Cycle 4 – Item 77
22 (Fri) March 2013
Mul Naeng Myeon
-Yeoksam, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
The venerable Eulmildae has a branch near Gangnam Station.
It being relatively close to home, we went there for dinner to see how the food would compare to the original.
The MNM was excellent, but not phenomenal. The first sip of broth registered somewhat differently than before, like it had an aftertaste of some sort, garlicky perhaps, maybe what I’d previously described as “je ne sais quois,” but it didn’t seem so pleasant this time. Still, it didn’t really seem to matter when consumed with the noodles and the other components, which were excellent. When I asked the manager about the broth, she claimed that everything was identical, having all been prepared at a central site then distributed to the restaurants. For some reason, the MNM is cheaper here at 9,000 won for a basic order, 3,000 won for extra noodles.
Regardless of the food’s technical uniformity, the experience overall this evening didn’t provide the absolute gratification that I’d enjoyed before. Famous restaurants in their original spots, especially old-school/hole-in-the-wall eateries, emanate/manifest a distinct mojo/patina that naturally gets lost at newer subsidiary locations, even where quality is generally consistent. In any case, real or imagined, something felt lacking.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)