The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 24 April 2010

BBQ Beef Galore @ Bulgogi Brothers, Seoul

At the end of our second day in Seoul, we had the pleasure of having dinner with A of funkynomadeats and her husband F. They brought us to Bulgogi Brothers, a barbecue restaurant chain with a branch near our hotel in Myeongdong. They ordered a set meal which was supposed to feed 2-3 people, but there was more than enough meat to fill four adult bellies. Korea has a strong beef culture, which no doubt helps to keep the Australian beef export industry very healthy.

The various bottomless banchan (side dishes) placed on our table: unshelled peanuts, baked satsumaimo (sweet potato), pickled vegetables, normal leafy salad and potato salad, the ubiquitous kimchi, and cold tofu - we could re-order any of these for no extra charge. A 3-plate condiment dish were provided for every diner to eat with the barbecued meat - a salty soy based sauce, a spicy red sauce and salt:

We also tried a type of Korean alcoholic beverage, called Makuly. It wasn't very strong, maybe about 7% alcohol so it was quite easy to drink. We had both types of naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles, the mul naengmyeon (in cold beef broth) and the spicy red bibim naengmyeon. I'm a hot noodles person, but I actually liked these cold noodles. They were chewy and sticky, but very tasty. Interestingly, A said that the Koreans like to eat cold food in winter and hot food in summer, so naengmyeon is actually traditionally a winter dish. I would love to know the reasoning behind this seasonal tradition because it seems counter-intuitive (I love my hot soups, hot food and hot drinks during winter, and survive summer with plenty of cool icy drinks and treats).

The Korean rice wine, makuly; and the two types of naengmyeon:

We had three types of beef, but I don't know the names of each type/cut. The meat was all cooked by the staff on the barbecue grill on our table, and we were pretty full by the end of the meal:

It was a delicious meal, even for a non-red meat person as me. The company was also lovely, as we all chatted and got to know one another over a good meal. Thanks A and F for being such great hosts in a strange land, and for the yummy meal!

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