Dine Out : Oiji

Oiji New York, Oiji Review

When Oiji opened early last summer, the restaurant quickly gained popularity and buzz for it's impressively executed contemporary Korean cuisine. The restaurant is located in the same East Village space that once housed Dok Suni, an old favorite for a number of years for their steadfastly good homestyle Korean food. The dining room has been updated in a style that evokes both a warmth and coolness with the use of brick, reclaimed wood and slate. A modern and grand chandelier hangs over a communal table while vintage style Edison lightbulbs illuminate the bar area. The individual tables are very well lit and that gets a big seal of approval from me because I like to see exactly what I'm eating and it also makes life easier when it comes to taking photos. As for the food itself, all the dishes are served tapas style for sharing. Most of the menu is based on home cooked classics, refined and prepared in unexpected ways. The fried chicken was a delightful way to kick off our meal. The dish which features thigh meat pieces battered and fried in tapioca flour was incredibly crispy and light and full of delicious flavor when dunked in the sauce that tasted like a spicy ponzu. The other revelatory dish was the jang jo rim with tender beef, daikon radish cubes, mushroom strips and a soft boiled egg on a bed of buttered rice which you mix together before eating. Each bite of this was both comforting and satisfying. The home made tofu was ok but nothing special and we didn't really care for the slow cooked oxtail with root vegetables. It was a little overseasoned and felt heavy. I actually make a version of this dish at home and both my husband and I agreed that we like mine better. The only "dessert" option offered is the Oiji's version of honey butter chips, the highly popular snack that was all the rage in Korea last year. Of course we had to try them and they were like sweet and sticky potato chips. They were okay but I found them too sweet and not crunchy enough. That said, savory and sweet taste combinations are not my thing. Our service was pleasant and the overall experience was good. I would return and try some other menu options like the chil jeol pan and pine leaves smoked mackerel but the honey butter chips would get a pass.

Are you a fan of Korean cuisine? And how do you feel about dark restaurants?

119 First Avenue
New York City
Fried Chicken with Spicy Soy Vinaigrette
Fried Chicken with Spicy Soy Vinaigrette
Homemade Tofu with Scallion Soy Vinaigrette
Homemade Tofu with Scallion Soy Vinaigrette
Jang Jo Rim with Buttered Rice and Soft Boiled Egg
Jang Jo Rim with Buttered Rice and Soft Boiled Egg
Slow Cooked Oxtail with Root Vegetables
Slow Cooked Oxtail with Root Vegetables
Honey Butter Chips
Honey Butter Chips

Oiji Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Doctor Anne said...

I don't enjoy the combination of sweet and savory as well, I prefer one or the other. And I don't like my table to be dark, I always feel like there is dirt that is supposed to be hidden if the lighting is so dim.

Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

Stanislava E. said...

I have never had a Korean food in my life, but I'd love to give it a try. From your photos everything looks so delicious, especially the honey butter chips. I also prefer brighter restaurants, not only for the photos :P, but this way the place looks cleaner to me. Have a nice day, Rowena! xo

Anonymous said...

Honey butter chips? I have no idea what that tastes like but I bet it's goooood...

Paola Lauretano said...

This Food looks delicious!!!
xo Paola
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Lilli said...

I don't like dark restaurants either as I love to see what I eat too lol! This one seems fine Rowena, I like Korean food as all the Oriental cuisine. Curious to try the chips even though sound too sweet. Have a nice week ahead! xo

Jackie Harrison said...

Wow everything looks so delicious a restaurant to consider.

Emmylou said...

I love Korean food, but not really a fan of dark restaurants. I must admit...those chips sound pretty interesting:D

Marcela Gmd said...

Delicious post!!!
Have a good week, dear Rowena!! and my g+ for you!!!!:)))

Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Looks so good :)))) xx

little luxury list said...

Ooh I have a weakness for fried chicken and am fascinated by the tapioca flour coating. Was it still quite crispy? This one goes on the list for my next visit!

Unknown said...

You always show us the greatest places! This one sounds lovely and the food sure does look good! :)


Elle Sees said...

i have not had enough korean food in my life...something i need to change in the new year

Shireen L. Platt said...

I do love Korean food but as I said, it has been some time since I had any. I'm not a fan of dark restaurants because I would like to see what I'm eating. The butter chips seems interesting, I'm going to Google and find out if I can recreated it at home.

Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

Gabrielle said...

