Lunch at Kum Sung Chik Naengmyun
On a recent chilly Saturday afternoon, my family and I craved Korean food and decided on eating at Kum Sung Chik Naengmyun (interestingly enough, their sign reads Geum Sung Restaurant). Hearing good things from friends about this and remembered that this restaurant’s specialty is generally cold noodles, we thought it would be an interesting change from our norms of Chinese food at home.
Entering this restaurant, it is traditional in the sense that it is mostly decorated in warm blonde woods with tabletops that has covered gas burners for Korean-style barbecue. The waitresses there spoke fluent Korean except for one who actually speaks both Mandarin Chinese and Korean, which is an advantage for us to ask some questions about dishes that we aren’t familiar with.
Every Korean restaurant serves banchan except most dishes are unique to each restaurant. Most notable banchan we had was this large, flat squares of savory green bean jelly lightly sauced in a chili vinaigrette and one that is a small dish full of what seemed like fermented soybeans with fried, dried minced anchony and jalapeño peppers that begs for a bowl of steamed rice.
Since we can’t live on banchan alone (though you can), we had the haemul dupbob ($13.99) a medium-sized mixed seafood and vegetable with hot and spicy sauce over rice that’s sizzling in a hot stone bowl. We requested it to be mild since we can’t really handle the awesome, painful power of chili peppers used in their dishes. It’s still a very good rice dish, piled with a lot of shredded vegetables and studded with mussel meat but it lacked the wondrous crunchy crust found on the bottom of bowls of bibimbap.
The manul samgyup gui and denjang jigae ($18.99) was arguably the weakest dish of the bunch. While the pork belly was coated in a roasted garlic marinade, it tasted a bit tepid but it was tender, meaty and not too fatty. These were served bo ssam style as we were served with freshly washed leaves of romaine lettuce and a bowl of Chinese chives marinated in chili oil. The dish as a whole was better than its individual parts.
Our denjang jigae (it’s part of the dish), arrived in a super hot cast iron bowl. It’s essentially a tofu and potato soup boiled with slices of jalapeño peppers. I liked how clean and flavorful the broth was, and of course, having hot soup in the cold weather is always welcoming.
Our favorite dish was the ttukbaegi bulgogi (뚝배기 불고기; $18.99). Paper thin slices of marinated beef served in a hot earthenware pot. While the entire contents of the bowl was simmering before us, we were enamored by its comforting aromas wafting.
This was easily the epitome of comfort food. The beef was super tender and the sweet and savory sauce-like broth was delicious. There were enoki mushrooms, cellophane noodles, and dried jujube (a date-like fruit) found in the bottom of the pot. My mom asked our waitress in Chinese, “What’s in that broth? It’s delicious.” She replied back, “It’s a secret.”
Finally our large stainless steel bowl of yachae naeng myeon ($13.99), cold buckwheat noodles with fresh various lettuces, sliced Gala apple and hard boiled egg, with a spicy sauce mixed with vigor and our noodles cut to a manageable length by our waitress. This was a refreshing bowl of noodles while being very filling. I find the use of sweet apples a bit unusual into this entire hodgepodge of ingredients but it’s tasty. (I learned later that their chik naengmyeon (a kudzu-type noodle) was the noodle dish to order.)
Stuffed to the gills, as Korean restaurants tend to serve large portions, our waitress brought out small bottles of yogurt milk (or yakult). This particular beverage brought vivid memories of me drinking them as a kid, as I easily clean out a dozen in a few minutes. Slightly tart yet sweet and supposedly good for your health.
It’s a very good restaurant if you’re craving traditional Korean dishes and if you’re out in Flushing, Queens (or have a mission like we did). Next time for sure, I really want to try their namesake dish, chik naengmyun.
To view more photos of this meal, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
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Kum Sung Chik Naengmyun (also known as or Geum Sung Restaurant)
40-07 149th Pl
Flushing, NY 11354
Telephone: (718) 539-4596