Stress Free Adventurous Eating Live Octopus Sik Gaek Korean Restaurant  NY

Eating out is always the stress free way when dealing with meals but sometimes it could be stressful. It’s stress free if you know what you want to eat. It maybe stressful if you can’t decide what you want to eat and if you have kids they might want different food. My kids are pretty good with our decision when come to eating out. They’ve been eating out with us since conception. When my wife was pregnant with my first son we would go to our favorite Japanese restaurant at least three time a week  and I remembered the chef will always point at my wife’s stomach and said in his heavy accent  ” Japanese baby neh”.  That was also when both me and my wife were working long hour and didn’t have time to cook. We will call each other towards the end of our work day and decide which of our many chefs that we want to cook our dinner. We have a list of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Italian, Korean and Spanish chefs to choose from and we enjoy their food. We would drive all the way to Baltimore DC just for their crab or we’ll drive to Ogunquit Maine for lobster and their amazing seafood.

Korean food is one of my favorite and I’m normally used to their famous BBQ, kimchee , tofu pot and raw beef rice. Last month I saw some of my friend’s birthday photos on Facebook and was curious about which restaurant they had the dinner because I haven’t seen such a different restaurant in New York. When I asked her, to my surprise it was in Flushing New York which I’ll never though off because it didn’t looked like New York.   I got excited because it’s in New York and it’s on  MUST Check It Out list!

In Search Of

I google  Sik Gaek Korean restaurant NYC and found out that Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservation was there just recently. I also found out that they serve  live octopus. I had seen people in Korea eating live octopus on TV and was always curious to try. Sik Gaek opens from 4 PM – 6 AM and reservation can ONLY be made until 7PM. You have to wait in line after 7PM and believe me the line grows fast and that is why they have a plastic covered screen like  waiting area wrap around  the restaurant to protect waiting customer from the snow and rain.

Our first attempt to Sik Gaek was a failure because we couldn’t make a reservation at 8PM on Saturday, (that’s how I found out they don’t take reservation after 7PM) so  we had no choice but to go there…. thinking we can wait in line.  To our surprise the line was around the corner and the restaurant was jam packed, so we decided to go to our favorite Korean tofu place which was a few blocks away.

In A Different World

Not only until last Monday we finally made a reservation for 6:30PM due to my wife’s schedule. I felt like I’m in Korea the moment I walked in (I know this because I have seen it on TV). The place was design to take you out of  New York.

The Adventure Begins

The first thing I saw before we put our order in was the seafood pot with the lobster, crab, crab legs,clam, mussels, udon(fatty noodle),vegetable, mushroom and….. hmmm I’m salivating as I write 🙂 for the table next to us. We were given some fried eggs on the stove which was built in to our table. We were a stranger to the menu and the waitress couldn’t speak much English, so after some pointing and sign language we managed to order the seafood pot with beef without the lobster because one person in our group was allergic to lobster (note to self: make sure not to bring her next time), live octopus, seafood pancake and beef for the kids just in case.

The first order that came was the live octopus, although it was cut up but still moving. It was an interesting dish. The freshness is incredible and as I began chewing it sucked in to the side of my mouth, it’s definitely a fun and must order dish. While we were experiencing the octopus the seafood pot with beef  came followed by the seafood pancake and the beef. About five minutes later the server came to the table with a live octopus in a container to be cook in the pot. The seafood pot we ordered was similar to the one we saw at the next table minus the lobster, crab and crab legs in a red slightly spicy broth but yummy.  Another server came back a few minutes later to ask if he could cut the head of the octopus and as soon as he cut the head the ink came flowing out. I had to take it out because it reminded me how very bitter (like poison) it was to eat squid ink many years ago with my Japanese friends (who actually threw up …well he’s a Brazilian Japanese), but this octopus  didn’t taste bitter at all…maybe because it’s fresh? The kids enjoyed the pot and we even added an order of  udon and have some left over to take home.

We did pretty good ….Check out the video. ENJOY!


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