6 (Mon) August 2012
at Gogi Nara
-Changchon, Seowon, Hoengseong, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Cabin Retreat (Day 1 of 4)
Gogi Nara (곡기나라) is a Korean restaurant. As the name of the place would suggest – “meat (gogi) country (nara)” (Hoengseong is in fact the country’s most famous region for beef) – it specializes in grilled meat, specifically beef, specifically Korean beef (hanwoo).
But we’ve never ordered meat, only and always the ugeoji tang. Here, the broth includes pieces of beef (instead of beef bones) and seasoned with spicy doenjang. With the earthy bean paste, the kick from the spices, the deep beef flavor, and of course the succulent cabbage leaves, all perfectly balanced, W and I both agree that the dish embodies the one of best ugeoji tangs that either of us have ever had. And just 7,000 won.
With temperatures in the city hitting historic highs of the upper 30s, the heat index taking it into the 40s – I got out of my car one afternoon and literally stumbled under the intensity of the heat, blazing sun above, sizzling asphalt below, suffocating humidity all around, like being in a combination broiler-fryer-steamer – we decided to take a week-long retreat to the cabin. Amazing how cool it remains in the countryside, especially at night, when it gets chilly, even in the midst of a heat wave. As a bonus, we’d save a bundle from not having to run the air-conditioner in our apartment 24-hours a day. When the maintenance department announced that they’d take the opportunity to clean out the boilers, figuring that no one would really need hot water during this time – except maybe families with infants – it was a done deal.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)