An Award-Winning Korean Restaurant Opens Its First NYC Outpost

Located within Genesis House, Onjium celebrates royal Korean cuisine in a massively cool space inspired by a former palace.

Interior of Onjium
Interior of Onjium | Photo by Frank Oudeman
Interior of Onjium | Photo by Frank Oudeman

Even with all of the viral (and totally wild) pop culture references launched by Squid Game, one of the most memorable was dalgona candy, a two-ingredient Korean street treat that dates back to post-war 1950s South Korea. And while the country continues to be a global trendsetter for many aspects of modern life and technology, culinarily, a movement focused on restrained dishes highlighting the nation’s epicurean history continues to thrive.

Suranchae | Photo by Namustudio Heeki Min

In NYC, the latest opening to spotlight this is Genesis House Restaurant curated by Onjium, a new restaurant located at Genesis House, a recently-opened 45,000-square-foot cultural center in the Meatpacking District from Hyundai’s luxury automotive brand, Genesis. With views of the High Line and Hudson River, the innovative space houses a futuristic floor-to-ceiling LED-lit stage in the basement, an automotive showroom on the ground level, and on the Unhyeongung Palace-design inspired second floor—along with a tea pavilion, library, and garden terrace—lies this fresh dining concept.

Here, chefs/artisans Cho Eun Hee and Park Sungbae of the original Seoul Onjium—which is a cultural institution with an award-winning restaurant—offer their menu with slight ingredient nuances adapted to local sourcing, ie swapping parsnip for Korean mountain root. And for the first time ever, in addition to their regular tasting menu, the NYC location features a la carte ordering as well.

Domi jjim
Domi jjim | Photo by Namustudio Heeki Min

Focused on royal Korean cuisine from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), at Onjium, traditional recipes with contemporary interpretations provide a culinary experience comparable to any first-rate NYC eatery with options like suranchae, a stellar dish with abalone, diver scallop, sweet Korean pear, and snow crab in a pine nut sauce formerly served to special guests of a noble clan.

“We’d like New Yorkers to walk away with an understanding of the ancient stories and flavors of Korean cuisine in a new light,” says the duo. “Korean royal cuisine transcends from a designated master to ‘protectors’ (which chef Cho is one of few ordained by the Korean government), and our vision is to continue to pass down these traditions and keep them alive for a modern day audience.”

Dububap | Photo by Namustudio Heeki Min

Additional signature offerings include baekhwaban (assorted soups, banchan, and kimchi), dububap (tofu and rice), goldong-meyon (chilled wheat noodles with a special soy sauce), and desserts like a pine nut meringue.

Custom cocktails feature Korean alcohol with drinks like the Ritual Spirit with plum liqueur and wild pear infused soju, and the Collaboration #1 with premium soju and berry tea.

Genesis House Restaurant curated by Onjium is open Tuesday to Sunday from 5 pm-10 pm and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are available via Resy.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.