Oiji, a new restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, is creating a new category for Korean cuisine in New York City: Refined Authentic Korean. Exploring traditional flavors and dishes while utilizing modern cooking techniques and ingredients, artful plating and portion sizes, Oiji offers a Korean dining experience that is at once familiar and surprising, in a modern downtown setting. The intimate but stylish restaurant is accented with an open kitchen, reclaimed wood, exposed brick and ambient lighting with factory sash windows that open out to the bustling streets of downtown Manhattan.
The heart and soul of Oiji is the co-chef/co-owner team of Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku. Born and raised in Korea, both worked in restaurants in Seoul before moving to the United States to attend the Culinary Institute of America. As roommates they quickly became friends, and soon realized a shared vision upon graduation: to bring a new perspective on Korean cooking to New York City. Kim and Ku cooked at Bouley and Gramercy Tavern, respectively, before embarking on their journey to create Oiji, offering a unique menu meant for sampling and sharing.