Monday, August 19, 2013

Kimchi service makes this Fort Lee Korean restaurant a standout

At Gammeeok in Fort Lee, servers bring a tall bowl of cabbage and radish kimchi to your table, cut it, plate it and pour on extra sauce, which is both spicy and sweet, above and below.

The kimchi service -- unique to Gammeeok -- isn't the only reason to go there. The restaurant turns out terrific versions of such Korean classics as bibimbap and seafood pancakes.


The good news is that the kimchi at Gammeeok in Fort Lee is as good as ever -- an appealing combination of sweet, spicy and crunchy.

We had dinner there on Saturday night after an absence of more than a year, and Gammeeok is still our favorite place for bibimbap, a non-spicy dish that is true Korean comfort food.

I ordered another non-spicy dish, Seafood Joen, a  pancake with tender squid and shrimp that is fluffier than other versions I've tried ($14.95).

My teenage son ordered two entrees that could have fed three to four people, and finished everything, including a small bowl of white rice.

He loved the stone-bowl bibimbap ($13.95), as well as the grilled beef short ribs or Galbi ($22.95). 

The kimchi served here is so good it is available to go.

OB, a Korean beer, is $4.50.

Korean short ribs (galbi or kalbi) will delight meat-eaters ($22.95).

The seafood pancake is thick and fluffy, and includes tender squid, small whole shrimp and scallions, and comes with a dipping sauce ($14.95).

Stone-bowl bibimbap comes with a mildly spicy red-pepper paste (gochujang) that you spoon on top before your stir up ground meat, vegetables and rice ($13.95). We asked the kitchen to cook the egg, and you can have a bibimbap without meat.

A vinegary tangle of shredded radish is one of the complimentary side dishes.

Every table gets large, crunchy leaves of Nappa cabbage and fresh hot peppers, rear.

Valet parking is available at dinner, but you also can park on the street. No need to feed the meters after 6 p.m.


Gammeeok, 485 Main St., Fort Lee; 201-242-1333. Open for lunch and dinner. No American Express  Cards. 

I used a coupon I found in The Record giving $10 off a $30 order, $15 off a $50 order and $20 off an $80 meal.

Web site: Good food, good service

The next night, I had three Korean specialties at home, all purchased from H Mart, 25 Lafayette Ave., Englewood: Jinga-brand translucent, yam-flour noodles called japchae, with vegetables and tofu, front (19 ounces for $5.99); stewed wild-caught Alaskan pollock, left rear (16 ounces for $16.99); and stewed tofu, right rear (11 ounces for $3.99).

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