I’m not really a big fan of Han Il Kwan. It’s good but it’s not drop-whatever-you’re-doing-and-get-here-now good. With so many Korean restaurants in town, there’s always a better one right around the corner. I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned this before but I didn’t realize how many Koreans live in Atlanta until I bumped into one of the officers of the Korean Association of Atlanta a few years back. He told me that there are 100,000 Koreans who immigrate to Atlanta (specifically Gwinnett) every single year. That’s a lot.
My favorite Korean places are Myung Ga Won, Cafe Tohdamgol, and Tofu House 88 (the latter is on my top 3 because it’s the only place in the city where you can get Kimchee Fried Rice). But Han Il Kwan will do sometimes. It’s middle of the road — good but not stellar. I remember when this place used to be Szechuan Gardens (a Chinese restaurant my classmates and I use to frequent for their inexpensive food.) They did a good job renovating the place with an area in the back for charcoal barbecue.
To use the charcoal grills, your party must order 2 types of meat from the barbeque part of the menu. We did the usual galbi (shortribs) and ribeye. The galbi meat were sliced a little too thin than most other places but they were marinated really well and the flavor is just perfect.
The winner here is always the ribeye. They are good sized pieces; thick with lots of marbling. Although your server will take control of the cooking, do pay attention to the cooking time and start transferring the meat from the grill and onto your bowl as soon as your desired meat doneness is achieved. We made sure the ribeye were cooked medium but the galbi a little well-done because that’s how galbis are supposed to be anyway. Plus, well-done galbi ensures you get the perfect caramelization from the marinade.
Service is very good and food is fresh. Our bill came to $45 before tip which is quite expensive for lunch, however, do note that we had 2 big pieces of ribeye with our meal. Incidentally, my sister and I finished everything so nothing was wasted.
Located next to a car wash right inside the perimeter.
Han Il Kwan
5458 Buford Hwy NE
Doraville, GA 30340
Mon-Sun. 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m