En Hakkore's excellent cross-cultural cuisine
Years into the multicultural taco trend, we thought we’d seen it all.
Then the paratha taco at Bucktown’s new En Hakkore proved us wrong.
It’s a riotously flavorful composition featuring Korean-style marinated pork or beef and sautéed mushrooms on paratha, griddled Indian flatbread. A shower of scallions, cilantro, pickled daikon and lettuce follows, plus a drizzle of a sweet-spicy sauce of mayonnaise and gochujang, Korean chile paste ($7.50 for two tacos).
Though there are already three cuisines at play, we’ll add another: The pickled daikon and the sweet-spicy-savory combination brought the best Vietnamese banh mi to mind.
But En Hakkore is no one-trick pony. Owner Peter Park was a sushi chef, and his wife, Faith Jang, went to culinary school (and designed the petite counter-service restaurant).
Their bountiful, oversize rice bowls are an herbivore’s dream, with over a dozen vegetables, both raw and cooked, with the option of marinated pork or beef, fish eggs or sashimi, and a choice of white, brown or black rice. They’re a steal, too: The giant bowls ($8 to $12) can easily be shared four ways.
For dessert, sip Job’s Tears Tea ($3)--warm, honey-sweetened nut milk bobbing with Chinese barley (aka Job’s Tears) and nuts.
En Hakkore, 1840 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-9880
Our Chicago editor, Heather Sperling, dined unannounced at En Hakkore on February 9. We spent $36.32 on an abundant lunch, not including tip. The space was bright, service was friendly, and the paratha tacos were irresistible.