Hankook Kwan, a recently-revamped Korean barbecue restaurant, will make its grand debut this weekend in Chinatown.
Tucked inside the Welcome Shopping Center at Ranchester and Bellaire, the restaurant takes over the space formerly occupied by Bodard Restaurant. The restaurant is operated by Jang Yul Woo, who moved to the Bayou City from Seoul, Korea earlier this year with the express purpose of opening a restaurant. When Hankook Kwan’s former owners listed it for sale, Woo was quick to snap it up. For the last couple of months while Hankook Kwan was closed, the self-taught chef, whose resume includes stints in Korea and Japan, has been reworking the menu so that he could bring authentic Korean cuisine to his customers.
The menu includes classic Korean barbecue dishes like wang kalbi (short ribs) and beef bulgogi, which can be ordered individually or for grilling with a group at the table. Pre-set combinations range from $43.99 to $99.99, can feed between 2-4 people, and include a variation of meat and beef selections from beef ribs, to pork belly, grilled mackerel and more.
All barbecue plates come with seven banchan (side dishes) that rotate daily. The kimchi is made using Woo’s mother’s recipe. The mandoo, or steamed dumplings, are also made from his mother’s recipe. Other notable menu items include the haemul paejon (seafood pancake), the soft tofu jen-gol (tofu hotpot with seafood in spicy broth), and the beef galbi-jim, a braised short rib dish that is not available anywhere else in the city. “I want to make Korean made the Korean way. No shortcuts. No MSG. Just good quality Korean cooking,” says Woo.
Hankook Kwan is located at 9140 Bellaire Blvd #B in the Welcome Shopping Center. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and will host a grand opening this weekend with 15% off grilled meats.