22 (Wed) December 2010
(Ajou University Hospital)
-Woncheon, Yeongtong, Suwon, Gyeonggi, Korea-
Meedam is a food court. Just opened in the basement of Ajou University Hospital, accessible to staff, students, patients, visitors. Offers Korean, Korean-Chinese, Japaneseish, Westernish dishes, made to order.
I love bibimbap but not so much the dolsot version, preferring instead the cool, salad-like simplicity of the regular kind. In restaurants where they serve it only as dolsot, and I really feel like eating bibimbap, I sometimes request that they forego the heating part and serve it as is. I’ve never been refused this request.
But tonight, in my first visit to Meedam, I was rebuffed. “Sorry, but we can’t do that.” “I’m not asking you to ‘do’ anything. I’m just asking you ‘not’ to do something. Just don’t heat the pot.” “Why not?” “I don’t like it hot.” “Then why don’t you order something else?” “Because I want bibimbap.” “Well, we only have dolsot bibimbap.”.
I can see why some restaurants would have policies against altering certain cooking methods. Like say, at KFC, if I were to order a bucket, but then ask that they cook the chicken to a nice medium rare, and they refused on the grounds of food safety – and because everything at KFC is automated to ensure quality control – I would understand. I would understand if the request would cost them extra money or extra time or required some expertise that they didn’t possess. But none of those things applies to not heating the goddamn dolsot.
I order the dolsot bibimbap anyway, which came hot. I finally got around to taking a photo of the dish after all the ingredients have been mixed together, the way it should look just before eating.