On the edge of Flushing's bustling center of Asian cuisine comes a small, easy to miss, Korean restaurant. The eatery, appropriately named "pig, pig," opens into a mountain-like oasis that specializes in various pork dishes and Korean BBQ.
"Daeji Daeji" opened in 2015 in Queens, NY, where there is no shortage of Korean restaurants. However, owner Song Young-nim, and her son Kyle were confident of the unique tastes their restaurant has to offer.
"We are targeting American people to try Korean food," they shared. "This is an Asian district, so there are a lot of options for food to try. But in order to survive that battlefield [of competitors] we have to think about something unique."
"There should be something that brings people to come to try. We have a signature menu that we are proud of."
Song has been in the food industry for over 15 years. "Daeji Daeji" was the result of a strong desire to bring traditional Korean food into the mainstream culture. The restaurant welcomes Korean-food veterans, as well as curious newbies.
"Korean food is getting more popular in this city. But most Americans don't know much about it," Kyle, Song's son shared. "It is our desire to approach American people to know about Korean food."
"I want everyone to feel comfortable. Like Japanese food," he added. "Sushi wasn't so popular even 10 years ago because its raw fish. But now, Americans love sushi. I want to approach people with Korean food in that way."
"Daeji Daeji" specializes in Pork Belly BBQ, known as Samgyeopsal-gui. They also utilize a traditional way of grilling on the one and only customized cast-iron cooking pots from South Korea. The restaurant is also health conscious with carefully selected meat and side dishes for BBQ.
Ultimately, "Daeji Daeji" invites you into an experience of traditional Korean cuisine. The wood-house interior invites you into a calming environment with large tables for talking and fellowship. The waiters love to accommodate guests, communicate with them, and serve their customers graciously.
"Daeji Daeji" is just in the beginning or their development, however. Song's son, Kyle, shared their development of meals that fuse traditional and also modern western meals, like a Kimchi hamburger, for example.
"We want everyone to feel comfortable and add some American style to our Korean menu," Kyle said.
"Daeji Daeji" offered an authentic taste of Korea that everyone is welcomed to try.