On St. Marks, NY Tofu House Will (Literally) Show You How Tofu is Done

Steve Kim at his Tofu HouseJamie Larson Mr. Kim outside of NY Tofu House.

The East Village isn’t exactly starved for Asian food, but that’s not stopping Steve Kim from opening NY Tofu House. Having just received a new awning, it’s set to open later this month at 6 St. Marks Place, the building that once housed Mondo Kim’s and, less memorably, Cafe Hanover. (Mr. Kim owns the building with his brother Tan and other investors.)

“Around this area we have a lot of junk food,” said Mr. Kim. “We’re trying to get healthier food to the younger generation.” That means tofu dishes, but also Korean-style dumplings and barbecue short ribs.

Mr. Kim, who emigrated from Korea in 1972, said he wanted to show eaters how the food of his home country is made. He said the restaurant will make its own tofu daily, grinding organic soy beans by hand in a traditional large stone bowl in the restaurant’s front window. A dumpling station will also be visible through the window. While the main kitchen will be in the basement, along with a party room, there will be a smaller kitchen upstairs where diners can watch their dishes get assembled.

Inside the NY Tofu HouseJamie Larson

Mr. Kim, a first-time restaurateur, designed the interior of the NY Tofu House himself and plans to cook alongside head chef Charlie Min, who has spent 26 years in front of the stove at numerous Asian restaurants.

“I like to cook, to make different kinds of things,” Mr. Kim said with an ever-present smile. “We want an open kitchen to show the people.”

We’ll share the menu as soon as it’s available.