I've been going to Woorijip for more years than I can count. It's a Korean cafeteria palace of wonder. So many excellent cheap options! But over time I've gotten into a rut. Nine times out of ten I'll have their spicy pork. Sometimes I'll mix it up with some vegetable pancakes or some pancakes of the krab or vegetable variety and that's enough to make me happy. With the (somewhat) cold weather we've been having I found myself craving soup, so I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and check out Woorijip's Noodle Bar...
If you just get takeout at Woorijip you might never really take notice of the Noodle Bar, a little ordering counter by the kitchen in the back. The Noodle Bar is open Mondays through Fridays for lunch from 9:00am(!) to 2:00pm and for dinner from 3:00pm to 7:00pm.
The day that I went they had six options. Everything sounded good, but my friend and I were most drawn to the ramen with egg ($5.00) and the spicy kimchi pork and ham soup--the most expensive soup on the menu at $7.00. The two ladies at the Noodle Bar moved the line along quickly. And within a few minutes we each had a steaming bucket of soup. Both soups came with a small side of kimchi and my spicy pork kimchi and ham soup came with a side of rice as well. If you look at this photo you can see that the rice is in a fairly standard pint-ish sized container and the soup dwarfs it.
Both soups were good and filling. You could eat half of the serving and be satisfied. The pork soup had kimchi, pork, rice cakes, ramen, SPAM, and pieces of hot dogs. Kind of random and yet it worked. Definitely warms you up, too. Halfway through the soup I needed wanted to take my sweater off. By the end of the meal I walked to the subway sans jacket.
The fresh egg was a good addition to the ramen--sort of reminiscent of an egg drop soup with those lovely little egg threads. Soups by their very nature tend to be salty, but I didn't feel that either of these were overly so. Definitely not as salty as the soups at Sapporo.
I tried to hit up the noodle bar again this week, but alas, the early luncher gets the bucket of soup. I stepped away from my desk a wee bit too late and arrived right in the noodle bar dead zone. No soup for me. But wait! What's this in the Woorijip fridge? Kimchi Stew with Pork for $3.00?!
Ok, the portion size is smaller, but this was actually just right for lunch, especially when paired with the $2.50 Radish Kimchi Bibimbap which came with a little scallion pancake. Yay! A different and satisfying lunch for under $6. My work here is done.
Woorijip 12 W 32nd St, New York 10001 Between 5th Ave & Broadway 212-244-1115 24/7!