I have to admit to not having tried much Korean food, however seeing posts such as this certainly inspire me to step out of my comfort zone a little more :) With regard to dark dining settings, I find them atmospheric - though I need to be able to see what's on my plate or else who knows what you could be putting in your mouth haha!
Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

Ivana Split said...

wonderful photographs,you really captures the colours...and I must say these dishes look yummy! I never had the change to eat authentic Korean food....some day I hope I will. I always see it in culinary shows and everyone praises it!

All of these dishes sound very good, but I think I would skip the dessert myself. It sounds interesting but I think I wouldn't enjoy this dessert either, as savoury and sweet isn't my thing.

Have a nice day!


Beauty Unearthly said...

Lovely post dear! Have a great week! xx


I like some, not all Korean food. I would probably pass on the sweet chips, although I would like to taste them once as you did. I use tapioca starch on my tofu & veggies sometimes, and love savoury foods, but not with sweet together unless it's something really special. Thanks for the review, it sounds like an interesting place.
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Anonymous said...

Although I am genetically part Korean, I find the cuisine so-so. Plus being a vegetarian doesn't make it too easy to find suitable dishes :/ I would have tried the tofu, in this case!


Hena Tayeb said...

Looks interesting.. I have never actually eaten korean food.

Stella said...

Those honey butter chips look amazing!
I've only tried kimchi from the Korean cousine.
Stella from a Looks & Travels

Unknown said...

i love korean food! it's one of my favorite food to eat. this restaurant looks nice the food looks tasty! i'm not a very sweet and savory kind of person either.


nycstylelittlecannoli said...

This food looks good and if I went here, I would like to go with someone who can tell me what to order! I like trying different things, dark restaurants are okay Your photos are gorgeous as always, the lighting didn't seem to bother taking the photos! Thanks for the review!

ALLIE NYC said...

You know I have never had Oxtail, but that is impressive that yours was better but also frustrating when you go out you want it to be better!


Kelsey&Kenecha said...

I never tried Korean cuisine before but the food looks good. I doubt I would like the Honey butter chips though.


Midnight Cowgirl said...

Sounds like an interesting restaurant, and the fried chicken looks really good :)

trishie said...

I do enjoy Korean food from time to time, don't mind the sweet and savoury flavour combination.

Effortlesslady said...

Oh my I'm drooling here! Love korean takeout.

Pooja Mittal said...

mouthwatering food :)
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Beauty Follower said...

Nice place and food!


Unknown said...

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Rebeca Muñoz López said...

Hello Rowena, that nice place, show us the dishes look very appetizing, let me tell you of oriental food recipes that I most enjoy are the bittersweet! Nice post, kisses.


Natalia | Look-A-Porter said...

I am not 100% convinced by food, but I like the decor and wouldn't mind the darkness (as long as I can see something :) ) x

Corinne said...

I'm also not a fan of sweet and sour together! I love how it's presented.

Corinne x

Unknown said...

I love your restaurant review of this Korean cuisine! I am 50/50 about "dark" restaurant depending on designer because I want to see the food that I eat and don't want that "sketchy" vibe! Love the food pictures and now I want something Asian to eat but not crappy type!



A Very Sweet Blog said...

The aesthetics of Oiji are gorgeous! Very modern indeed! I'm with you Rowena, I do not like dark places. It's so hard to see. I like dim lights, but some places are just too dark. Sounds like the food was hit or miss. But it's encouraging that you want to try other dishes. So that's good. Interesting place.

JeannLiew | Luminnej said...

The place looks pleasant though, like you mentioned, some dishes need more work, huh? Wow, you can re-create a restaurant dish and make it better? How cool is that. You are a great home cook then, Rowena!

So far, I am leaning more towards Japanese food than Korean, but I do enjoy a good Korean dining if they are good. We thought the Bulgogi Brother's dishes were pretty good and our family enjoyed it a lot but they have since closed down recently.. too bad.

But your pics of the dishes look appetizing though, haha *_^ Makes me hungry now!! oh dear

With love,


I LOVE dark restaurants, I'm really into the whole dark atmosphere there. The only one I've visited was this one in Berlin: http://www.longmarchcanteen.com/photos and we really loved it. Unfortunately I didn't tried the Korean cusine before, maybe I should search for a restaurant in my city. ;) Until then I enjoy watching at your mouth watering impressions, Rowena! Just yum.

xoxo Ira

Jane said...

i have seen all the rave that was honey butter chips but never was able to get my hands on one (my friend was able to taste one as someone brought back a bag for her lol) - but it's interesting that their dessert is their own version of it. too bad the taste wasn't that great. the mackerel dish you mentioned though sounds amazing.