Dining Review: Hanki K-Pops Onto 7th Avenue

Dining Review: Hanki K-Pops Onto 7th Avenue
Dak Galbi Set (top), a chicken dish, and Bulgolgi Set (bottom), thinly sliced steak. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

“Call me your darling darling toke sō na no, Sugar pop my lolly pop you’re my sweet heart,” sings Girl’s Day in their song “Darling.”

The current K-Pop band line-up of Sojin, Minah, Yura, and Hyeri weren’t sitting next to us during our savory lunch at the newly opened Hanki (226 7th Avenue, between 3rd and 4th Street), but they were singing their hearts out through the speakers.

The music speaks to the authenticity which the self-described “everyday Korean” restaurant wants to create in their new digs.

Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop

Hanki had its soft opening on May 7, replacing Tofu on 7th which moved to 5th Avenue last May. When we spoke with manager Samuel Kim in March, he described their menu as “both approachable, while bringing traditional flavors.”

However, the restaurant has already switched gears to something with, well, more Seoul (remember, we’re always allowed one).

DNAinfo recently spoke to manager Jayne Choi, who discussed their menu adjustment. “We thought they [the customers]  wanted something more fusion-y at first, but then we realized people here really know their Korean food, so we’re offering the authentic Korean stuff,” Choi said. “We’re just going with the flavors straight from Korea.”

Seating at Hanki. (Photo by Park Slope Stoop)

Choi’s description is accurate; Hanki is bright-eyed, fresh, and possesses the ambiance of a small eating establishment that you’d find on the streets of today’s Seoul.

The restaurant mixes the fast food and sit down dining experience. Customers order their meals at the front register, and then have a seat in the back until the order is ready.

Dak Galbi Set, a fire-grilled chicken dish. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

Our orders arrived in a handsome triptych of dishes. The Dak-Galbi ($12.50) is a fire-grilled chicken dish that comes with a side of vegetable japchae (a sweet potato starch noodle), as well as a seasoned multigrain rice.

The fire-grilled chicken had flavor aplenty, but I have to tango with “fire” in the fire-grilled. It doesn’t earn the red pepper symbol that sits next to the selection on the menu, however one can solve that issue very easily with their hot sauce.

Vegetable japchae. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

The sweetness (as in sweet potato sweetness) of the japchae noodles was offset nicely by the added veggies. And the rice was hearty. The three-dish set up works really well, and is aesthetically pleasing.

The thinly sliced ribeye steak in the Bulgogi dish ($13.75) had a nice hint of ginger (we’ll revisit ginger later), and the spinach, kimchi, radish, and cucumber banchan (sides) were nicely flavored – but again, not particularly spicy.

The menu also offers a “Quick Eats” section, including the Kalbi corndog ($3.50), Vegetable Bibimbap ($9), as well as Korean Chicken Soup ($8) on the “Hangover Food” section of the menu.

Iced Ginger Tea with fresh rosemary. (Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop)

Both the hot ($3.25) and iced ($4) teas are made with a jam base — you’ll see the large canisters when you walk in. The citron, green plum, and ginger options are all super sweet. The ginger was sharp and spicy, with fresh rosemary.

The indoor seating area is comfortable, clean, and bright — but it may be a bit on the small side for a large crowd. That said, the restaurant will be opening its outdoor seating next month, which we estimate will almost double the seating capacity.

Photo by Donny Levit / Park Slope Stoop

The neighborhood isn’t saturated with Korean restaurants, especially with the recent closing of Moim (206 Garfield Place near 7th Avenue) — which has since been replaced by the Japanese izakaya Yami-Ichi.

And Insa (328 Douglass Street, near 4th Avenue) — the splashy Korean barbecue and karaoke place which opened in December 2015 — has “night out on the town” vibe to it, which is vastly different from Hanki.

Hanki is a singular experience in the neighborhood, serving as an excellent lunch stop, or a quick and satisfying dinner.

“Oh baby, you’re so fresh, soda pop pop pop,” sings Girl’s Day. And very much like the lyrics from their song “Darling,” Hanki “mak[es]  my throat prickle and tickle my my my…”

The Dining Rundown: Hanki
Where: 226 7th Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Street)
Hours: 11am-10pm, 7 days a week.
Phone: 718-768-3555
Kid Friendly? The seating area of the restaurant is small, and may be challenging when it gets crowded. However bringing a toddler during a less busy time is fine. An outdoor section will open next month.