-Grubbing in Chicago (land)Five Star Food Court Food
I'm not exactly breaking any news with today's post but rather adding to Hanbun's praise. I'm going to assume most people who read this know what Hanbun is by now. But for those that don't it's one of the best restaurants to open up last year (2016) and it just so happens to be located in a dimly lit food court out in the middle of Westmont. Nonetheless it's become so popular during it's year + tenure that recent word on the street has them looking for a larger place to play. They would be Chef Dave Park and his partner / fiancee Jennifer Tran. Owners of Chicagoland's best Korean restaurant.
Locals Favorite in Westmont
I don't know why it's hard for some to believe there's good food in the suburbs but Westmont was already a dining destination for noodles at Katy's. Now it has one of the best 1-2 punches in all of Chicagoland. Chef Park was born in Korea and moved to the States at the age of 8. After a failed stint at Alinea (he didn't think he was worthy enough) Chef Park moved back home only to move back to Chicagoland and give the whole cooking thing another go. Lucky us because after a few stints in prominent kitchens he decided to go out on his own and open Hanbun. I'm no Korean food expert but I do find myself enjoying it more and more and Hanbun is reason number one. It's so good.
Korean Pork Bun - coffee scented pork. ssam jang. steamed buns. white kimchi. scallions.
Bao buns are pretty much available everywhere these days. People like Eddie Huang have made a fortune off of them. Your neighborhood isn't hip unless it has a local bao shop. Well I guess Westmont is pretty hip these days. This is the best bao I ever had. Quite frankly I never loved a bao until I recently tried this one. The coffee rubbed pork belly was cooked to perfection and the crunchy cabbage was perfectly placed. The vegetable pancake is also a stellar representation of it's kind.
Vegetable Pancake - medley of vegetables. tangy soy dipping sauce.
Moving right along the bulgogi was the most tender representation of this dish I've ever come across. You can really tell that the people behind the food have been trained on a culinary level as each dish is pretty much flawless. Make it a point to get out here for lunch if you haven't already.
Bulgogi - Marinated tender beef. crisp apple & arugula salad. soy sesame vinaigrette. served with barley rice.
My favorite dish of my only trip thus far is this hybrid Korean-Chinese dish which I have no idea how to say. According to google it translates to "noodles with black sauce" and when put like that it's much better than it sounds. One of the best dishes I've ate of late and I cant wait to go back for more. The recent James Beard award Chef park was nominated for was well deserved. I cant remember being this happy with a complete meal whether it was fine dining or from a food court in the burbs.
Jjajjangmyun - korean-chinese style noodles. black bean sauce. pork belly. nuoc mam cucumber. chives.
665 Pasquinelli Dr #108
Westmont, IL 60559