5enses Korean bbq

imageFinally I have the chance to try the 5-level steamer of fresh seafood. Yes, it’s another Korean trend. This one is only 5 levels, there are some with 9 levels! And the place is called 5enses n North Point – I guess to stimulate your 5 senses with the 5 levels of seafood!

The top level is shrimp on a skewer. Next level is clam. Then a level of abalone & scallop on top of a level of crab. The bottom level is not seafood, but Korean ginseng chicken soup, where the juices of all the different seafood have triggered down to this level, creating a unique taste.

Of course, there are the many other Korean dishes, such as my favourite kimchi pancake, scrumptious smoked beef ribs, and how can one not have deep-fried chicken for a real Korean meal? Where’s the beer?

Myung Ga Revisited

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I have not been working in Taikoo Place Quarry Bay area for a few years now. Last Friday I had to work in the Quarry Bay office in the afternoon and thus opted for lunch in this familiar neighbourhood.

My colleague chose Myung Ga Korean restaurant and told me that Korean cuisine ranked 13th in the world healthiest cuisine. We had a hard time believing the healthiest cuisine was Iceland and debated Korean cuisine would have a higher ranking if not for the amount of preserved food.

Anyway kimchi is THE preserved food in Korean cuisine and one of my favourites, especially the non-spicy fresh kimchi. Yes, there are kimchis that are not spicy. I had 2 dishes last Friday at Myung Ga, just enjoying the fresh taste and crunchiness! No, there are kimchis that are spicy and not red! I could still remember those wonderful white kimchi I had in Jeju island…  they are spicy and oh so fresh! They are simply great to add in your grilled meat lettuce wrap!

The grilled mackerel came as a bit of surprise because I would usually only order this dish in a Japanese restaurant. It was grilled very well and remained quite moist. My favourite Korean pancake with kimchi and pork has maintained its standard. Lastly the bibimbap was OK, but the galbi jjim – braised beef short ribs was a bit of disappointment.  But I guess Myung Ga has always maintained their good standards in Korean barbecue. Now that my gum infection has recovered, I must find a good excuse to try that soon. 🙂

Korean Beef BBQ

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My cousin and her family should be finishing their first family trip to Seoul soon. I hope she has used my old itinerary well and perhaps tried some of my recommended places to eat out. I had some Thai beef curry this evening, so I suddenly remembered the delicious Korean beef I have had in Seoul.

In Korea they called barbecued beef Bulgogi. There are many restaurants that serve grilled marinated beef. But this special bulgogi restaurant in Cheongdamdong was called Muduengsan. The name took after a place in Korea which literally meant “No wait mountain”. Anyway, this place only serves Korean beef, open 24 hours and since this is in the Cheongdamdong area in Gangnam-gu, it is frequently visited by people in the entertainment business including actors and singers.

I dared not try their beef tartar but their buckwheat noodles (naengmyeon) was delicious. BTW, this was the photo of the 7 of us eating there. Pretty impressive! O, nothing could beat their genuine Korean barbecued beef.

Comfort food: Myeongdong Kyoja

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I took off my fitbit when I was washing up in the kitchen today.  It was only after dinner that I found I was not wearing it and started to hunt for it. I searched high and low to no avail and continued for another 20 minutes in all the usual places that I might have put it.
My mind was racing away: What if I could not find it: should I buy another one tomorrow? Do I still really need one to keep my steps, active minutes and sleeping hours every day?  I felt lost because I have lost something that have become a comfortable habit to me.
Fortunately I called my part-time helper and she told me she has put it safely in my room but in a place where I would never put the fitbit myself! O, there it was!

Sometimes some things or some people in life have become so familiar that they have become your comfort zone. When I travel there is always a comfort food place in each place that I have visited.  These places need not be expensive. Actually almost of these places are just ordinary places that serve good comfort food.

If I need to share such a place in Seoul, it must be Myeongdong Kyoja 明洞餃子. It is located in the heart of shopping area Myeongdong, and has been in business for more than 40 years. Kyoja only serves 4 dishes: dumplings, knife-bladed noodles, spicy cold noodles and noodles in soy milk. The portion was big and very reasonably at W8,000 each.  When I was on business trips, I would make an effort to go twice so that I could taste the dumplings (for its great flavour and balance of meat & vegetables) and knife-bladed noodles (for its great tasting broth). Of course the kimchi was very spicy and tasty as well. Wish I was there now!

Sizzling Hot

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Yes, it’s sizzling hot today.  So I was quite pleased that I went to Han Ga Ram Korean restaurant yesterday for the sizzling hot bibimbap and not today!

Bibimbap in Korean literally means “mixed rice”.   It usually consists of  a bowl of warm white rice with namul (sauteed and seasoned vegetables), plus shredded beef and a raw egg.  Then one will mix all the ingredients together with a fragrant hot chili paste gochujang just before eating.

Even this bibimbap is quite good, the best is still from Gogung in Seoul, South Korea that serves Jeonju-style bibimbap.

By the way, Han Ga Ram has moved from across Times Square Causeway Bay to QRE Plaza on Queen’s Road East.  Maybe after Midtown, I should start writing about all the eateries at QRE.