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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SIK GAEK Korean Cuisine: “The Taste is Memories and Nostalgia”

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SIK GAEK Korean Cuisine: “The Taste is Memories and Nostalgia”

Korean cuisine is fast taking over the upmarket restaurant scene, from the Americas and Europe to Southeast Asia, with the World Health Organization praising it as a model of balance, harmony and taste.

The art of Korean cuisine captures and complements the four colors and four flavors harvested from the distinct seasons in Korea: “Sour Blue”, which awakens; “Bitter Red”, which strengthens the heart; “Spicy White”, which detoxifies your body; and “Salty Black”, which revitalizes the kidney, bladder and sexual organs. The perfect balance of these colorfulflavors will not only bring good health, but good fortune as well.

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, several restaurants continue to uphold the rich tradition of Korean cuisine. One of the newest Korean restaurants, SikGaek (“Houseguest”) serves up sizzling Korean BBQ in central BoeungKeng Kang 1.

The newly opened SikGaek is a modern Korean restaurant with an impressive and spacious hall with the capacity to serve up to 30 guests at any one time. There are also 27 separate private rooms available for special occasions. Government officials, oknhas and construction and finance dignitaries have all visited SikGaek.

The head chef, Kim Dae-hyun, with 20 years of experience under his belt, goes by the name “tiger chef” in the kitchen, reflecting his passion and drive for perfection. With the philosophy of “cook as for my family”, Kim has been known to uphold the highest standards, carefully selecting only the best ingredients for his dishes. Kim also takes great care in looking after his employees, both professionally and personally. In the past, he stayed with an employee who lost a family member overnight to comfort him.

“I’m working to achieve my dream to meet a spouse in Cambodia and to live the rest of my life with her and her family here” said the bachelor chef.

Talking of his passion for food and creativity, Kim said the working environment is as important as the food he produces. “Fun! For Fun, we must maintain a comfortable atmosphere. Safety is also necessary, as is a clean kitchen. SikGaek is not only for Koreans. It exists through the crew who work for the happiness of the customers,” he explained.

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The head chef, Kim Dae-hyun.

He says that the restaurant’s employees are always energetic and enthusiastic about learning new recipes with quality ingredients. “There is nothing I can do by myself. I don’t think using expensive meat for educating the staff is wasteful at all,” Kim said.

As a result of Kim’s spare-no-cost managerial philosophy, SikGaek employees are some of the best in the country. “My people are filled with joy when we have more customers. Even in Korea, it would be rare to find such enthusiastic and happy staff with such smiling faces. They deserve a thank you,” he said.

However, it isn’t all fun and games for Kim. “It is crucial that we have to be experts in our field. Only with the mastery of our skills can we expect to be happy and successful,” he added.

The charm at SikGaek is derived from its fermented ingredients. Well-known Korean foods such as kimchi and soybean paste made from beans are at the core of Korean cuisine. They have been scientifically proven to help with flavor preservation and digestion.

When you visit SikGaek you can expect to be served marbled sirloin believed to bring financial luck. Or you could ask for eel, which not only energies and revitalizes stamina, but also increases the white glow of skin. Wrap them in fresh vegetable with delightful side dishes for a perfect meal. For desert, SikGaek prepares kimchi-mari noodles to refresh your mind and body, giving you the power to grab good fortune by the horn.

Food that not only satisfies your taste buds and health, but also improves your good fortune. That is Korean cuisine. SikGaek is highly recommended.Located on #231, Street 63 corner 352, BKK1, opposite the Thai Houtsupermarket,

H/P: 015 288 977.

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