12.363 Halfdon

Cycle 12 – Item 363

3 (Mon) January 2022

Halfdon

3.0

at Tsuruhashi Maguro Shokudo

-Seongsu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

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Tsuruhashi Maguro Shokudo is a Japanese restaurant.  Founded in Osaka, Japan.  Specializes in tekkadon.  Open only for lunch.  Rabid cult following.

Unknown if the restaurant in Seongsu, which opened in 2021, is officially related to the one in Osaka.  From what little I could gather on the internet, the Osaka restaurant is a hole-in-the-wall operation that doesn’t seem to have the capacity or ambition to go global.  I’m guessing that some Korean guys are ripping off the name, figuring that the original owners will never know, or never bother to come after them.

Located one block from our office building.

I’ve been looking forward to trying it, but the place is always packed at lunch time.  Today, I happened to be passing by at 1430, when it was completely empty.

Open from 1100 to 1500.

Everything on the menu involves tuna.  9 dishes: 6 raw, 3 cooked.   The small and medium sizes come with the same amount of rice, different amounts of tuna.

The red magnets read “Sold Out Today.”

Tekkadon (also magurodon) is a Japanese dish.  A type of donburi featuring maguro sashimi, arranged over a bowl of sushi rice.  Whereas tekka is a red hot iron, as well as the red sparks caused during the forging process, the term refers figuratively to the bright red color of raw tuna.  A variation involves maguro no zuke, raw tuna marinated in soy sauce, which was how raw tuna was originally eaten in Japan.

The halfdon was excellent.  Comprises half otoro + half akami, a few pieces of aburi, approximately 200 grams of fish for the small portion.  The akami came as maguro no zuke, very nicely balanced with a delicate sweetness to bring out the flavor of the tuna.  The rice was also a touch seasoned with soy sauce.  The toasted nori and freshly grated wasabi provided additional points of flavor.  I could eat this every day (if not for the crowds).

(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)

(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)

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