I’ve wanted to eat at the Good Fork since 2012, since a good friend told me about it and highly recommended it, but, for some reason, 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 when I said I was planning on eating at the Good Fork, 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. It’s been a year, and she probably doesn’t remember me.
You never know, you say. I’d remember you.
Aww, thanks, babe, I say, but you kinda have to say that.
You laugh, ask, Do I, though?, and the waiter chooses that moment to come by with our mandu, sets it down on the tiny table between us. We’re waiting for one of my friends to show, but she’s late, and we’re hungry, so we’ve decided to start. I want to ask for chopsticks. You say this doesn’t look like the sort of place they might have chopsticks. They have mandu, though, and Korean rice cakes and — but I’m hungry, and, sure, it’s hella weird eating mandu with a fork, but no one says it can’t be done.
Oh my god, I love these; they’re so good and really juicy and hearty, I say. I love that they’re made of pork, not shrimp.
You don’t like shrimp dumplings?
Not really. I like my mandu to have pork shoulder, chives, glass noodles, garlic, and ginger. Lots of chives. Maybe sometimes with a combo of pork and beef.
Is that how you make yours?
Yeah, how’d you know?
Because it’s a specific list.
It feels so basic, though. Pork and chive dumplings are so basic.
I mean, they’re a standard for a reason.
I guess. What else should we order? Can we get more mandu while we wait? I wonder where my friend is, I say, looking at my phone to see if there are any updates from my friend. Ooh, she says she’s on a Lyft from Jay Street-Metrotech. She said to order, though, so maybe we should order, so the food will get here when she does. What should we get?!
(If I were to dig up Sohui Kim’s business card and text her, even though it’s been a year and she probably doesn’t remember me, the text would read something like, OMGOMGOMG YOUR FOOD IS AMAZING! the mandu is delicious, and i loved your riff on the korean rice cake (it was really cool how it wasn’t ddeok-bok-ki, which is what i thought it would be, but it was like an onigiri with a crispy exterior instead), and OMG never knew potato parsnip puree could be so smooth and flavorful and pure? and THE FETTUCCINE! LOVED the fettuccine — loved it all, can’t wait to come back and eat more! thank you!)