This face explains how I felt the entire time I was in Korea:
Because this is what was laid before me:
I requested that we eat traditional Korean style, little imagining that I’d be treated to this elaborate hanshik spread.
The restaurant has quite an efficient system: the dishes are preset on a table top, which is wheeled out on a cart and slides onto the table itself. Voila! All the food your heart could ever desire.
My aunt and cousin picked me up at the airport and brought me straight here, to a place called Yoogane that is famous for the incredible marinade they use for chicken galbi. It’s spicy, and sweet, and tangy, and delightful in every possible way. We also added cheese ddukbokki — rice cakes stuffed with cheese!!!! — which was pan fried to melty perfection on the hot plate on our table.
I ate a lot of good food while I was in Korea, and even if this wasn’t the most glam, I think it was my favorite. Seriously. So good.
Second favorite: Injeolmi bingsoo! Injeolmi is my favorite Korean dessert. It’s a chewy rice cake completely coated in powdered dried soybeans. The resulting texture and flavor is the sweetest of savory-sweet spots. I think the closest comparison might be the best chewy peanut butter cookie you’ve ever had.
When I read in The Chronicles of Narnia of how Edmund gets enticed by Turkish delights, I always thought of injeolmi. Because for injeolmi, I would, ahem, might sell out my kinfolk too. When I tasted an actual Turkish delight for the first time, I was sorely disappointed. Injeolmi is oodles better.
Injeolmi bingsoo is the ingenious creation of Sulbing, which takes the traditional bingsoo dessert and gives it a twist for the refined palate. Instead of topping shaved ice with fruit, red bean, and other tart, sweet or crunchy flavors and textures, Sulbing cuts up injeolmi into small pieces and douses the refreshing shaved ice with the rice cake & nutty powder. Mmmmm~
Koreans say they feel like they haven’t really eaten until they’ve eaten Korean food. This was never truer than when my cousin and I stuffed ourselves on American-style brunch, and she insisted on eating cup ramen afterwards. So, thanks to my cousin’s indomitable cravings, I had my first-ever convenience store cup ramen experience, which I’ve always seen in the dramas.
Gah, my mouth is watering writing this post. I want to eat all the things.
Including this Green Tea Tower bingsoo at Caffe Bene.
Good thing I told myself not to worry about weight gain while in Korea. Because it definitely happened, nom nom nom :)