3.006 Sukiyaki


11 (Wed) January 2012



at Hakata Tatsumi

-Cheongdam, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with W and DJ

W, who’d recognized my need to get away – partially to get away from her – and had quietly given me a 3-night hall pass to go camping by myself (see most recently 3.005 Mul Naeng Myeon), suggested that we splurge to celebrate my return.  Supposedly, she’d once enjoyed a great meal at this restaurant for lunch, when the price are cheaper and the portions are larger, so she wanted to go back.  She agreed, however, that dinner tonight was a fiasco.  I had anticipated as much, given my general abhorrence with restaurants in Gangnam, especially in the alleys behind the haute couture boutiques in Cheongdam.

Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish.  Consists of thinly sliced meat and vegetables, typically beef and cabbage and mushrooms and tofu, etc., cooked in a hotpot at the table in a sweet soy broth, usually one piece at a time, dipped in raw egg yolk as a condiment.  Similar to shabu shabu, only with a different broth.

This beef sukiyaki dinner set was possibly the biggest ripoff that I’ve experienced in my life, certainly as far back as I can remember, undoubtedly in the 2-plus-year history of GMTD.  For 100,000 won, plus 10% VAT, it came with a few forgettable and/or unforgettably unpalatable appetizers, a raw egg, 5 paper-thin slices of beef weighing a measly 100 grams total (if that), the standard vegetables and noodles, and a lousy dessert.  Volume aside, the broth was too sweet and too salty.  To make matters worse, a uniformed server stood alongside the table and dipped the various ingredients into the broth, one piece at a time, and placed them onto our plates, which rendered the dining experience even skimpier while being ludicrously ostentatious.  I couldn’t help but wonder aloud, in the server’s presence, how much of the tab went towards paying for the service; I would’ve preferred an extra slice of meat and done it myself.

(See also FOODS)

(See also PLACES)

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