The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

the never ending Korean meal

That's not true at all. Of course, I did finish the meal, or stop eating it so I could waddle out of the restaurant and spend the night walking it off, but for a while it seemed neverending.

Last Friday night I met up at Han Bat to eat with longtime friend Diana (who has probably eaten with me the most in NYC), fellow foodie blogger Allen (who has now unintentionally signed a pact to go on more fooding activities), even longer-time friend Carol (who is my most food-excitable friend), and four of Carol's friends, or rather, three friends from TAS and one of the friend's girlfriends. I knew (or semi-knew) most of the people while some others didn't know anyone. But you know...FOOD. It brings people together. Or maybe that's just lots and lots of glue...

It was a bit cramped taking up two tables by the front window but it only got more cramped from there. Why? BECAUSE OF CRAPLOADS OF FOOD! But before that, we took an extended period of time mulling over what entrees to get.

"Ox jello? Beef-something? Rice? GOOSE?"

Actually, it was just me who was taking that extended period of time to mull. And I probably didn't shout "GOOSE?", although that would be a "Robyn" thing to exclaim.

Diana got Jap Chae, one of my favorite dishes, but three of us got Gobdol Bibimbab, aka "Marinated Beef, Vegetables over Rice & Egg On Top In Heated Stone Pot", aka NUMBER FOUR!

"Dude, we're all getting number four. We're so lame and unadventurous."

"Yeah. OH WELL!"

But before digging into our entrees or appetizers, we had to get past "the field of many little plates full of spicy things". Like so:

lots of spicy things
lots of spicy things

Each table got six little plates of vegetables, meat, or fish cake (at least, I think it was fish cake) soaked in some yummy spices. Holy crap! I tried a bit of everything and liked it all (say hello to my non-discerning palate). If that wasn't enough, we also got two appetizers, which ended up being larger than I had expected.

fish cake thing
fish cake thing

I really liked the pajun, kind of like a denser, less fried-feeling version of a Chinese scallion pancake, but I didn't want to eat too much before getting my actual meal. The scallion pancake is enough for an entree, which I'll keep in mind next time I go to Han Bat (and there will be a next time).


post-mixed bibibab

It doesn't look too appetizing but I SWEAR it is. The heated pot contains rice topped with vegetables, beef, and a raw egg (which becomes cooked after you mix it in). You squeeze on as much hot sauce as you want before mixing it all together with a long handled spoon. I utilized a jabbing motion to get through the crusty rice bits/barrier that touched the pot. Crusty rice bits taste much better than they sound. YOU WANT CRUSTY RICE BITS!!!

By this point, there was way too much food on the table and being stuffed into my digestive tract. There didn't seem to be any room left for any more plates, but then out came MORE FOOD. Yes. More. The dishes were accompanied by noodle soup. No, this isn't your little Japanese bowl of miso soup, but bowls that were the same size as my bibimbab pot.

big bowl of tasteless soup
big bowl of tasteless soup

Since I know someone Korean is reading this (or maybe you're not Korean and know what this is), do tell: what is this? Can anyone actually eat all this food? I'm assuming that the huge bowl of salt on every table was meant to season the soup since the soup had almost no flavor. I mean, it was a step above water but I guess the noodles imparted some noodley flavor into the white broth (noodle flavored broth, all right!). Was that why it was white? WHY IS IT WHITE?


I couldn't finish my orange-half, which made me sad. I'm afraid my "girl who ate everything" title is a big lie. It was a good orange!

Fooding since Friday night has been pretty uneventful. Yesterday I skipped lunch and probably fasted for 22 or 23 hours before getting around to eating something (I tell you, I just metabolize really slow, akin to the rate of continental drift). I went to Kofoo for the third time in a week and got Bulgogi Kim Bob. It's official: I like Korean sushi more than Japanese sushi. After that, I went to Koryodang (a bit of a detour considering I went from 3rd Ave to 8th Ave and Koryodang is between 5th and 6th, but when I want my dessert, I want my dessert) for a box of daifuku (4/$5) and a pack of Financiers (3/$2.75) for my mum. The daifuku (I guess it has a Korean name?) was excellently soft, or at least I really enjoyed it since I haven't had a fresh (at least I hope it was) non-refrigerated one in years. I thought I'd eat two of them but one was very filling. When I got home I feasted on sugar plums, a few piece of kim bob (I shared it with my mum and brother) and...corn chips.

I hope I lost some weight from yesterday. Today I'm eating dinner at Panera Bread with a friend and my brother since we're helping my friend buy a new computer. We figured we'd group in dinner too since WE LIKE FOOD.

