BCD Tofu House
5 W 32nd St, New York, 10001
BCD Tofu House has a cult following, and not just with drunkards stumbling into ktown after a night out. (Hello, open 24 hours!)
I must confess that in the month of May alone, I’ve been three times and almost wanted to go a fourth. The attractive thing about BCD varies for each person. I look forward to the broth the organic tofu is simmered in. Some people love the hot and crispy fried fish that comes with every entree ordered. (Once our group of four only ordered three entrees and our sweet waiter brought out a fish for each one of us.) Others look forward to the banchan (small side dishes), though not the best spread in the realm of korean food banchans.
The Manhattan ktown location recently re-opened after a move from just up the street. The wait is expected, especially at peak hours, but they do have a buzzer so you can at least wait outside when it gets too crowded.
The space is fairly large and has two floors. The first time I went after their re-opening, the BFF and I were seated on the second floor. We occupied a table for four, which was perfect since our dishes took up a lot of room.
We both ordered the SoonDuBu – I chose the veg option and her the beef.
The banchan has been different each time I’ve been there, but staples are kimchi, seaweed and the fried fish. A raw egg also comes with the tofu stew. Crack open the egg and whisk it into the hot broth once it arrives. I don’t particularly feel the egg adds anything special, other than a punch of protein, but maybe if you let it sit and poach it?
The service is fast and efficient. The banchan arrives after you order and shortly after, the soondubu arrives. Sometimes the rice arrives in a stone pot and is scooped out by the waitress for you, other times it’s already scooped out and is brought to you. Either way, it’s cooked in a stone pot, which makes the round rice supple and chewy.
Tea is then poured into the stone pot that the rice cooks in, making a sort of “rice tea”. It’s very bland and is nice to calm the palette down.
I’ve had the veggie, beef and seafood option and my favourite has to be the seafood option. Something about tofu and seafood is great. There’s a few small clams and two large shells of muscle.
BCD is a great option in ktown. And since it’s open 24 hours, there really isn’t a bad time to go. Banchan lovers, test out their banchan and left me know what you think! Their kimchi is pretty good and the fried fish is a signature staple I enjoy.