Me, my wife, and some of our friends went to this pretty crazy Korean restaurant in Woodside called Sik Gaek. Good luck reading the website if you can’t read Korean. However the pics are nice under the “Delicious Table” drop down menu. They have some nice looking meats and fish.
I say “crazy” not to be judgmental of other cultures, but rather to demonstrate the purely subjective boundaries which I needed to cross to actually partake in the ingesting of food here. It’s crazy for ME, in other words. I typically eat my food cooked (with the exception of sushi, ceviche, shellfish and tartare). Not only that, but I usually eat my animals and fish AFTER they are good and dead (again, with the exception of shellfish). Also – my food usually isn’t MOVING. As you’ll see below, these western culinary conventions are thrown out the window at Sik Gaek. And that’s a good thing.
This place (the Flushing location rather than the Woodside spot we went to) was actually featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel called “No Reservations.” The show is now off the air, as he has moved to CNN with “Parts Unknown” (it’s essentially the same show). In the “No Reservations” episode clipped below, he was in the midst of doing a tour of various “hidden” Asian food and culture spots around Queens with renowned chef David Chang. Watch as he eats still-moving, live, marinated and chopped octopus:
It makes me think of a shocking scene from the Korean film Old Boy, which has one of the most fucked-up twist endings ever, and is one of the most fucked-up but excellent movies of our time. No doubt this film will garner even more attention when Spike Lee fucks it up upon the release of his remake later this year, starring Josh Brolin:
Anyway… on to the actual food that we ate. It turns out there was a huge disappointment. They were out of live octopus. So after all that babble above, I didn’t really get to test the limits of my culinary tolerances. We did enjoy some delicious food though, and some of it was still moving while it cooked in the hot pot. Check out the pics below.
First, the drinks. Two types of beer, two types of soju, and a watermelon full of vagina juice (watermelon punch):
Almost forgot the Psy shot glass:
Next, the starters. First up, eggs and veggies:
Then rice cakes and tofu skin with spicy sauce, along with some pickled items and dips:
Then we had some thick cut pork belly:
Then we moved on to the seafood hot pot, which contained lobster, blue claw crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, razor clams, abalone, baby octopus, squid, udon noodles, bean sprouts, and cabbage. They even give you a trash bucket beside the table to throw all the shells in.
And YES – the lobster was still moving at our table while it cooked:
Since they knew we were there for the live octopus, and we had made the reservation and tried to reserve a ‘pus for the table way in advance of getting there, they felt bad and gave us a plate of bacon wrapped mushrooms on the house:
One of the best parts of the meal was using the broth pan to cook fried rice. Packed with flavor, and nice and crispy:
Two more shots – one of the restaurant space, and one of a little kitchen flood:
49-11 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377