Han Il Kwan: Doraville, GA, USA
Two weeks ago, I went back to Han Il Kwan by coincidenct. Normally, I tend to stick closer to the restaurants near my house up in Norcross or Duluth, but we had just finished volunteering with a few friends, and they hadn’t eaten dinner yet. The last time I went to Han Il Kwan, it was about a year ago when a few friends came in for a dental conference. They are known to have fairly authentic korean food and is probably the closest place to downtown Atlanta that I can think of that you can find this sort of cuisine.
Normally, Han Il Kwan is known for their neng myun (Cold noodles). However, they do a good korean bbq as well, LA galbi to be specific. However, my friend who frequents here fairly often recommended their soups/stews. One of my favorite soups is dumpling ricecake soup (뚴 만두궄 – possible misspelling as I am not korean). The soup is a nice warm creamy broth, I believe it is beef or anchovy based, and is garnished with green onion, sometimes leeks, and seaweed laver.
Some people don’t like the ricecake which is understandable. It is made out of glutinous (sweet) rice flour and is reportedly hard to digest, according to Asian notes of various peoples, mostly that of the older generation. However, it does give a little more sustenance to the dish. I like how creamy Han Il Kwan prepares the soup. In addition, it is not overly salty. While some people will say that this dish is fairly easy to make, believe it or not, I have had some terrible renditions of this soup. The amount is just enough to fill you on a cold day, but since my mom and I were splitting this soup, it was just enough for a late night snack.
One other “dish” that I wanted to note was their mashed potato panchan. For one, it did not have as much mayo as other restaurants. Second, it tasted slightly sweet. Actually, it tasted fairly sweet. I’m not sure if this was intentional or if someone mistakenly put too much sugar instead of salt. I do like the fact that it isn’t consistently mayo though as it makes me feel like I am eating healthier.
All in all a summary:
- dumpling rice cake soup (duk mandoo guk): **** (4 stars)
- potato panchan: *** (3 stars)
If you wanted to check out Han Il Kwan for yourself, you can find them here:5458 Buford Hwy NE Doraville, GA 30340
Until next time, this is your foodie friend signing off…