Friday, March 16, 2012

Sik Gaek

As I mentioned earlier, my birthday was awhile ago and I love to celebrate it. It's an excuse to go out to eat delicious food with friends and family. Okay, so I do that on a normal basis. But for birthdays, I tend to pick nicer restaurants or places best visited as a group. So when the Feisty Foodie asked me where I would like to celebrate my birthday, I immediately answered Sik Gaek. I've been eyeing their seafood hot pot for a long time now and this would work out beautifully. She graciously organized the whole shebang and I found myself in Queens one night to enjoy some food with my FBM friends.

As with any winter birthday, it was really cold out. Props everyone who took the effort and came out in stride. It was much appreciated. And to warm ourselves up, we had watermelon soju ($30) served in, as you can see, a whole watermelon. It wasn't strong whatsoever so it went down very easily. No one became buzzed from it so it seemed kind of like a waste though refreshing.
After we ordered, the food began to flow. I didn't take pictures of each and every dish because there were too many. We were spread out between 3 tables and being in the middle, it was difficult to move around. So instead, I took a group pictures of some of the dishes. Here you can see people picking at the plate of beef and/or pork with lettuce for wraps and kimchi as a garnish.
And in this picture, people are cooking their kalbi/beef on the hot grill.
With almost every plate that was served, we were given some sort of egg dish. This was steamed eggs which were very soft and tender. There were also fried eggs. I was excited at first but then it became too much at the end. They also needed a lot of salt.
One of the dishes that was ordered was the spicy rice cake ($10). These chewy little nubbings were just okay for me. Not really spicy but mostly sweet. A pass for next time because of the flavor. I'm a fan of the chewiness.
Here's a large order of fried dumplings (~$15). The skins were definitely crispy but the unidentifiable fillings were just okay. With some sauce, they were pretty tasty.
I think this was the thin sliced beef rib eye ($22).  I tasted some and the sauce with the meat was nice. Though, I'm not sure why they served it pre-cooked as opposed to cooking it yourself on the grill. I guess it keeps you mess free and your hair smelling fine.
This is the thick sliced pork belly ($22) which was mediocre. When I think pork belly, I think lots of flavor. This was hardly it. I guess I was thinking more along the bacon way.
And finally, my choice of the night: the assorted seafood hot pot ($80). This thing was HUGE and can easily feed 4-8 people. The seafood comes sitting in a giant pan with broth and a fire underneath. Unfortunately, the fire in front of me was a sterno and not one of the built in burners that they had at the ends of the table. I sat in the middle. So the seafood slowly cooked. I mean really slow. So we started to dig  at the bottom for the cooked foods and pushed the bigger pieces down as we went. Some pieces were good like the clams and mussels because they cooked first. But other pieces like the crab, lobster, and  conch were easily overcooked. Didn't stop me from eating it though.
Once the seafood pot was boiling, a waitress came over and snipped open some of the bigger pieces of seafood. However, I had already eaten a lot of the bigger pieces by the time she came around. The large conch, scallop, and lobster tail were devoured. Here is a picture of the lobster head below. Lots and lots of cream to be eaten.
When the seafood pot was done, they scooped up the remains and added your choice of rice or noodles to the broth. Below is a picture of the guy working his magic. First some vegetables and chopped seafood.
Then he added the cooked rice to soak up the broth.
Then a thin layer was created for the rice to crisp up. We didn't wait long enough for the rice to get crunchy though. Nope, we weren't patient. We started eating it and it was delicious. Lots of seafood flavor!
And at the end, we got some dessert in the form of deep fried korean sushi ($13). It was actually japchae rolls that were battered and deep fried and served with ketchup. Interesting. I don't think I would order this again.
And as the celebration continued, the staff came out, turned off the vent and lights, then made a huge hoopla with party tricks, flashlights, and noise. They gave me a huge afro wig to wear and took a picture. Normally I hate that kind of celebration (like the staff singing to you) but this was fun! I really enjoyed it. The picture remains on display at the restaurant. Awesome. And as kudos for the birthday  girl, I received a plate of bacon wrapped enoki mushrooms served over fried rice cakes. These were quite tasty indeed. Next time, I would order these on my own. Yum!
And the meal ended with complimentary cups of cucumber water. It was a weird green color but really refreshing.
Though some of the food was hit or miss, it was the experience that made it wonderful. I wouldn't mind coming back.

Again, thanks to everyone for coming out and celebrating with me. I had a really good time!! And a special thanks to Yvo for organizing it. Check out her pictures and write up here.

Sik Gaek
49-11 Roosevelt Avenue
Woodside, NY 11104
(718) 205-4555


  1. Glad you enjoyed it! I love celebrating anything with you :)

  2. Happy to have been there to celebrate for Hungry.

    Seafood rice!!


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