12.151 Vildsvinsgryta

12.151

5 (Sat) June 2021

Vildsvinsgryta

2.5

at Hemlagat

-Sogong, Jung, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

For my second visit to Hemlagat, I brought my family.  They’re already well-versed in Swedish cuisine, though only of my making (see KSCX), so they were quite primed for their first restaurant dining experience, my second.

Gravlax (3.0): “Nordic-style cured salmon. Served with hovmästarsås (dill and mustard dressing) and dark bread.” – DJ, already a fan of smoked salmon, loved this.
In light of my on-going exploration of beer (see WSP), I am evermore appreciative these days of beers that have proven themselves worthy.

Vildsvinsgryta is a Swedish dish.  According to the Hemlagat menu: “Swedish boar stew with red wine.  Served with herb-flavoured smashed potatoes and jellied berries.”

It was good.  The meat was a bit dry – having never tried boar, I would imagine it to be so – but tender.  Anticipating gaminess, I found that the sauce paired/masked/elevated the flavor of the meat, presumably some blend of nutmeg/cinnamon/cloves/pepper/juniper.  The “smashed” potatoes were nicely chunky, a welcome contrast in texture from the creamy “mashed” potatoes.  A solid dish, though frankly nothing to rave about.

Köttbullar med Potatismos & Sås (3.5): confirming that the sås is amazing – IZ: “Dad, sorry but this is better than yours.”

In prior post on Hemlagat, I had speculated that it is the only Swedish restaurant in Seoul/Korea.  That was based on a Google search for “swedish restaurant korea” and for “swedish food korea,” which returned only Hemlagat (a couple other restaurants, but those based on tangential references to Sweden or Swedish-style dishes).  A Google search for “swedish food,” however, as I discovered tonight, returned a second restaurant that might be Swedish.  More on that if I ever get around to checking it out.

Once a thriving mecca of Korean street food, both for locals and tourists (see for example 4.092 Ddeokbokki).

After dinner, the plan had been to venture across the street to Myeong-Dong for a secondary snack of street food.  We were very sad to find that the stalls, as well most of the surrounding shops, had been shuttered – fallout from the pandemic.  I’m fervently hoping that they come back soon, not for our sake, but for their sake, and the sake of Myeong-Dong, and street food culture, and Korean culinary tradition.

(See also FOOD GLOSSARY)

(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)

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