Lastly, links to interesting things (as opposed to boring crap):

  • Whole Grain White Bread: Huh? Yes, I'd say the same thing. It seems like a joke, but it's not. "The First 100% Whole Grain Bread Created Specifically for People Who Love the Taste and Texture of White Bread" ...would you buy this?
  • Overheard in New York captures a strange description of bubble tea. "It looked like an octopus had a miscarriage." Actually, that's a pretty good description. ...and there goes any desire I once had to drink bubble tea.
  • A Year In Food goes on a dessert world tour. SWEET! ...the pun wasn't intended. Seriously. I wouldn't have given Cones a 10 either, but I can't think of any ice cream place I'd give a 10 to. Actually, it's hard for any place, dessert related or not, to get a 10 in my book. Someone might shoot me for this but I like Coldstone's ice cream more than Cones' because of the texture. Cones' was really smooth without much bite. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but I like something I can chew; it's just a personal preference that might go against what ice cream should be like.
  • Dear Japan: Strawberry Milk Sausages? NO! No. Key quote: "Strawberries go well with minced fish." Well, in that case...NO! I'd question children's taste buds/psychological integrity if they like this. Then again, I haven't tried it and maybe strawberries DO go well with minced fish (if I find this anywhere, I'll try it). I wouldn't bet money on it though. [via boing boing]
  • The latest issue of US News & World Report is about America and food! I haven't finished reading the issue yet but I assure you, I'll ignore all the important worldly news bits in the magazine and just read the food related articles. Kinda related (in that it's something about food trivia in print) is this book, Why Does Popcorn Pop?. It's full of random interesting stuff that you probably wouldn't wonder about unless someone brought it up (like there WAS a dude named Duncan Hines, but no one named Betty Crocker..SHE'S A LIIIEEE).
  • One of Eater's readers helps you remember how to pronounce Zagat. Charming.
  • Chubby Hubby pigs out in Taipei. Of course, I only find this interesting because I lived in Taipei and surprisingly DID NOT PIG OUT. I ate out almost all the time since the kitchen was laughable small and no one ever wanted to use it (once I made really bad macaroni and cheese) but I can recall only a very small percentage of what I ate. Today I recalled a random memory of eating at a small cafe near my apartment and ordering a heavenly peanut butter toast. It was a super-thick piece of white bread slathered to the edges with peanut butter (not too much or too little), perfectly toasted. And that's my memory of Taiwan.


Allen Wong / August 9, 2005 8:54 AM

Oh no, I'm under a binding contract now?! :O

I should post about Friday, but I'm too engrossed with playing in Illustrator. Damn the ice cream cones!

My pictures are totally worthless, no amount of repair will really make them close to viewable. :/ I think the green bean cakes will come out okay though. :P

Sugar plums, kim bob and corn chips. That is definitely _not_ the cookies and milk for a midnight snack that I grew up on.

I "less than three" daifuku, seriously. I have a strong affinity for anything made with rice flour. I wouldn't eat raw mochiko though. Who would eat raw flour? :P

Thanks for the link to the Zagat thing. I was pondering it in the shower yesterday. Now I can be at ease.


Alice / August 9, 2005 11:35 AM

How funny, I'm totally on a Korean food kick too. Must be the summer heat.

One time, I saw a family of four eat only rice and panchans (the free little dishes) and take everything else to go. Now, that's a serious way to get mileage out of a meal!

torr / August 9, 2005 1:44 PM

Bubble/boba tea is great, you're missing out. And what kind of soup was that pic above? I think like that too!

Jed / August 9, 2005 6:42 PM

The tasteless soup I think takes 2 days to make and is pretty much all about adding the salt and spice to it. I like to think of like Soft Serve Ice cream- kind of tastless, but its all about the heath bar chunks chocolate syrup & sprinkles.

I have a friend who likes to argue about "Delivery device foods" He claims that there are things we like to eat but its too messy, or we are too embarassed to eat it straght, so we use another food as a Delivery Device. French Fries deliver ketchup, pancakes/waffles deliver syrup, Iceberg Lettus delivers ranch dressing... the list goes on.

virgilx / August 9, 2005 7:32 PM

Wonderful site, wonderful writing. Do you also like the Yankees? - if yes, you are perfection!

So what happened with Plumpling? which, thanks to google, was what brought me to your terrific blog.

AugustusGloop / August 9, 2005 7:47 PM

That pajun looks great. I love the endlessness of Korean restaurants... but maybe that's more an indication of my gluttony.

PS. Bubble tea is great! If you like starch you will love it. I like to think of it as edible chewing gum in a drink.

skwak / August 10, 2005 11:24 AM

that soup is seolleongtang. if memory serves me correctly, i think that it's one of those soups that's popular when you're feeling sick, but of course, you can eat it other times, too. to spice up the flavor, people eat kkaktugi with it - that cubed radish kimchi stuff . you can also put in rice into it to mix up the texture, and i think that a lot of people add more salt & pepper to it, too :)

anyway, i LOVE this soup. i think korean soups are my favorite, and i tend to enjoy the milder foods since i tend to shy away from the super flavorful melting pots (such as kimchi chiggae, which i find a bit a revolting).

have you ever had juk? it's rice porridge! it's another food to eat when you're sick. i've only had it in korea since my mom (and i think most koreans in america) doesn't make it. there are a million kinds of juk, though. apparently there's something called "jat juk," which is pine nut porridge. i've never had that before, though.

lo / August 10, 2005 11:56 AM

hey i really dig your site. how do you eat so much? i thought i had the title for girl who ate everything but you got me beat or you must be lyin. anyways, that white soup is bone soup. it's supposed to be bland and then you add all the salt and scallions you want to flavor it. i guess it's the korean answer to congee. it's really good when you're sick or wanting to cleanse your palate. go figure.

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