Cycle 4 – Item 57
3 (Sun) March 2013
Agu & Nakji Jjim
at Busan Agu
-Sinsa, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ, AHY + KIT + JH, CJH + KKH, CSW, HSE, LHS + YYH
As ever, the crowds both within and without constitute a serious drawback to this restaurant – my favorite agu jjim restaurant in the world. The droves of customers spill onto the street all day, any day of the week, requiring a wait of at least 30 minutes. And no, of course, they don’t take reservations.
Upon arrival, a member of the party has to squirm to the front of the pack, give a head count to the woman handling the seating, and idle by to ensure that she’ll remember who’s who as tables become available.
To make matters worse, the kitchen is located at the front of the premises, requiring customers to pass through a scrum of servers, as well as a woman standing at the entrance and making rice balls, to get to the dining area in the back.
Even after securing a table, the cramped interior doesn’t provide for much breathing room to relax and enjoy the meal.
Orders tends to be served within seconds – literally, less than a minute – which would otherwise seem like a good thing, but it just makes the service feel rushed, as if the kitchen were churning out dishes to drive turnover. From start to finish, the logistics render the entire dining experience frantic/hectic and not particularly pleasant. The food gets lost in the pandemonium.
Knowing this, the decision to go there for dinner was not a good one, not on a Sunday evening with 11 people in tow. My idea, my bad. We were seated in 3 separate stages; by the time the last group sat down, the first group had already finished eating, everything happening in a 20-minute window. I’m assuming that the food was good, though I can’t remember a single bite.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)