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Jul 19, 2009 04:31 PM

Sam Won Gahk - good korean-chinese in flushing

Decided to stop here on the way back from the Hamptons since we had a car for once (makes going to flushing so much easier...i basically drag my gf and whomever else is with me to flushing everytime i have a car). We were originally planning on hitting the pojang matcha place at H Mart, but we decided to hit Sam Won Gahk instead as the people we were with are not really used to real asian food (although I guess this is fake northern chinese food haha) and I figured this would be less of a culture shock (gotta ease people into new food).

It's on northern bet 146th and 147th st (144-20 Northern Blvd). The interior is like straight up old school americanized decor (i.e. drab and not much to speak of). The service is nice and quick as to be expected and the menu is all classic korean-chinese.

We got all the classic korean chinese dishes:
- ja jang myun (noodles in brown sauce): this was very good, the noodles they use here are better than most of the korean-chinese places I've tried in NYC b/c they tasted more like real noodles (i.e. a bit al dente etc) instead of like packaged spaghetti that you get in an american grocery store. The sauce was good as well, good flavor and definitely get the version with the beef as it definitely makes it better.
- jjam pong (spicy seafood soup): i liked this as well although I suggest getting the spicier version (they have more than more version on the menu), actually we only got the less spicy version b/c our other guests aren't really used to eating spicy food, so we tried to tone it down a bit for them. The noodles are the same noodles as the JJM. The broth was good, spicy (should've been spicier) and not too salty. The seafood in the soup was pretty decent (better than most other korean-chinese places) in terms of freshness
- tang soo yook (sweet and sour fried beef): this was very good, the beef had clearly been fried on the spot as it was very crispy and hot. The sauce was sweet w/o being too sweet (alot of korean-chinese places make it ridiculously sweet). Although I don't think the TSY was any better than Hyo Dong Gak in the city, which actually doesn't serve pretty good TSY
- gam poongi (spicy and sweet fried chicken): this was very good as well, nice and crispy, a little spicy, generally good flavor...i think everyone liked this the best

If you like korean-chinese (the korean equivalent to americanized chinese) then you will like this place as I think it's the best korean-chinese place in NYC that I've tried so far.

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  1. Looking forward to trying this spot. Good korean-chinese restaurants are in short supply around these parts, imo. Lau, have you been to Chu Ying in Woodside? How does SWG compare?

    4 Replies
    1. re: johnnyappleseed

      i have not tried chu ying although i've heard of it...i think they make their own noodles? its supposed to be good, but i should try to compare and contrast

      supposedly the place in palisades park (I think its called mandarin) is supposed to be the best, but i haven't had a chance to try that yet either....i usually get sidetracked b/c while i like korean-chinese food, areas that have good korean-chinese food usually have other food that is higher up my list

      1. re: Lau

        Yes, Mandarin (Palisades Park) is my favorite for Korean-Chinese, with Guh Song (Bayside) a close second. I think Chu Ying is entirely respectable and would not hesitate to return. In each of these I stuck to the most basic K-C dishes, including jajangmyun, jampong, tangsuyuk and gampoongi.

        1. re: burton

          yeah i heard guh song is good as well

      2. re: johnnyappleseed

        We tried Chu Ying on Woodside. They deliver to Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Delivery was very fast to Elmhurst. Faster than local Elmhurst joints.

        Their ja jang was just ok. My husband and I both thought Sam Won Gakh was much better. I smelled raw flower on my ja jang meun, he didn't.

        Their Tang Su yok (pork) was delicious. We thought it was better than SWG. They were crispy, chewy and tender with no chunks of fat. Sauce is interchangeable with SWG. We will order this again.

        My dad says their ja jang isn't that great but their seafood jam pong is really good. We'll try that next time and report back.

      3. I am quite surprised to hear this, as I have recently been to the Bayside location and thought it to be simply dreadful. I have lived in the area for a long time, and have always wanted to try the place as it is often busy. After finally convincing my Gf ( who is Korean), we went there with a couple of friends one afternoon and ordered the first three dishes you mentioned plus a dish with braised sea cucumber(not sure of the name).
        Unanimously, the entire table though that the food was very bland, poorly prepared, and wholly lacking of finesse.
        Perhaps there is a tremendous difference between the two locations. So I guess I would advise anyone to stay away from the Bayside location.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NYLSer

          interesting, well it wasn't the best korean-chinese ive ever had, but was better than any other place ive had in NY (ive definitely had better in LA where im from)...albeit the places were pretty bad and I haven't searched high and low for the best out there. Which place did you like?

          i actually found it through yelp:

          i looked up the bayside one, which got good reviews, but there aren't that many of them and your review is pretty damning, so doesn't sound like ill be trying it anytime soon haha: