I’ve wanted to eat at the Good Fork since 2012, since a good friend told me about it and highly recommended it, but it’s taken me six years to get here. Last year, I actually met Sohui Kim, the chef-owner, and she gave me her card, told me to text her and tell her what I thought — except I didn’t actually make it to her restaurant then, so I never could reach out. I still have her business card; it’s tucked into her cookbook; but I feel like it’d be pretty moot now.
Whenever I’ve brought up wanting to eat here, I’ve always said something about how it’s so far out — it’s in fucking Red Hook, and the subway doesn’t even run there! When I’m visiting New York, though, a friend, J, and I commit to going, so I make a reservation, and we hang out in Carroll Gardens after the Brooklyn Book Festival and take a Lyft from there. It’s an adorable restaurant, full of ambience and personality, and we’re seated in a corner booth, get cocktails, wait for my other friend, H, to arrive.
She texts, telling us to order because she’s running late, but J and I decide to wait a little longer … which lasts about ten minutes because we decide we’re famished, maybe we should start with some mandu while we wait.
The mandu comes with forks, and I find that weird. I want to ask for chopsticks, but I don’t know — this doesn’t seem like the place that would have chopsticks, even though it’s a Korean-inspired restaurant and there are mandu and rice cakes and other Korean-y things on the menu. In the end, I don’t ask for chopsticks, just keep commenting on the strangeness of eating mandu with a fork, but they’re damn good mandu, juicy and flavorful, made with pork not shrimp.
When H texts that she’s getting on a Lyft at Jay St-Metrotech, J and I decide to order. We get another order of mandu, the riff on Korean rice cakes, roasted chicken with potato parsnip puree, and house-made fettuccine. As usual, it’s too much food — but it’s also just enough.
If I were to dig up Sohui Kim’s business card and text her, the text would probably be a garble of OMGs and exclamation marks. It’s always gratifying when I finally get to a restaurant I’ve heard so much about (and, thus, have high expectations for) and find out the food really is that good — everything is thoughtfully prepared and made in-house. Sounds like your kind of restaurant, you tell me later when we’re back together again (you had a friend crisis, had to skip out on dinner). Good drinks, good ambiance, small menu. Handmade pasta.
Am I that predictable? I ask, laughing.
Or we’re just alike, you say because it’s true — that’s your kind of restaurant, too — good drinks, good ambiance, small menu — and handmade pasta.