15 (Fri) November 2019
-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
with RK, UJK
Only the 2nd time having dinner at this restaurant (see most recently 5.328 Seollong Tang), though I’ve visited countless times for lunch or for takeout dinner at home (see most recently 10.122 Seolleong Tang). I can’t recall a single instance of eating anything but the signature seolleong tang.
UJK, attending this week’s country office network meeting as officer-in-charge of the Kiribati station, was available to spend some quality private time with us on her final night in town.
I hadn’t seen her since a chance encounter in Nadi a few months back (see 10.188 Steamed Slipper Lobster Garlic).
Deprived in Kiribati, she was in desperate need of Korean comfort food, like mandu jeongol.
Korean hotpots are served in wide cooking vessels to facilitate sharing. Moreover, the simmering process slows the pace of the meal to allow for long conversation. If spicy, the broth stimulates the discourse, especially when discussing hot topics.
The three of us, including RK, had loads of heat to dispense.
The jeongol was okay. Decent beef broth, even though I ended up overseasoning it with chili paste and soy sauce – eager to stoke the furnace, apparently. The mandu were crap, clearly factory-made. The tofu and other components were fine.
Anyway, the food was secondary to the discourse.
We also ordered suyuk. which we assumed would consist simply of sliced beef (see for example 2.116 Suyuk with Chive and Onion Salad) but turned out to be a full-on hotpot. Which was fine, as it provided for more talk time.
Within the next 3 months, I predict that one of us will be in the same spot, one will be in a different role, and one will be out altogether – though perhaps none according to preference.