Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My FAVORITE Restaurant

WELCOME to my favorite place to eat.  I feel so thankful that we found it the first weekend we were here … What a find!  I am not the only one who loves it so, it is quite a famous place in Gwangju.  And to think that it is 2 blocks from my house. Yeah!


I’m sad to say I don’t know the name.  But I know the food, which I think is more important!



You sit at lovely short tables (cushions provided) and settle in for a feast.  And remember to take your shoes off at the door!


You do not order at this restaurant, because there is only one meal they serve, and it is the same everyday.  They just verify the number of eaters and start bringing over the dishes!  They first bring cups, bowls, water, raw sliced garlic, spicy bean paste and wet towels to wash your hands before you eat. There is a box of utensils at the table, where you pull out a soup spoon and a pair of chopsticks for each person.


Each bowl has a different side dish that accompanies the main dish.  They include (starting slightly to the right of 6 o’clock and going counter clockwise) mushrooms, chili paste (bright red), anchovy paste, dried/salted seaweed, pickled radishes (orange in color), spicy krill, marinated bean sprouts/onion/?, spicy bean paste, garlic, lightly marinated bean sprouts (you can only see 1/2 of the dish), and spicy/marinated zucchini.


You have viewed all of these items in the last picture except for the dish in the upper left corner.  That is kimchi.  It is a staple for EVERY Korean meal.  I plan on dedicating a post to it some time soon.


This is the main dish.  It is beef in a spicy sauce, with green onions, white onions and probably lots more that I don’t know about.  It is wonderful! Mark is cutting the meat up with a pair of kitchen scissors.  They use scissors a lot in the kitchen.




This WONDERFUL soup is brought out PIPING HOT (you can see the bubbling in the picture).  It is made from a white bean stock and includes, green onions, white onions, garlic, green and red chili peppers, zucchini, tofu, and a few manila clams. 



Each person shares all of the food that I have shown you, EXCEPT (and this is the only exception in the Korean food sharing culture) for rice.  Your personal serving of rice (yes, that is all for me) is housed in a wooden box, covered with a wooden lid, and has a stone bowl inside that keeps your rice hot.


Last but not least there is the plate of lettuce they bring you.  It has at least 5 different types of lettuces hidden in there, cabbage, herbs, sesame leaves, and green chili peppers.  The fist time we enjoyed a meal at this restaurant we were SHOCKED that they brought just the 2 of us that much lettuce.  As we watched other patrons we couldn’t believe that they would take the whole plate down in ONE MEAL !!!


All of these wonderful dishes, sauces, and sides are then wrapped inside multiple pieces of lettuce.  You kind of create-your-own-flavor with each lettuce wrap.


When I eat the lettuce wrap I usually just bit off a section.  The Koreans have a different style.  They put the whole thing in … I am not kidding you, it is quite impressive.  I still am an amateur eater in comparison to them! :o)


This was the remains of our lettuce plate after this meal.  We were pretty proud of ourselves!!

One side note: We are the slowest eaters in every restaurant we have been to.  We have been amazed how much food Koreans can eat in such a short amount of time…amazing!  Some of it might have to do with their chopstick competency, which I admit I am still lacking. :o)

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post...visually, packed a lot in, sis.