Neighborhood: Murray Hill
40-01 149th Place Flushing, NY 11354
Mood: Seafood delight. For the awfully hungry.
Tastes Like: Authentic, homey Korean food, izakaya style. For starters, we were served carrots & cucumbers with hot pepper paste, cold, mildly spicy. Next, we were served eggs over easy cooked over a sterno pan on the table. The second egg dish was a custard boiled in a small stone pot. The last side dish was the “dubbuki” extremely sweet & spicy rice cake, my favorite side dish out of the four. Our main dish wasn’t hard to choose, roommates and I wanted to check this place out because they advised that Anthony Bourdain went here to eat…. and what he ate was a massive pot of seafood. Crawling live octopus, lobster, clams, crabs, mussels, shrimp, conch, udon noodles & veggies just to name a few and what he ate is exactly what we craved and demanded to order…Highlights included the clams, lobster, udon noodles and the vegetables. The mussels were OK, I could have lived without the calamari and stupid octopus…which by the way, not a big fan of when it was semi-raw. Cannot stand the slimy texture. It’s not the freshest seafood of the bunch, but when you have it all mixed in a broth, stewing over an extended period of time .. it makes for a delightful and memorable dining experience.
Ambiance: Reminds me of a bigger version of Yakitori … lots of wooden tables, low chairs and posters & flyers plastered everywhere. Big open kitchen with the sweet and sizzling seafood aroma. The homey-ish feel is a tiny reminder of what it feels like to be in another country eating on the streets, except, well you’re indoors.
Must Haves: seafood/live octopus hotpot. When you’re done with the leftovers, have them make fried rice topped with parmesan cheese. It’s unkempt but that’s probably why it’s so full of flavor
Service: The menu is all in Korean with very little descriptions. Soliciting for a little help, our waiter did a fantastic job in explaining the items to us, so we were able to decide wisely. We got what he deemed to be the most “popular” dish, but can’t help wonder if it was before or well after the fact that Bourdain established his mark.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Caveat: We wasted a lot of food … and seafood is just not good to go. Our waiter recommended mixing the remains of the broth to make fried rice. We thought this was a great idea for some lunch leftovers! Ah, of course, the caveat is that it isn’t free, so for an extra $5….they will make it and pack it to go for you. Additionally, If you get the octopus seafood platter, it’s meant to be shared with 4-5 people…. NOT 3!