Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Eating the Globe: South Korea

I have a lot to say about this meal. First, don't eat this for lunch right before a noon meeting.

1. Let's talk about Korean food. I rarely eat it alone. It's almost always an affair. We would order a bevy of meats, ringed by platelets of banchan-- those random pickled and other assorted side dishes. My favorites are fish cake and dried anchovies.

On the rare occasion, I would order a dumpling soup.

Today, I ordered kimchi fried rice. For protein, it came with little chunks of beef and SPAM. It was damn tasty, especially with some smokey hot sauce on top. I was not expecting banchan. Unfortunately, they were not as good as the fried rice.

2. Now let's talk about this eatery's location. In America, there is a chain of Chinese supermarkets called Ranch 99. Basically, if there are a lot of Chinese residents in a town, it gets a Ranch 99 market. There's a Ranch 99 in Richmond, and it anchors a strip mall that contains a number of businesses that caters to Chinese people-- restaurants, real estate offices, Chinese medicine stores, fortune tellers, etc. This Korean eatery is in the same strip mall. Even though this Korean place has been around for a few years, I never ate there because I didn't know how good a Korean place would be in a Chinese-dominated strip mall. Now you know what goes on in my bulbous head when I make food decisions.

3. You'll notice that I categorized this as a South Korean eatery. I could have just counted this as "Korean". However, I want to check North Korea off the list only after I have eaten at a restaurant owned and/or operated by the North Korean government.

Here is a video of a North Korean restaurant in Amsterdam. Creepy as hell. Check out the manager whispering to the poor waitresses as they are being interviewed.

Countries tried so far:
Asia: China, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea
Europe: Italy
North America: Mexico, USA


Charles Lee said...

So um, I have eaten at a bona fide North Korean restaurant. Run by North Koreans who got sent to China (Tianjin specifically) to earn foreign currency for the government.

I didn't take any photos, but my wife probably did. When I have some free time, I might look up those photos and see if I can put together a short piece on the experience. I wouldn't call it creepy, but it was certain amusing.

Maxichamp said...

@Charles: Please email the photos and story to me! I'm dying of curiosity.

Ed Kim said...

I can't believe I've been to Amsterdam four times and never knew there was a State-backed North Korean restaurant there?!? I need to start planning my fifth trip to Amsterdam!

Richard Chen said...

This seems to be a well-updated list of current locations.