Daeji Daeji: Go-To Restaurant in Flushing, New York for Authentic, Unique Korean Foods and Friendly Service
I have to start off by saying that I am not Korean, but have been exposed to various kinds of Korean restaurants. Daeji Daeji was definitely one of my favorites not only because of its traditional Korean food, but also because of the kind, friendly service.
After deciding to go there, I had to ask my Korean friend what "Daeji" means. It's no surprise that it means pork in Korean, especially because their specialty is samgyeopsal, which means pork belly.
After being seated and ordering our food, plenty of sides were delivered to our table; so many that we could barely fit our plates.
Then they brought out the raw meat, samgyeopsal, their specialty, and cooked it right in front of us. What made the pork belly so unique is the different ways they had marinated the meat. Some were marinated in curry, soybean, and, my personal favorite, wine. It gave a nice ting to the meat that I had never tasted before and made it extra juicy. Something you have to keep in mind while you eat it, while it is pretty flavorful, I had to be a little careful while eating it in the wrap since it was super juicy.
Another thing, the service towards non-Koreans is very thoughtful. This pork belly meat (if you didn't know) is usually wrapped in lettuce and other sides like rice and bean sprouts. The waitress kindly showed me how to make the wrap. I already knew how from when I ate with Korean friends, but I thought it was very considerate for Americans or those who don't normally eat Korean food. Personally, at times, I feel a bit anxious going to eat foreign foods and trying new things, but I could feel they wanted to serve Americans in a way that they felt comfortable.
Among all the sides, the servers introduced two of their special sauces. One was a unique Yuju (mustard) sauce with a hint of wasabi while the other was a special hot pepper paste. Though both were pretty good, I preferred the latter. It is great, especially, for those (like me) that have trouble with the strong spicy taste Korean food often has. Though this sauce had hot pepper paste in it, it had a nice sweet taste, without losing the unique flavor of the spiciness. It was definitely a great, unique combination.
Some of my friends wanted to try out their unique pork belly steamed in kimchi. It had such a soft texture and a strong flavor from the kimchi. My friend who was korean had loved it; it was a very nostalgic feeling and she could feel that it was such great quality. It is something that everyone needs to try when you get there if you truly want to get the authentic taste.
Lastly, they served us a sweet drink, called sujeonggwa, for dessert. I had tried this drink before, however hadn't enjoyed it as much. This one though, had a special sweet flavor that was more like a light cinnamony flavor that wasn't strong like the others I tasted so I really enjoyed it. It was a great end to the dinner.
Overall, my experience at Daeji Daeji made me love traditional Korean food even more, but what I loved the most is how much more comfortable it made feel in trying out more Korean foods.. Would definitely recommend this place to those who are familiar with eating Korean food, but want to try more authentic foods in a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.
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