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Those who attended an Anju pop-up at Mandu back when they were doing one a month probably have fuzzy memories of clinking soju bottles and eating Korean bar snacks cooked by D.C. chefs new to the cuisine late into the night.
Next month, Anju makes its return for one night only with New York Chef Hooni Kim of the first Korean restaurant to receive a Michelin star—Danji in Hell’s Kitchen.Kim’s second restaurant Hanjan is in the Flatiron District.
Anju will once again take over the K Street location of Mandu from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, April 14. Chef Francis Derby of Cannibal (New York and Los Angeles), plus local talent like Johnny Spero of the forthcoming restaurant Reverie and Smoked & Stacked‘s Marjorie Meek-Bradley will join Hooni and host Chefs Danny Lee and Yesoon Lee in the kitchen.
Danny says he’s followed Kim’s cooking ever since he opened Danji in 2011. “Even though it was only six years ago, Korean food wasn’t on the map in that way yet,” he says. “I went up and was blown away. What caught my eye is that he was the first high-profile Korean chef in the U.S. to showcase that you could modernize Korean cooking, break out of the mold of the traditional barbecue setting.” The duo cooked together in Aspen after Danny won the D.C. round of Cochon 555 in 2015.
Tickets to the cocktail party are $40 and include food and complimentary cocktails provided by District Distilling Company.
The event will also have a station set up to make donations to a charity Kim started in Korea called Yori Chunsa, or “Chef Angels,” that aims to help orphans fight bias and find jobs in the restaurant industry.
Following the Anju pop-up Friday night, Mandu on K Street will offer a five-course tasting menu on Saturday cooked by Kim and the Lees. Reservations are being taken from 5-10 p.m. and the dinner costs $75 per person, including beverage pairings, tax, and tip. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Yori Chunsa.
Those interested in reserving a spot for either Friday night’s Anju or Saturday night’s tasting menu dinner should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Saturday’s menu is below:
Amuse: Local farmer’s market vegetables with ‘jookjangyeon’ ssamjang
First Course: Creekstone Farms beef tartare, sesame and white soy dressing, Asian pear, wonton chips
Second Course: Spicy cod roe over rice and seaweed
Third Course: Steamed egg custard with Osetra caviar and furikake
Fourth Course: Spicy rice cakes and Chinese sausage with creme fraiche and dill
Dessert: Hot pancake filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnuts. Served with coffee caramel gelato.
Mandu, 453 K St. NW; (202) 289-6899; mandudc.com/location/k-street