15 (Mon) June 2020
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Cheongdam Leesang is Japanese chain restaurant. 4 locations in Seoul, with a 5th location in Wirye. More of an izakaya than a family restaurant, greater emphasis on booze and food that goes with booze than food per se.
Packing and leaving the cabin this morning,- at last, free from quarantine! – we took a taxi to our new apartment. For the next 2 years (we signed a 2-year lease), we will live in Wirye, a “new city” on the southeastern outskirts of Seoul. More on that after we move in. We have the keys to our apartment, but our stuff won’t arrive from Manila until the end of this week, so W and the boys will staying at her parents’ place, while I camp it out on the floor.
For our first family dinner at a restaurant in 111 days (see most recently 11.051 Cuadril), we walked across the street from the apartment complex in search of eats and came across this place. We jumped for joy, literally – the boys also performed kung fu moves from Dumb and Dumber (see above).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the boys have been stuck indoors for 108 of the past 110 days, starting on 24 February, when their school required them to self-quarantine for 2 weeks due to contact with a visitor from Korea (see 11.049 Cheese Pizza) – at the time, Korea seemed like such a danger zone; the boys stayed home as required and returned for 2 days of classes, then the school shut down entirely on 10 March (see 11.064 Stir-Fried Watercress and Shimeji Mushrooms), which would turn out to be final for the rest of the semester. W has been grounded 110 of the past 110 days, which I think she prefers. Even though I had relative freedom for most of the time, in and out every other day for groceries or work, I was dealing with the daily terror that I would catch the virus, or something else, and bring it back to my family.
The food was awesome. Impeccable ingredients, precise execution, expert plating. We cried tears of gratitude with every bite of sashimi (not really), so pristinely fresh and tasty (really). In our prolonged state of culinary deprivation, we would’ve been thrilled with almost anything, but this was excellence absolute.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)