Something Curated highlights five of the most exciting new and recently launched restaurants to try in New York this January, taking a closer look at the chefs and proprietors behind the promising food offerings.
Kochi || Sungchul Shim
Following a long stint at the recently closed Neta, chef Sungchul Shim’s first independent venture, Kochi, is a Korean restaurant inspired, in part, by the royal cuisine of the Joseon dynasty. At the 30-seat eatery, Shim and his co-chef Byeong Seok Lee serve a tasting menu of nine courses, as well as speciality dishes skewered and cooked over Japanese binchotan charcoal. The restaurant’s interiors feature pared back stone elements, alongside natural tones and an unfussy wooden bar.
652 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Yafa Café || Ali Suliman & Hakim Sulaimani
At Yafa Cafe in Sunset Park, cousins Ali Suliman and Hakim Sulaimani are shining a light on Yemeni coffee, as well as showcasing other aspects of Yemeni culture, with a food menu featuring their version of dishes that rarely leave the home kitchen. Nodding to traditional Yemeni cooking and life in Brooklyn, the duo celebrate the intersection of their upbringing, with creations like turkey bacon, egg, and cheese samboosas; foul with eggs and Abu Walad cheese; hawajj-seasoned fried chicken sandwich, and lamb haneeth stew between two pieces of sourdough bread.
4415 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220
COLORS || Sicily Sewell-Johnson
The original COLORS was founded by employees of the Windows on the World restaurant, which was located on the 107th floor on the North Tower in the World Trade Center and lost 72 employees on 9/11. Now reopening, chef Sicily Sewell-Johnson, with input from chef Daniel Patterson, is helming the Lower East Side restaurant that’s now a celebration of black food and culture in America. Dishes include yeast rolls, a meatloaf burger, fried chicken, and caramel cake, with a room that’s adorned with cheerful murals and a portrait Edna Lewis.
178 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002
Torien || Yoshiteru Ikegawa
One of Japan’s most celebrated yakitori chefs, behind one of the most esteemed restaurants in the country, is coming to New York. Yoshiteru Ikegawa of Tokyo’s popular Torishiki will open his first restaurant outside of Japan with Edo Lopez and his Shōwa Hospitality group. The Soho eatery will offer 24 seats, 16 of which will be around a central counter. Guests will embark on a roughly 13-course tasting menu focused on all cuts of the bird, or tori.
292 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012
The Awkward Scone || Eric See
New Mexico-style burritos, known for their addition of New Mexico chillies and shredded potatoes, remain little seen in NYC. Following a three-year run of pop-ups around the city, The Awkward Scone chef Eric See endeavours to change that. At the 16-seat cafe, bursting with lush greenery, See makes three kinds of breakfast burritos: one with chorizo, New Mexican red chilli, white cheddar, scrambled eggs, and hash browns; another with all the same ingredients except for New Mexican green chile and bacon; and a third, vegan option with refried Navajo pinto beans, chipotle salsa, New Mexican green chilli, and hash browns.
1022 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Feature image via Kochi