Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Adventure of Sannakji Chulpan @ Sik Gaek - Part 1

This is a story of how four Asian vagabonds banded together on a swashbuckling quest to defeat an eerie and mystical enemy named Old Sannakji Chulpan (to be said with a low and breathy voice for proper effect).  The epic journey began on a dark and mysterious corner of Woodside known as Sik Gaek - home of some lunch special.  We didn't care about the lunch special though (because it was night time), and because we had much more important matters of concern.

Immediately, ol' Sannakji's minions tried to distract us by frying a trio of eggs in front of our unwavering eyes.  I admit, I instantly grew weak at the thought of eggs over medium, but Thanan perservered and ate his yolk in one fell swoop.  "What else you got?" he said with his signature jeer.

They didn't have much.  Some baby carrots that I passed on, so while those other knuckleheads nibbled on rabbit food, I couldn't stop staring into the flames that resembled the tentacles of ol' Sannakji!

I glanced at Sannakji's distant relatives, waiting in a tank beside us, a good audience for the battle that was about to ensue...

Oh wait.  Another distraction.  Steamed egg.  Okay.  I like the egg theme here.  These are hot and delightful.
I must remain strong!

Ugh, Greeshma.  Don't look at that dimpled Korean eye candy cutting our paejan with such cheer, another ploy launched by Sannakji to weaken our resolve, or particularly, Greeshma's Korean-boy-fetish-resolve.  Must. Look. Beyond. These. Distractions !  No, Greeshma, no!

The paejan was crispy, albeit a touch greasy, and could've used more seafood.  I was so over it, with or without the dimpled server.

And then, as mysteriously as the head bosses appear in the dungeons of Zelda...

Old Sannakji Chulpan appeared before us!

The shocking vision caused sheer horror and terror to ripple through our skinny-fat frames!

We stared deep into the many eyes of Old Sannakji, as it writhed and slithered before us...Thick black claws waving to us from the steamy broths of hell.

Thanan felt confident, exclaiming, "You are no match for me, ha ha ha!" as his spiky hair flopped back with glee.

Greeshma looked dumbfounded yet excited:  "It's like Sannakji is looking right into my soul...but the joke is on him!  I don't have a soul, and I am about to eat his! MUahaHaHa"  Whoa.  Vicious!  Don't mess with Texas, y'all!

There was no way Old Sannakji could be a match against our valor, our determination and most importantly, our appetites.

Thanan described his method of attack: "I'll just basically take all the seafood pieces that I like.  You guys take care of the rest."

And then his eyes honed in on sea snail #1.

Plentiful pieces of octopus and squid could be found throughout the savory, spicy and utterly delicious scarlet broth.  It was going to be an exciting time!

And so we began, the three of us, digging into the depths of that giant pot of richly flavorful seafood stew, tossing the shells and remnants of the glory that used to be old Sannakji into sad, 99 cent Ikea buckets beneath our tables.

Hiya, conch.  Conch wait to eat you.  (Ha!  I kill myself sometimes.)

It was a joyous time, full of laughter and merriment.  Nothing is more satisfying than witnessing seafood die before you and thriving on their freshly cooked flesh!

Hi sea snail. I'll sea you in my stomach.  (Okay, I did say I only kill myself sometimes.)

And then we called for reinforcements because Greeshma was starting to hyperventilate.  The pot was neverending - a deep abyss of Korean ferocity!

"I can help you with this," said Anne, suddenly appearing with an interesting facial expression that reassured us completely.

But as she stared into the mile-wide pot filled with growing tentacles and udon noodles,

Anne began to feel a little...full...and human.  Old, wily Sannakji can humble the best of them!

" keeps growing!..."
Ha.  "Told you," said Thanan with his super signature all-knowing jeer (and finger point to boot).

...we let Sannakji win this time.  I know. (Sigh.)  After three hours of exhausting non-stop eating (#firstworldproblems), we decided to pause this ambitious conquest for now, to be continued on a future, imminent date...

We then gave our overworked jaws a break from the smorgasbord of chewy seafood flesh and sank our teeth into some Cake Man Raven confections that Anne stealthily snuck into the restaurant (the way that vagabonds and rapscallions often do).

The whole feast was washed down with some invigorating green drink that might have tasted like sweet cucumber and called it a night.

You may have won this one, Sannakji, but we will be back, revitalized and stronger than ever!  

Until then,
Your frenemy,

Sik Gaek
49-11 Roosevelt Ave, Woodside, NY 11377
Sik Gaek on Urbanspoon


  1. EPIC! I had to share this with my boyfriend, who is now convinced that the best way to make me to really love seafood is to thrust me head-first into this dish. Thanks a lot!

  2. omg i agree! this dish looks like it came out of pirates of the caribbean or something... LOVE IT, WANT IT!!

  3. oh also, i'm totally digging the korean man! hottie.

  4. I believe your boyfriend is right, katie! it is well worth it!

  5. I really enjoyed it, we ate 3 baby octopuses, my friend and I tried it but we ate the entire octopus as a whole. check it out for a good laugh: