Sooooo, I totally forgot to feature Incheon on here, and that’s a travesty because chef Justin Ahn’s food is a must try. If you live in the DMV area, you definitely need to make a trip to Annandale because his tasting menu is magic. And it’s only $65 a person, which is crazy affordable for everything you get.
A few things to keep in mind for when you go:
- It’s a reservations-only establishment – and you prepay online – so head to Tock to secure your table.
- They’re only open Thursday through Saturday, and they offer 2 seatings per night: 5 and 8PM.
- Parking’s free, and there’s a fairly large lot right by the restaurant.
- Dietary restrictions aren’t accommodated.
- It’s not traditional Korean cuisine. More on that below though.
Alright, so here’s what I mean. You’ll see various Korean staples, but everything’s presented with a twist. For example, take their abalone porridge. It’s familiar but also very different. Here’s why: chef uses arborio rice and reduces it with housemade dashi while incorporating various cheeses into the mix. So you get this amazing risotto/juk hybrid that’s amazing.
Want to see what else is on the menu? This is his beautiful egg custard, topped with chili peppers and prik nam pla. Fish sauce is dope, and I’ve never had it on gaeran jjim before, so I was stoked about the combo.
Next up: a delicious spicy sea snail whelk salad served with jjolmyun, which literally means chewy noodles. The texture’s great, and you get to decide how spicy you want your dish to be.
The cod’s easily one of my favorite dishes there. It’s served with braised radish and bokchoy, and it’s light but hearty at the same time. The fish is so flaky and moist, and the exterior’s crispy as can be. Absolute perfection.
Then we got chef’s short rib hash. This dish is bound to be one of your favorites because it’s so insanely tasty. It’s the epitome of comfort food; he puts kalbi on top of nom hash browns with kimchi and a fried egg. So yeah, what’s not to love?
Next up, their pork belly ssam. He gives you a generous portion that’s accompanied with pickled napa cabbage, spicy radish (saengchae), and walnut ssamjang. Pick up a piece of cabbage, add some meat, saengchae and a bit of walnut ssamjang, and wrap it all up for the perfect bite.
And last but not least, his GuEe aka dressed NY strip with goguma (Korean sweet potato) puree and chimichurri. Super tender, super flavorful.
Yeah, I told you. You get so much food for $65 it’s kind of ridiculous. And it’s all so tasty! Chef’s planning to change his menu come mid-January so make sure you head there ASAP to experience this current tasting. If you go, or have gone, let me know what your thoughts were by leaving a comment below, and click here to make a reservation!