13.337 Veggie Sweet Potato Hamburger Steak + Tomato Pasta + Asparagus

Cycle 13 – Item 337

8 (Thu) December 2022

Veggie Sweet Potato Hamburger Steak + Tomato Pasta + Asparagus


from Youngmihwa Gimbap

at CI

-Songdo, Yeonsu, Incheon, Republic of Korea-

with TB staff

In Incheon.  Here to supervise a book fair at CI, my first one at this school (previously in 2019, before I came on board).  Anticipated to be our biggest event of the season, and given the long distance home, I will be staying in a hotel for the duration, a full fledged duty travel (see also 12.104 Gonghwachun Jjajang Myeon).

CI Winter Book Fair (Day 3)

By the end of Day 3, we surpassed the 60 million mark in gross sales, an increase of 35% from our previous book fair at CI in 2019, and a new all-time high breaking the record previously set at YISS just last week (see 13.330 Ramyeon Wang Gimtongggae).

I am very proud that the 3 major book fairs this semester, all under my direct supervision, each outperformed the last.  The success can largely be attributed to the use of prior sales data in the initial selection process, as well as restocking.  I also made a concerted effort to improve the working conditions for my staff, including a 1-hr full shutdown lunch break.  Frankly, our razor-thin margins left us with very little net profit, but that’s okay, because I’m looking at these book fairs more as a long-term branding opportunity.  A great end to a busy year.


The CI cafeteria offers 4 stations: Korean, Western (not entirely western), Noodle/Protein (mostly western), Vegetarian, as well as a free salad/fruit/toast bar.

While appreciating the range of options, I found all the dishes to be overly sweet, as if the head cook went around and insisted an extra scoop of sugar be added to everything.

The veggie sweet potato hamburg steak was not good.  Decent crust and Japanese-style demi-glace sauce, but the filling was mushy and sweet.  The pasta would’ve been welcome in its simplicity, but the sauce was too sweet – reminded me of Filipino spaghetti (see 5.054 Filipino Spaghetti).

Cafeteria food at international schools in Korea, ranked according to taste and quality, as well as overall service, based on my experiences at book fairs (and other events):

  1. SFS (13.139 Kimchi Fried Rice) (13.288 Lentil Tostada Bowl) (13.309 Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes in Gravy and Buttered Vegetables)
  2. YISS (13.111 Fried Chicken with Soy Sauce + Fried Rice + Salad)
  3. CI (13.337 Veggie Sweet Potato Hamburger Steak)
  4. CDS (12.107 Chicken Mayo Rice)



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