22 (Wed) February 2012
Jeon Tong Pyong Yang Naeng Myeon
at Woo Lae Oak
-Daechi, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ, Mom and Dad
In various Korean dining situations, a staple is served at the very end, and only at the end. For example, at a barbecue restaurant, after initial rounds of meat, customers will finish off the meal with a bowl of mul naeng myeon or doenjang jjigae with rice. The customer may ask for the noodles/rice at any time, of course, though the server would likely do a double-take and ask to confirm that the request were being made for now, not later. Jeongol are often completed by sautéeing rice in the remaining liquid after the main ingredients have been consumed. The term “siksa” (식사) literally means “meal” in general but refers figuratively to the noodle or rice in these contexts, thus signifying the importance of that final morceau.
I’ve decided henceforth to order the siksa right away, be it noodles or rice or whatever. Getting stuffed with red meat is never a good thing, especially for someone with elevated cholesterol. Regardless, I’ve always felt that Korean food tastes better with a starchy carb along the way to provide balance.
Woo Lae Ok is a Korean restaurant. Arguably one of the most popular in history, even to this day. At the main location, customers line up at all times of the day for a table. The fare is regarded as generally northern by classification, though the flavors are somewhat southernized in execution. On my first visit, to this secondary branch, I found the food to be okay but disappointing, solid but nowhere as good as it’s reputed to be. I’ll reserve further comment for when I’ve tried the original location downtown.
Happy birthday, Mom!
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