Cycle 3 – Item 106
20 (Fri) April 2012
Dry Aged Hanwoo 1++ Fielt Mignon Burger
at The Butcher’s Cut
-Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
On the sign, and I’m a sucker for restaurant signage advertising special deals, every part of the name was intriguing, as was the big-fat-proud sticker price of 19,500 won. I had to try it.
While it was okay as far as burgers go, it didn’t live up to its ostentatious name and certainly not up to its outlandish price. Admittedly, though I’m roughly aware of what dry-aging entails and what the process is supposed to accomplish, I don’t have a lot of direct experience eating dry-aged beef, but the patty here didn’t strike me as particularly flavorful or tender. If I can’t tell the difference, then what’s the point? And it was somewhat dry, despite being hanwoo, which is prized primarily for its marbling content, especially at the ultimate 1++ rating. Indeed, however impressive filet (“fielt”) mignon may seem in the context of steak, the cut isn’t ordinarily used for burgers, even premium burgers, because it’s too lean, too soft, too bland. I couldn’t help but think that the restaurant is attempting to cash in on the expensive overseas reputation of a cut that’s relatively cheap in Korea. The patty was also overcooked, which didn’t help. Otherwise, the bun and toppings were fine, if standard: ketchup-mustard-mayo, onion, tomato, and (for some reason) the white core of iceberg lettuce. I was hoping for more than standard.
After 2 weeks cooped up inside, 1 week in the maternity ward and 1 week in the postpartum recovery center, W finally ventured out into the world. We’d tried to do it a couple days earlier, but the mother-in-law got wind of the plan and, in adamant opposition – because, of course, fresh air and exercise and meal not consisting of seaweed will kill a woman who’s given birth a mere 12 days earlier – refused to leave her daughter’s bedside as a preventative measure. We kept today’s planned adventure hush-hush, but I’m itching to let her know that we did it.
(See also FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)