Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tofu and s'mores at Gyu-Kaku

Last week, I went to Gyu-Kaku, a Korean BBQ joint in the East Village, with a group of people from work. Since this wasn't a typical meal (with individual dishes, a progression of courses, etc.), I can't really do a typical review, so I'll do more of a random collection of my thoughts (and I won't spatula this place... it doesn't seem quite right). Overall, Gyu-Kaku is a really fun restaurant to go to with a huge group-- the food is delicious and high quality, and the experience of cooking it yourself on the grill at the table is a lot of fun. So here goes:

The grill at our table... ready and waiting for ingredients to arrive

We started with a few orders of standard, salted edamame

This was an order of Namuru, a kimchi-like mixed vegetable dish. These veggies were incredibly tasty. Even though it's not in the spirit of the grill-it-yourself conceit, I thought this dish was the best of the night.

A tofu platter and a mixed vegetable platter in the background... Broccoli in the packet on the grill

Close-up of tofu (very good, especially the little tofu nubbins on the side) and standard mixed veggies

Putting some tofu and eggplant on the grill. The eggplant was too the time it got cooked, it was leathery. The main family of veggies missing from these photos is the mushrooms we had-- I'd definitely recommend getting mushrooms, especially enoki, if you go.

Okay, there was SOME meat. This was some kobe beef... our table also had another kind of beef and a chicken dish with basil marinade.

This was a chicken hot pot rice. It didn't go over that well with our table... people thought it tasted weird. We also ordered some plain white rice (standard) and some garlic noodles. The garlic noodles were definitely the standout-- really delicious.

Dessert is fun at Gyu-Kaku-- we ordered s'mores, with the mushrooms toasting over the grill. My only gripe with the smores is the orders are paltry. That's two orders right there! Shameful.

This was an order of mille crepes, banana flavored, with green tea ice cream. I took a taste; it was okay. My main dessert was just a dish of vanilla ice cream. About as standard as it gets.

So that's it. We had a really great time; Korean BBQ is definitely a fun dining experience. We were at the East Village location, but there's also a Midtown outpost. If you're ever looking for a place to take a group of people-- whether it's for a birthday party, a corporate outing, or another festive occasion-- Gyu-Kaku will definitely come through. I'll leave you with a picture of my friend Sahil (he gave up his anonymity by deliberately posing for this picture). This is at the end of the meal, and look how happy he is!

Gyu-Kaku gets two thumbs up!

East Village Location: 34 Cooper Square

Midtown Location: 805 3rd Ave, 2nd floor

No comments: