Cycle 4 – Item 348
19 (Thu) December 2013
at Tuna Momotori Sushi
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
After a successful first visit to this restaurant a couple weeks ago, DJ and I had both been itching to go back for more.
This second experience will be our last.
We had to wait over 40 minutes for our food. Arriving at 1830 to snag the last table, the other 3 parties had been seated just moments prior. As such, we had to wait until all of their orders were filled before the chef – being such a tiny restaurant, the kitchen is manned by a solitary chef, who supposedly doesn’t prepare anything in advance to maximize freshness – would begin to consider us. The server(?)/manager(?)/owner(?) wasn’t the least bit apologetic, actually defensive, explaining that it had to be that way to maintain quality. Even worse, she initially refused to serve us the complimentary salad, not yet being our turn, but relented when DJ began groaning loudly in hunger, prompting a customer at an adjacent table to plead on my starving son’s behalf.
Having worked for a summer in my uncle’s sushi restaurant, I know that efficiency doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive of freshness/quality. Certain components, like the rice, which is just sitting at room temperature anyway, can be formed into individual nigiri balls and laid out in rows and covered with a cheese cloth up to half an hour ahead of an anticipated rush, then assembled quickly with various fish sliced upon order – saves time by half.
Anyway, the food was also lacking. For the wagyu nigirizushi, the beef was dry/flavorless and too thick, like leather, though leather would’ve been preferable. Wagyu, really? The only reason why I bothered to finish the plate – W and DJ didn’t even venture a try, lucky them – was that I was paying for it. Robbery at 25,000 won for 13 pieces. If the dish been free, I would’ve stopped after a single piece.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)