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.


  1. it all looks great. i usually never get too excited about rice bowls, but that avocado one is calling to me! never heard of $10 for water -- was it bottled or something?

  2. What an amazing array of beautiful, healthy, and delicious-sounding food. I would love to eat there. I really want to try some sweet potato noodles.

    The 10$ charge sounds dodgy to me too.

  3. Glad you enjoyed the food, bummer on the odd beverage charge. I have seen similar things in Europe for table charges but not in the US.


  4. The dinner, if not the bill, looks heavenly. On the plus side, you did get to sample a lot of different dishes that just two people alone wouldn't have ordered. I find it odd that restaurants in Seattle charge for rice and tea, which always came with the meal in the Midwest, but can't say I've ever seen a random "beverage" charge on a bill. Sounds like a fun meal, though, and if you're going to splurge, it might as well be on something great.

  5. OK those pancakes have my name all over them! I love kabocha. Now....that bill...with only water??? Wow. If the hubs and I are eating out super special occasion with wine and all 4 courses, it's still not that much. But, just think of it as a once in a lifetime treat right???

  6. good, good, good, BAM! the bill. ouch! i have never heard of a ten dollar drink ordered those two teas, did you see the price for those? were they listed in addition to that fee? it does seem like a really nice place, i hate when pictures dont do a place/food justice. that little plate of all the types of rolls IS very cute:) but the rice and veggie bowls look so healthy and fun too..i would not be able to choose. when the waiter said that it might not be enough to share, i would prefer THAT to the opposite. its no fun when the waiter tells me "oh its a huge salad/veggie plate, you wont be able to finish it..." and i do...embarrasing...haha

  7. Oh New York. Everything there is expensive. At least to me. Extra beverage charge does not surprise me. I might have pulled out my inner New Yorker and yelled at them. Which scares people in Seattle but probably not New York, they are used to it.

    At least the food was good.

    About your questions: coconut aminos I can get at the Health Food Store here but they can also be found online. I get cacao butter from Raw Vegan Source which is local but you can also order from Raw Food World. Neither of which are required ingredients but sure are fun!

  8. The food all looks so interesting and tasty, but what a shocker about the bill! Having the family with you does put the price of things up sky-high compared with a meal for two, doesn't it! Glad you enjoyed the meal while you were eating it, though! :o)

  9. Yeesh. Vacations can be especially rough because you can't eat cheaply at your home, but sometimes you gotta just not worry about it and enjoy your meals. But it isn't right to be pushy about adding hidden charges and unnecessary plates of food. Oh well, the food looks great as do the seating pillows and platings and everything.
    I'm also really nervous about ordering vegan food at supposedly veg-friendly Asian restaurants. Glad to see this worked out for you AND it's nice to see you back on the blogs!

  10. Yikes...That would have sent me into a panic!! I cant even imagine what that extra fee must be!

  11. Hangawi tacked on a $10 fee for being a rube. They lost hundreds of dollars more than that in future business.

  12. Hangawi is one of my favorite vegan restaurants! So glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Wow, what a sticker shocker! I am impressed that you guys ate all that food - from the pics it looked like a lot! I'm also slightly surprised how much your kidlets liked Korean food. I know for us, it's a bit on the spicier side for our little ones, so we tend to stick to other Asian delights when we're out with them. But, just last night, G and I had Korean by ourselves. I was also telling him yesterday about how much more open-minded your kids seem to be about food than ours. I keep working on them, though. :-)

  14. This is so inspiring... I would like to make those little rolls :-)


  15. Jeezus, that bill would've given me a heart attack too! $10 for water, what the crap? I would've thrown a fit over that...the food, however, does look great!

  16. The food looks awesome! I'd love to try those rolls. I love beautiful plates like that. A big bill though, for sure! Kinda scary about the crazy water chargers. That's never a good surprise.

  17. That's some good looking food, but one nasty looking bill! I would have been washing dishes on that one...ha

  18. Jenny, just wanted you to know that I added something in the directions of my rolls recipe, in case you printed it. Take care!

  19. Hey I haven't been to your page in a while! I meant to ask you a while ago but better late than never, are you interested in doing a hippy pack with me? If so, write me on my blog and we can :)

  20. No, the water wasn't bottled, and I'm not even sure the charge was FOR the water. I don't even know. After two explanations from him and still not understanding, I just sighed, said, "Okay," and left.

    blessedmama, thanks for the compliment. The kids aren't perfectly unpicky, but I am proud of them. My 10 year old will eat anything at all - as long as it isn't too spicy. We tried to pick things that weren't too spicy - and obviously they didn't try the kimchi. And I think one or two of the rolls were too spicy for them, as well. My 5 year old definitely has a list of a few things he does not want to eat. He definitely improves with age, though, as we can talk about it with him.

    Thank you, everyone, as always for taking the time to comment!

  21. That's one of the NYC vegan restaurants I haven't been to. I've been meaning to check it out. Looks like you got a lot of awesome food! I do have to say it sounds like the beverage charge was for the 2 teas you said you ordered, but I can't see the entire bill. Remember, too the cost of operating a restaurant in NYC is much higher than pretty much anywhere else. There are plenty of "cheap" vegan eats on the LES, but I'm happy to have one vegan Korean option even if it seems a bit pricey.

  22. Jenn, you should totally go; it was really, really good, and I loved the experience. I don't really mind paying higher prices in NYC; food's our favorite reason, among many reasons, we love to take trips there. Obviously, if you go with one or two people, bills aren't quite so shocking. This was definitely the most expensive place we visited during our trip. The two teas were $5 apiece, and those were listed separately on the bill.