Han Sung, Ellicott City, MD

I’d never before been to Han Sung, but it has always had a special place in my heart as the oldest post in the Baltimore Restaurants and Dining Forum.

I stopped in earlier this week, and since it was before the dinner hour, the restaurant was empty except for two other people. Han Sung is Korean-owned, but has a fairly even split between Korean and Japanese dishes. On the wall is a little blurb about it from the Baltimore Sun, written on June 25, 1998, so the restaurant has been here for awhile under the same ownership.

The staff was as nice as they could be, and even though I wasn’t terribly hungry, I got something to go for later. I originally ordered a HanSung Special which was raw flounder with “special sauce,” but Chef Kang told me that because of the hurricane (this was towards the end of it), deliveries were awry, and so there was no flounder.

Asking him if there was any fresh fish available, he said “tuna, salmon, yellowtail” and I nodded my head with approval. I’m something of a salmon slut, and I think of salmon in much the same way as a college student thinks of pizza (even when it’s bad …). Then he asked me if I liked octopus and skate (raw skate is your tip-off that this is Korean-owned), and I said sure, and so with some trepidation, I got my takeout order of Sasimi [sic] ($10.95). In Annandale, it’s usually a terrible idea to order sushi at a Korean restaurant because it’s almost always lame, frozen fish that’s not kept well at all, but when I arrived at my final destination, I opened the container, and was delighted to see an artfully arranged platter of very nice looking fish. Of course they weren’t swimming the day before, but this is definitely above-average sashimi, bordering on being quite good, and better than most anything I’ve had recently in Annandale (which admittedly isn’t much).

Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, octopus, and an elaborate presentation of skate, all of it well-worth enjoying, and the octopus a particular standout. The picture says it all (albeit in mediocre quality): 12 medium-small pieces for $10.95. I’d happily get this again, and wish I had Han Sung nearby as a lunch option.

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