Cycle 13 – Item 141
26 (Thu) May 2022
-Yeonnam, Mapo, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
Wrapping an overwhelmingly successful book fair at SFS this afternoon – in comparison to our prior book fair at SFS in 2019, our sales increased by 70%, largely due to our new inventory tracking system, which facilitated strategic restocking during the book fair – I called out MtG for dinner and drinks. I’m making this kind of wrap party into a new tradition, as I had done following the close of the book fair at YISS last month (see previously 13.114 Piggie Volcano).
Wujuok (우주옥) is a Korean restaurant. Specializes in northern-style dishes, including Pyongyang-style mul naeng myeon.
Whereas SFS is near Hongdae, and MtG knows the neighborhood well, he was mandated to chart our course for the evening. Wujuok was a good place to start, given our shared affinity for MNM.
Alas, the MNM was strictly meh. The broth was appropriately dry but lacked depth. The beef topping – something like American roast beef, shaved thin and draped over the noodles – made for an interesting visual (I didn’t eat it). The noodles were flavorless and lacked chew.
We might’ve stayed to try other dishes, but didn’t – I’ll just say that the service was worse than the food.
Hongbok is a Korean-Chinese restaurant. Offers the standards, as well as a few Taiwanese-ish dishes.
During a stretch in Cycle 1, MtG and I had explored a few of the restaurants in Little Chinatown (see 1.063 Taiwan Shrimp; 1.083 Deep-Fried Eggplant in Chili-Garlic Sauce; 1.094 Cucumber Yangjangpi; 1.119 Yuringi). Hongbok was the third in the series.
The food was good. The menu included more mainstream Korean-Chinese dishes than before, presumably in acquiescence to local demand – gotta have that jjajang myeon – but we were happy with the selection of non-standard options – I’ve never encountered anything remotely similar to dubu wanja (tofu balls) anywhere in Korea. Though the dishes weren’t that great per se, the experience was more about the fun.
The service was good. We made a game of asking the server, a young woman who apparently had some Chinese background, to pronounce various dishes in Chinese.
We stayed for a couple hours, ordering 3 dishes.
I’ll be coming back after the SFS book fair in the fall.
Inosisi is a Japanese restaurant. Offers a selection of izakaya-style dishes, menu changing regularly.
MtG and I visited Inosisi together for the first time, a couple months after it had opened in 2010. As we became acquainted with the owner, MtG advised him to use Twitter for marketing (iPhones had just been released at the end of 2009). MtG has since become a regular at Inosisi and a friend of the owner, who wasn’t there this evening.
The food was excellent. The chohoe was sublime: high quality cuts of pristinely fresh fish – including tuna, yellow tail, fluke, salmon, salmon roe, shrimp – served in a pitch-perfect ponzu dressing, topped with perfectly sliced scallions for a delicate brightness. Perhaps the best dish of its kind that I’ve experienced.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)