3 (Wed) March 2021
at Panda Express (IFC Mall)
-Yeouido, Yeongdeungpo, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Oh Joy. Oh Bliss. Panda Express has set up shop in Korea.
Through on years of consistently terrible experiences with the chain in the States, recently reconfirmed (see most recently 9.358 Cheeseburgers; 9.349 Pea Shoots with Garlic), I suspected that the food would be bad, but I couldn’t resist.
The food was bad.
When the development team came to Korea in the lead-up to the launch, they had an opportunity to reinvent the brand and elevate the quality of the food, but they must’ve said, “No, we would prefer to maintain our tradition of serving greasy, bland, mushy crap – that’s what our customers around the world expect of us.”
Whereas the standard Plate comprised a “base” of fried rice or fried noodles with 2 dishes, the Bigger Plate included 3 dishes – technically, it wasn’t a bigger plate but the same plate with an additional smaller plate on the side.
At 12,000 won, the Bigger Plate was quite pricey by local standards, even though the same item would only be about $8 in the States. A bowl of jjajang myeon in Korea typically costs around 6,000 won.
In fact, my continuing brand loyalty – even if the crappy food would otherwise be grounds for a lifetime ban – is based on nostalgia, going back to when I was in college and Panda Express was often the only cheap Asian option in malls or other food courts.
(See also FOODS.)
(See also PLACES.)