Wednesday, June 26, 2013

First real Korean BBQ treat

Complete set of meat! At the center is the pork rib marinated in sauce; kimchi (at the foreground) and more!


We had gone to a number of eateries in Seoul but never gotten the chance to eat Korean BBQ.

But the long was was over.

Last Saturday our friends, David and Sunny, took us to a cozy Korean BBQ restaurant south of Daegu. The place (I am very bad at remembering names, unfortunately) was pretty big and can house perhaps a battalion (mind my exaggeration here).

It was around 1:00P.M. when we arrived at the place. We were seated by the window. Sunny and David placed orders for us (and I guess they were also surprised to know that we haven't had Korean BBQ yet, even in Seoul). A few minutes later, the waiter came back with a tray full of goodies. It was a feast to behold!

My new found friends in SK: pretty Sunny and dashing David
There were numerous plate laid on the table that it just simply made my mouth water. The main dish of course was strips of savory pork meat and ribs! Sunny took charge of grilling the meat for everyone while Jeff and I shared our experiences in Seoul, food and what not.

I should perhaps emphasize here -- and this is what I have also learned from my husband - that most Koreans enjoy meals with friends and very close associates or acquaintances. This social practice is likewise true in the Philippines. A perfect day plus cozy and relaxed conversations with friends make the dining experience a whole lot better!


While the meat were dancing on the grill, Sunny gave a chopstick full of scallions (green long onions) mixed with vinegar I think, onions, chilli (and fish sauce?). It was a cold dish and I thought it was something that first had to be eaten. Sunny motioned at me that the scallions were eaten together with meat. I let my wondering chopsticks dance on the dining table and placed some kimchi and lettuce on my plate, totally skipping a bowl full of garlic. Contrary to what I thought, the garlic was also grilled together with the meat. I could eat minced garlic but a glove or two of it-- never... until after a few nudging from my husband, I finally gave in.

Sumptuous feast awaiting in our plates and the garlic at the center of attention
Sunny graciously cut all the meat with scissors. It is a common practice to cut the meat with a pair of scissors than a knife. After sometime, we readied our chopsticks and took some cooked slices. The way to eat the bbq can be perhaps done in two ways: by itself or wrap the meat with lettuce or bokchoy with scallions or garlic, or sprouts and even kimchi in it. I've tried both ways and the food was magical!

Just a when I thought the grill was done, Davit lifted a tray full of meat and then placed them over the grill. Wow! There was just plenty to eat! 

You know I am a big rice eater and didn't mind missing it at all. But when we have finished almost everything on the table, we were asked by our friends if we would like rice or noodles. We both said no to rice. Our bellies were fully loaded by the fine meat and other dishes.

Then our desserts came. Or so I think was classified was desserts. They were two bowl full of cold noodles.

Cold chilli noodles with eggs and more- my fave of the two

Sunny mixing first type of cold noodle dessert.

As always, I have forgotten how these noodles were called but interestingly enough they were different from each other. The first bowl was soupy with some cut fruits like peaches in it and a little of bit of chilli. The color wa somewhere close to light pastel purple, almost like 'ginataang halo halo.' The other was red in color as the chilli dominated the whole palette of colors in the bowl. 

Sunny added some mustard in the bowls and mixed them very well. She motioned to the waiter to bring small bowls for all of us (also because I can't steady my grip on chopsticks over noodles). Since there were no spoons to the try chilled noodle with, Sunny motioned to my hubby to take a swig from the bowl instead. David hesitated but gave in.

It  is safe to say since we J and I were both new to these dishes, we could commit some faux pas. Then again,  sipping from the bowl that is shared with friends or other people is something shouldn't be done but we and Sunny did it anyways.

We were quite full from our first course of meal but made extra effort to squeeze some more food in. The noodles tasted great but I liked the chilli even more (lol).

Over all, my Korean BBQ experience was superb. But most of all, it was meeting new friends through Sunny and Davit which made the dining even more pleasurable.