19 (Wed) January 2011
Spaghetti al Jalapeño
at Due Cose
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
with the Family
Spaghetti al Jalapeño is an Italian(ish) dish. Pickled jalapeños, onion, and garlic, minced and lightly seasoned and sautéed in olive oil and tossed with spaghetti. While retaining the chili pepper’s sharp flavor, more commonly associated with Mexican cuisine, the dish manages to be Italian, perhaps not authentically but in spirit.
I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it outside of this restaurant, so perhaps it’s unique. In previous experiences, the dish has delivered near perfection. Tonight, however, as if they’d changed the brand of peppers or added a little something extra for more kick (e.g., cayenne), but it was uncomfortably hot/spicy from the first bite. Still tasty. I’ll have to ask them next time what’s up before I can reconsider. In any event, I won’t be having it for dinner again anytime within the next 351 days, so there’s no rush.
The neighborhood has become home in recent years to quite a few boutique-like restaurants of various non-Korean cuisines, including welcome newcomers Naked Grill and Due Cose, as well as has-beens Chakraa, Puffin Café, and Western China, and many more that have not yet been covered on GMTD. This boom is long overdue, what with the string of foreign embassies in the vicinity, as well as the many international kindergartens and daycare centers, and all the rich people, many of them foreigners, living in the neighborhood, like in the famous UN Village – supposedly, 5 of the 10 richest people in the country live within a 2-km radius. One possible reason for the sudden surge might be the newly completed construction of expensive apartments on the old Danguk University campus just down the street, entrepreneurs sniffing the influx of disposable income from the young upper stratum denizens who’ll soon be moving in. I’m loving the restaurants but dreading the inevitable traffic.