Soban Shiktam Korean Homestyle
A few weeks ago after a haircut at Pokure, I decided to stop in to Soban Shiktam for some takeout. This little spot is basically around the corner from my house, but I'd never ventured inside because it appeared to have more of a pub-like ambiance. An almost "members only" vibe complete with Korean hipsters queued up on the sidewalk on weekend nights. Imagine a cross between Chatham's Squire and Chi-town's Gino's East decor wise: dim with chalk graffiti all over the walls. At noon, the place was filled with Koreans clad in business attire. Thankfully one of them spoke perfect English considering absolutely nothing is in English on the menu and the owner doesn't speak a word. As in NOT A WORD. I speak Korean Food almost fluently, but because the menu was only in Korean characters with nothing phonetically spelled out beneath, even that didn't help me. The gentleman who made suggestions says he is there every single day for lunch and that it's the only place he eats because the food is homestyle and there is absolutely no MSG used. And... that they offer the absolute best mandoo in NY! My chowpup heard that and got very excited. What was supposed to be a quick snack ended up being an order of mandoo (delicious although fried. I much prefer steamed; not sure if that is an option) and thin pieces of pork stir-fried in an incendiary sauce with stir-fried cabbage and pieces of kimchee. The businessman who had done the translation for me should've been their spokesperson. He completely waxed poetic about the place and said it was basically an under the radar secret spot that all Korean food cognoscenti frequent. And this guy definitely knew his Korean restaurants!
I noticed that the kitchen seemed to be staffed exclusively with Koreans. An older Korean ajuma was doing all the cooking. Everything was tasty and considering these were lunch portions, on the larger side. And very reasonable. Cheaper than most places. I'm enclosing some photos of the menu so that our Korean 'hounds can translate if needed. Worth checking out if you are in the area. Seems to be cash only.