. I have no choice now but to get back to real life.

The winner is: Seglare. The cookbook is going to be making its way to Copenhagen! Enjoy, Seglare.

One nagging concern of mine right now is my camera battery charger that I left plugged into the outlet at my apartment in NYC. Sigh. I haven't been able to use my camera since we left Hardy, Virginia...I have only my phone to use, therefore I have been taking my plates of food outside for pictures. I have to decide whether to wait any longer to see if the apartment people will actually mail it to me (they haven't returned my email) - or shell out $40 for a new charger.

Anyway, I made a batch of White Bean & Sweet Potato Burgers like I wrote about a few posts ago. This time I paid attention to quantities, and this is how it played out:

1 cup of white beans (this time they were canned cannelini)
1 cup of microwaved sweet potato (about a half of a large one)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup organic wheat Panko crumbs

This mix definitely needs spices of some sort, but I'll let you spice experts figure that one out. It held up again really well. I overcooked it a bit as I was trying to do 5 things at once, as usual.

Here is the prettier picture from the other day.

I also tried making Sweet Potato Bites because my friend Lori had made them for my kids recently. I thought they were so cute, different than sweet potato fries. AND my 5 year old, who "doesn't like" sweet potatoes liked them!

I thought mine were good, and he did eat them with the promise of dessert. (Yes, I bribe my children.) However, he informed me that they were "too soft," and I realized I didn't chop them into tiny enough pieces like she had. And maybe I didn't turn the oven up high enough. I'll try again later.


Here is a random, funny story you may appreciate. My sister Cary, who lives in St. Louis, recently drove by a "restaurant" called Village Vegetarian. Well, I can imagine MY excitement over finding such a place, and she was equally intrigued. She was headed to a get-together with her friends one night, and she decided to go early to grab a bite at Village Vegetarian. She has two small kids (who were at home with their dad); this would be a rare type of indulgence for most moms. She pulls into Village Vegetarian all excited about the vegetarian treats of which she was about to partake...and realized it actually said Village Veterinarian....hahaha...I'm chuckling again as I type this. Poor sister.