5.158 Bareun Gimbab


12 (Thu) June 2014

Bareun Gimbab


by Bareuda Kim Seonsaeng

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Oksu, Republic of Korea-


The Prodigal Son Returns to Fulfill His Teaching Obligations (Day 1 of 4)

Ostensibly, the reason for this trip is to give a lecture at the university.  Although I’ve resigned my position, I agreed to cover a couple lectures that I would’ve been scheduled to give, one tomorrow, the other in a couple weeks.  I do feel a lingering sense of responsibility to my students.  Fortunately, June 12 is Independence Day in the Philippines, a national holiday; with a day of leave on Friday, I get a 4-day weekend, only 2 hours of which I will spend teaching.  

In the reflection on the door, a white Land Rover Discovery can be seen double-parked on the street, completely blocking traffic, resulting in a queue of about 30 cars backed up for blocks, all honking like mad to no avail; the Discovery was empty and locked but with the hazards blinking, which in Korea means “I’ll be back in a minute;” I observed all this as I was waiting for my order; suddenly, that prissy little brat in blue, who’d been standing there the whole time with a blank look on her face, grabbed her finished order, got into the Discovery, and drove off, not even a wave of apology; this kind of thing happens all the fucking time in Gangnam generally, the Hyundai Apartment complex in Apgujeong particularly, based on a supreme sense of entitlement + an utter lack of regard for others.

Bareuda Kim Seonsaeng (바르다 김선생) is a Korean chain of gimbab shops.  Over 20 locations around the country, mostly in and around Seoul.   Whereas commercial gimbab is widely regarded as a quick-fix item of convenience, typically sold cheap (see for example 3.110 Wonjo Kimbap), this place attempts to do it right.  In fact, the name of the place means “is proper/righteous (bareuda) + Kim (the name) +”teacher (seonsaeng),” like the guy is trying to show us the way.  According to the signage, they don’t use any preservatives, MSG, food coloring, etc., and only high quality eggs, sesame oil, laver, etc.

Not that pricey in absolute terms, but double what other places tend to charge.

My first experience, the gimbap was excellent.  The basic bareun variety was nothing special really, but the roll was stuffed with finely sliced carrots and cucumbers, providing wonderful bursts of lively freshness with every bite.  They should remove the ham and make it a true vegetarian item.  In any case, I look forward to trying other varieties next time.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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