Cycle 3 – Item 280
11 (Thu) October 2012
Xian Nai Feng Wei Xia
-Woncheon, Yeongtong, Suwon, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with KHJ, PHY
Suwon is a Chinese restaurant. The name of the place is “Suwon,” though no relation to the city.
When I learned that a new Chinese restaurant had opened near school – “real” Chinese food by “real” Chinese people – I had to check it out.
In addition to a short list of popular Korean-Chinese dishes, the majority of the menu featured thumbnails of dishes labeled in Chinese and phonetically in English, but the unfamiliarity of the names, the lack of description, and the poor quality of the photos made it difficult to order. So, we just asked the owner – who claimed to be from Shandong, which boasts one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China – to bring us a few dishes at her discretion. “Surprise us with someone new, something out of the ordinary,” I said.
The spread turned out to be largely hit-or-miss, mostly miss. It started with xian nai feng wei xia – raw(ish) shrimp with fruit cocktail in a milk & egg white sauce – maybe the weirdest dish that I’ve ever had in a Chinese restaurant anywhere, certainly new and out of the ordinary. At first bite, I immediately rated it 0.5 but then somehow we kept at it until the plate was clean; it looked and felt kinda icky but didn’t taste all that bad, surprisingly. The same was true about the other dishes. After awhile, I started to long for something old and ordinary.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)