Cycle 4 – Item 29
3 (Sun) February 2013
at Darin Gallery
-Junggye, Nowon, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with DJ, MtG + NSJ, AHY + KIT + JH, CJH + KKH, CSW, HSE + HCY, YI + JDE, LHS + YYH
On the way home from the cabin, we stopped by Darin Gallery, an establishment owned/operated by SW’s sister. It’s a cafe and gallery/workshop for pottery.
Top to bottom, the Special Burger at Darin Gallery embodied everything that Koreans do wrong when making a burger.
(i) The bread, essentially the same type of bread referred to in Korea as “morning roll,” was sweet.
(ii) And it wasn’t toasted or grilled.
(iii) The patty wasn’t 100% beef but contained extenders, maybe onions and/or breadcrumbs.
(iv) And it was overcooked.
(v) The bacon was undercooked.
(vi) The cheese wasn’t melted.
(vii) And since when does cheese go anywhere but directly on top of the patty? – that explains why it wasn’t melted.
(viii) The fried egg was overcooked to the consistency of a hockey puck.
(ix) The pickle was sweet pickle.
(x) The condiments, in addition to ketchup + mayonnaise, included honey mustard.
Everything about Darin Gallery appeared carefully thought out, nothing haphazard, so I can only assume that the burger was designed to be exactly as it was. On the plus side, the lettuce was crispy.
Now that burgers are becoming quite commonplace outside of the major fast food chains, the standards have quickly been Koreanized. I can accept certain things as matters of subjective taste, like sweet pickles, and maybe honey mustard – even though I absolutely detest both – but the rest I regard as non-negotiables, like melted cheese, crispy bacon.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)