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Where to find Dalgona candy in New York restaurants

By on November 19, 2021 0

Squid game has increased restaurant patrons’ demand for Korean childhood retro street snack so much that it looks like dalgona candy, also known as ppopgi, is here to stay. From a dalgona makgeolli to a foie gras accord, new creative interpretations have proliferated in the hands of Korean American chefs who have welcomed this nostalgic delicacy from their youth.

In its truest form, dalgona candy was made into a children’s game by street vendors melting sugar and baking soda on portable hotplates all over South Korea from the 1970s to the 1990s. Skillful kids who succeed in trimming the stamped pattern in the center of the cookie-shaped dalgona, while keeping the shape intact, would win toys or a second candy. Squid game featured four shapes – triangle, umbrella, circle, and star – but New York restaurant chefs took creative liberties, stamping difficult designs like flowers, hearts, and rockets. Some are even encrusted with white sugar crystals.

Here are 11 restaurants, spanning fancy tasting menus, quick casual pastries, and laid-back gourmet pubs, where you can get your hands on some dalgona candy.

8282: When co-owners Jee Young Kim and Bong Le Jo opened their modern Korean gastro pub last week, they weren’t sure if they would keep dalgona on the menu. It was a complementary finish to a tapas-style dinner of Iberian pork galbi and parsley jeon (pancakes), but the demand for the sweets persisted, and it’s now on their menu permanently. A single candy – with a choice of circle, triangle, umbrella, or square shapes – costs $ 5 and comes with a toothpick to remove the patterns. 84 Stanton Street, near Allen Street, Lower East Side

Quoted : At the Michelin-starred Korean-American grill restaurant, owner Simon Kim says he has long wanted to offer dalgona, his favorite childhood snack. But the labor-intensive sugar work would reduce the agile handling of large-scale meat in his kitchen. “Basically there were bigger fish to fry,” Kim says, until Squid game pushed dalgona into the limelight. Now Côté chef David Shim is on board, and from November 25-27, the steakhouse will be hosting its own ppopgi game. After dinner, each guest table – only those who have reserved – is presented with a single stamped dalgona. Any party that can point the restaurant’s flower logo with a needle wins a $ 95 fix of Casa Dragones tequila for everyone at the table. A losing table must choose a good sport to eat a habanero pepper. 16 W. 22nd Street, near Fifth Avenue, Flatiron

Dalgona candies from Cote.
Gary He / Coast

Croffe House: The menu at Croffle House has been adapted to the culinary trends of South Korea. Flushing Patisserie was one of the first companies to bring croffs to New York City, and it quickly jumped on the viral dalgona coffee trend last year with its version of iced dalgona latte sprinkled with chunks of dalgona candy. Co-owner William Han says his business didn’t need the Squid game push because the core demographic of the Murray Hill section of Flushing, where his store is located, includes older Korean immigrants who have fond memories of eating candy. The dalgona latte has been one of his bestsellers since last year. 40-17 149th Place, near Barton Avenue, Flushing

Kimbap Laboratory: Kimbap Lab makes Seaweed Rice Rolls with toppings like spicy pork, chicken gochujang, and avocado with mushrooms for $ 13 in the Pearl River Mini-Dining Room at Chelsea Market. But the director of operations and Squid game Fan Daniel Ahn decided to give away a two-week limited series of dalgona at the end of October. It turned out to be a godsend, and Ahn is keeping it in the store for now. Located inside Pearl River Mart Foods at Chelsea Market, Chelsea

Donut Mochi Mochi: Afternoon, a food hall-café hybrid created by the KFF Group, brings together an assortment of Korean culinary trends such as hot dogs and croffles under one roof. At the Mochi Mochi Donut counter, dalgona is made two ways: as a chunky filling on its signature mochi donuts and as whole dalgona candies. They are stamped in four shapes and packaged in boxes with small pins, like in the Netflix show. A single candy costs $ 13, and a set of five shapes costs $ 65. 33 W. 32nd Street, near Broadway, Koreatown; 148 N. 7th Street, near Berry Street, Williamsburg; and online on Chowbus

Five dalgona candies of different shapes cut from a metal container.

Dalgona candy from Mochi Mochi Donut.

