24 (Thu) December 2020
Stir-Fried Rice with Crab Meat Soup
at Chai 797
-Samseong, Gangnam, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, Mom and Dad
Chai 797 is a Chinese restaurant chain. Currently 22 locations across the country. Specializes in Korean-style Chinese, with a few locations offering non-standard items, like dimsum.
Since our dinner at Holee Chow (11.328 Mushu Pork), my mother has been fixated on mushu pork. Chai 797, which she had heard makes great mushu pork, was her idea for Christmas Eve dinner tonight.
The mushu pork was not great. Beyond the egg ribbons and sliced pork, the vegetable components of the filling – cabbage, shiitake, bell pepper, bamboo, onion – had been flash cooked, still nearly raw, also very little sauce (usually created when the veg are more aggressively cooked to release moisture), making the dish feel somewhat like a salad without dressing. In lieu of handmade pancakes, the dish was served with some sort of packaged wrappers: thin, translucent, a touch greasy, separated by sheets of plastic film, tasted a bit like raw flour, as if they were supposed to be cooked but weren’t. And no fresh shredded scallions for garnish, just a big wedge used as a brush for the hoisen sauce. A half-assed effort.
While the rest of the meal was kinda crappy, the fried rice was quite good. My curiosity was piqued by the name of the dish on the menu, which loosely translated to “Easily Digestible Fried Rice with Crab Soup.” The soup was served as a topping for the rice, sorta like the gravy fried rice that we used to enjoy in the Philippines (see for example 10.078 Shrimp and Scramble Egg Fried Rice), never seen anything like it in Korea. Warm and gooey and comforting.
(For more details re food, see WHAT)
(For more details re venues, see WHERE IN KOREA)