Zannchi Brings Bibimbap and Bachan to Georgetown

Eunjung Kim, owner of the new Korean restaurant, Zannchi. | Photo by Robert Devaney.

Zannchi, Georgetown’s new Korean restaurant, was a long time coming for owner Eunjung Kim, though she hadn’t always planned for it. Her family owns a chain of restaurants in Korea, and that experience helped her successfully launch Zannchi, which opened March 29.

Growing up with the family business — and having spent many years in New York with its rich food scene — Kim, an MBA student at Georgetown University, was surprised to find that Korean restaurants were scarce in the District, especially in the Georgetown neighborhood.

“I think there’s a high demand, but the supply of the food scene was not meeting expectations,” she said.

Kim realized that, given her family background, she was well equipped to fill that void. And so Zannchi was born. She partnered with fellow MBA student Brian Yu and received guidance from the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Club advisors, who answered the many questions she had about starting a business.

Located on Wisconsin Avenue between Volta and Q Streets, Zannchi definitely has the look of a Georgetown restaurant. Part of the wall is made up of exposed brick original to the building. The rest of the interior is a dark wood, with bright lanterns strung overhead. The combination gives the restaurant a rustic and natural feel with a modern twist.

Zannchi’s specialty is bibimbap bowls, rice topped with vegetables, meat and eggs, with the spicy pork the most popular dish so far. Tapas-style items like dumplings and bulgogi (barbecued beef) are also on the menu.

Everything is prepared fresh in the restaurant; Kim suggests that diners share the bachan (tapas) before ordering their own bibimbap bowls.

The food, and its freshness, is definitely a hit. Though the restaurant opened only recently, Kim said they have already seen neighbors returning and have had a line out the door for dinner.

It’s a nice addition to the Georgetown dining scene. One neighbor came in during lunch to grab a menu, expressing excitement about Zannchi and promising to return soon for a meal.

Kim looks forward to seeing Zannchi grow as people become familiar with it. She even hopes to expand in the future, though she is not looking too far ahead, preferring to focus for now on graduating from Georgetown with her MBA next month.

“It’s a lot of work. I’m glad it finally took off,” she said.

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