August 9, 2005
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:
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.
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).
So. BRING ON THE POT OF...MIXED STUFF!
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.
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.
Posted by roboppy at 1:57 AM
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