Cycle 4 – Item 50
24 (Sun) February 2013
So Han Mari
-Jeonnong, Dongdaemun, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with MtG + NSJ, CJH + KKH, HSE, LHS + YYH
A growing trend on the local barbecue scene is the combination platter featuring various cuts of meat in large quantity. By contrast, more traditionally, a given order would comprise a single portion of a particular cut. While combos have always been around, they were traditionally viewed with a bit of suspicion as if constituting older leftover odds and ends that needed to be dumped on the cheap. Nowadays, however, perhaps in response to the already-astronomical and ever-escalating food prices in Korea, especially with respect to meat, more establishments appear to be offering bulk assortment deals and marketing them euphemistically as “the whole animal” (see for example 4.001 Dweji Han Mari). And more customers appear to be embracing them.
Here, the deal was 1 kg of beef for just 57,000 won – an excellent bargain, much cheaper than the not-so-great deals at our neighborhood barbecue joint (see for example 3.275 Boriso Special).
Although I can understand the appeal in sampling different cuts at a single sitting, each having a different taste and texture, the problem is that certain cuts that might otherwise have seemed satisfactory could suddenly seem inferior by way of forced comparison. The dissimilarities may be even more noticeable when the meat comes from different animals, maybe even from different countries. The combo here included galbisal (갈비살) + deungsim (등심) + anchang (안창) + chadolbagi (차돌바이), as well as a few unidentified pieces that may have been from other parts of the cow, some Korean, some American. Case in point, the American galbisal came across okay initially but then dry and gamy after trying the fattier and relatively flavorless deungsim from Korea.
Following an overnight camping trip last night, the camping crew returned to Seoul for a wrap-up dinner. I just joined the dinner.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)