Neighborhood Eats: BapBap serves up modern Korean dishes inside grocery store

Lauren Glassberg Image
Friday, September 18, 2020
Neighborhood Eats: Modern takes on Korean classics at BapBap
BapBap is a tiny counter inside a grocery store in Queens serving up Korean classics with a modern twist.

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- The New Age Market is a grocery store in Queens with a delicious secret inside, a tiny counter called BapBap where they're serving up Korean classics with a modern twist.

"Bap in Korean means rice, it also means meal. Also, it's a word we use in the kitchen to kind of speed up," Bapbap's Nate Kuester said.

Nate Kuester and Jason Liu tend to say BapBap quite a bit.

The two bonded while working at the high-end Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit, but here on Northern Boulevard in Flushing, it's all about Korean food.

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"It started off with the neighborhood here. A lot of restaurants, Korean restaurants, and we thought we were a little different," Liu said.

Take the deconstructed ssambap, a seasoned rice bowl with short rib or lobster, for example. The seaweed or lettuce comes on the side.

There are bapbuns, sort of like a Korean streusel, with different fillings including one with coconut and ube.

The bap rolls can be filled with a variety of items like brisket... or spicy tuna. (rolls)

"The rolls, we make them to order. They're mini traditional Korean kimbap with little twists and flavors," Kuester said.

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A dining area inside the store is off-limits until indoor dining is allowed again, but having a space inside a grocery store has some perks including a pick of fresh produce and hungry shoppers migrating over to order food.

Kuester and Liu may return to fine dining one day, but for now, their little counter in the time of COVID is making due.

"It's a blessing in disguise it's the restaurant I didn't know I wanted to have," Kuester said.

Bapbap is open every day, except Tuesdays, and is available for delivery through a number of apps.


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