Noona’s ice cream: Noona’s Ice Cream focuses on traditional Korean snacks, so it makes sense that dalgona – or ppopgi – is one of its first flavors offered since 2017. Owner Hannah Bae now produces three flavors of dalgona-based ice cream that range from $ 12 to $ 15: turmeric honeycomb (organic turmeric, sweet cream and sticky homemade candy ribbons), dalgona coffee (layers of cinnamon ice cream, dalgona coffee foam and ppopgi powder) and squid ink dalgona (vanilla sweet cream, black squid ink and broken dalgona). Not only is the application of squid ink in desserts popular in Asia, there’s about a gram of squid ink paste in every pint “so it doesn’t taste like fish,” Bae says. , while imitating the “dystopia” of the show via its charcoal gray hue. In line and to various points of sale

Sobak: Sobak opened in September 2021 with a focus on bibimbap rice bowls with items like yukhe (raw beef tartare), gochujang unagi, and seared A5 wagyu beef. The dishes reflect the South Korean heritage of chef-owner Young Kim and a cooking background at yakiniku restaurants in Japan and New York. When he witnessed the worldwide popularity of Squid game, he drew on his memories of playing ppopgi in the countryside of Eumseong County. Young’s dalgona, however, is encrusted with white sugar crystals and stamped with hearts, stars, keyholes, and rockets. He makes seven to ten candies every night after closing and sells them for $ 2. 51B Canal Street, near Orchard Street, Lower East Side

A mousse topped with a dalgona candy stamped with leaves and arranged with ice cream on a gray rectangular plate.

The high-end version of Soogil on dalgona candies.

Soogil: Chef-owner Soogil Lim draws inspiration from his native South Korean roots and past stays at Michelin-starred French establishment, Daniel, and elegant Korean tavern, Hanjan, to create his seasonal tasting menus. . The Franco-Korean fusion is also reflected in his latest dalgona dessert: an amalgam of foie gras mousse, raspberry jelly, figs, fig ice cream and a candy stamped with dalgona. Lim wanted “a sweet, crunchy accent” to the rich foie gras, he says. He focuses on the flavor and texture of the candy as a key ingredient in his dish, but he also encourages his guests to remove the maple leaf pattern in the center. As the melted sugar and baking soda mixture cools, Lim pushes the mold in a critical ten second time to ensure a deeper outline that is easier to break. 108 E. Fourth Street, between First and Second Avenues, East Village

Tada noodles: Tada Noodles specializes in Chinese-Korean comfort food like jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup), and has been offering flower-stamped dalgona since opening in early 2019 in Greenpoint. Tada Noodles is now squarely in Long Island City, and temporarily at the Bryant Park Holiday Market until Jan. 2, 2022, and still serving the now famous candy. Before Squid game aired, owner Robert Lee was getting four or five orders a week and even giving out miniature 1.5-inch iterations for free. But orders have skyrocketed in the wake of the show: on a recent Sunday, it sold over 100 in a single day. It is now increasing production to 150 per day in preparation for holiday gift orders and the Thanksgiving Parade, which typically draws foot traffic to the park. Lee’s ppopgi candy is 4.5 inches in diameter and sells for $ 5. They come in various forms that include snowflakes, umbrellas, diamonds, and clouds. He recommends calling first for large orders. 2323 Borden Avenue, between 23rd and 25th streets, Long Island City; Holiday Market in Bryant Park

Take 31: This popular Koreatown gastro pub offers a remarkable take on rock sugar: dalgona makgeolli, a traditional sweet fermented rice wine. Alex Park, director of the restaurant’s parent company, Hand Hospitality, explains that a hard dalgona leaf is pulverized, mixed with simple sugar syrup, and then infused in makgeolli for 20 days. In October, Take31 released limited batches of the 24-ounce bottle ($ 17.95), but demand has remained so strong that it’s keeping it on the menu as a signature item. Since 2011. 15 E. 31st Street, near Madison Avenue, Koreatown

Yubu: At Yubu, the spotlight is on yubuchobap, hand pockets of fried and sweet tofu skin stuffed with rice, vegetables, meat, and seafood. The dozen available toppings include salmon, bulgogi, and seafood. spicy mushrooms. Yuba’s dalgona is applied to two signature drinks here. The dalgona milk tea and dalgona latte, each $ 5, combine almond milk with dalgona shards. They have been on the menu since the store opened in June 2021. 86 E. 7th Street, near First Avenue, East Village

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