After feeling satisfied with my experience at Sel et Poivre, I decided to give some restaurants around Lexington Avenue another try. I remembered I have passed by a small Korean joint couple of times in the summer and I was hoping that it was not jam packed with people. Lucky for me, I found the place and it was not crowded at all. The name of the place is Korean Express. For Korean food lover like me, trying to get a bargain at a Korean restaurant in Manhattan is not an easy task. A lot of the best Korean restaurants in Manhattan normally located at 32nd Street between 5th and 6th (hence the term Korea Way existed – yes Koreatown do exists in both Manhattan and Queens) and some of them often have expensive price for just one entrée. Korean Express may not offer the best ambiance and decoration but when it comes to food and prices, it was more than just satisfying.
My friend and I scanned the menu and I literally had this ‘a-ha’ moment for a while before I decided to settle with a Galbi Lunch Box Set. My friend was quite picky when it comes to Korean food but in the end she chose Chicken Kimchi Fried Rice. The Galbi Lunch Box consists of marinated grilled beef ribs, fried dumplings, piping hot white rice, and a side green salad. They also gave free kimchi and radish for the Banchan and I was also given a miso soup for starter. As for the Chicken Kimchi Fried Rice, it came with a sunny side up egg on top.
So, how’s the food you ask? For a price of $14.95 (I could not remember exactly how much mine was, I forgot the receipt – all I know is definitely under $16) the box set was a life saver from instant hunger. The portion was just perfect for one person; if you don’t want to say very fulfilling. The beef tasted juicy and tender and as I am writing this, my mind keeps on thinking about munching those ribs. My friend said that she liked her fried rice even though she hated the sunny side up egg. And her fried rice also came in huge portion as well (the fried rice is around $10.95).
Aside from box set and fried rice, Korean Express also has an extensive selections of other well-known Korean cuisines such as Bibimbap, Ramyun, Bulgogi, Soondoobu, Jap Chae, and even curry rice. If you are in the area on weekdays, they even have lunch specials under $10 that is definitely worth the buck. The service was quite attentive too – they make sure your glass is always refilled with water and they always check your table every once a while. Korean Express surely is a rescue for those who want to savor delicious Korean cuisines without splurging a lot. Now, who would have thought that Upper East Side actually has more than just an expensive zip code?!
Address: 807 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10065
How to get there: nearest transit is Lexington Avenue – 63rd St subway station (F train) however it is also within walking distance from Lexington Avenue – 59th St subway station (4,5,6,N,Q,R trains) as well as 68th St Hunter College subway station (6 train).