clock menu more-arrow no yes
Junghyun and Ellia Park
Ellia and Junghyun Park

Filed under:

Inside Atomix, a Deeply Personal and Very Refined New Korean Fine Dining Restaurant

The Atoboy team’s second act opens in Nomad next week

Talking to Ellia and Junghyun Park, it’s hard to not notice that they look like Atomix, their Korean tasting menu restaurant, in human form. They wear the same subdued gray tones, Junghyun’s subtly rainbow hair reveals itself in light the same way the $600 ceramic plates do, and the hushed way they speak feels right in the minimalist, stunning bi-level space.

It’s the Parks’ second act, a fine dining follow up to their more casual Atoboy a few blocks away — located at 104 East 30th St. between Park and Lexington avenues and opening on Wednesday, May 30 — and it’s been their long game since day one.

“When we started Atoboy, we planned about Atomix, too,” Ellia says. “Korean cuisine was not really as popular three years ago, so we wanted to start with a casual restaurant to reach out to everyone in a more accessible way first.”

Atomix
Atomix
Atomix

Walking into the bar area, headign downstairs into the lounge, and finally into the dining room

Here, diners will walk in on the second floor into the bar area, where they can grab a drink before descending into the lounge area. That’s where the $175 meal begins with some snacks, followed by the full coursed affair in the 16-seat dining room that’s set up like a stage. Following dinner, a staircase near the kitchen sends diners full circle back up to the bar area, if they so choose, or deposits them on the street.

Dishes in the seafood-heavy 10-course meal — eight savory courses and two desserts — might include soup with burdock, fish cakes, baby corn, and plum blossom; raw sea bream with uni, mustard, and chungjang sauce; and fried langoustine with nasturtium, chopi pepper, and anise hyssop. The meal plays into Junghyun’s fine-dining background in Australia and Korea, as well as here in NYC at Jungsik. It’s all paired with wine from head sommelier Jhonel Faelnar (the NoMad) for $135.

Twigim 튀김: fried langoustine with nasturtium, chopi pepper, and anise hyssop
Hoe 회: raw sea bream with uni, mustard, and chungjang sauce
The chopstick selection
Soup with burdock, fish cakes, baby corn, and plum blossom

Clockwise: Twigim 튀김: fried langoustine with nasturtium, chopi pepper, and anise hyssop; Hoe 회: raw sea bream with uni, mustard, and chungjang sauce; Guk 국: soup with burdock, fish cakes, baby corn, and plum blossom; Chopstick selection

Upstairs, bartenders Jesse Vida (BlackTail) and Samantha Casuga (Dead Rabbit) created drinks that channel Korean flavors, with a focus on whiskey, though plenty of other spirits appear throughout. There will also be an a la carte menu in that area in the coming weeks, featuring dishes like the Atoboy signature fried chicken stuffed with fried rice or radish with soybean paste and furikake spice.

Fried chicken stuffed with fried rice
Fried chicken stuffed with fried rice
Radish with soybean paste and furikake spice
Radish with soybean paste and furikake spice

A whole lot of thought and care went into the space, as Ellia says they want it to go beyond just a meal and be more of a “cultural experience.” Korea-based firm Studio Writers designed the room, with details like diners choosing from Ellia’s personal chopstick collection, custom plateware from Korean ceramicists like Sui Park, Namhee Kim, and Youme Oh, and understated uniforms from NYC fashion designer Sungho Ahn.

NYC’s Korean dining scene has exploded in the last few years, with a set of French-influenced Korean restaurants, like Oiji and Soogil, making waves. None have been fine dining, though, since Jungsik opened in 2011.

Atomix will be open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday with seatings at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.; reservations are on Tock. The full bar snacks menu will begin in a few weeks, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Atomix
The bar upstairs
Atomix
The bar upstairs
Atomix
The downstairs lounge
Some dishes
Some dishes

ATOMIX

104 East 30th Street, Manhattan, NY 10016 Visit Website
NYC Restaurant Openings

A New Thai-Leaning Spot Aims to Give Penn Station’s Sad Restaurant Options a Boost

NYC Restaurant Openings

A Standout Burmese Pop-Up at the Queens Night Market Finds a Permanent Home — and More Openings

A.M. Intel

The Oldest Gay Bar in Queens Secures Its Future in Jackson Heights

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world