Saturday, April 22, 2017

Niku Kappo by Watami at ION Orchard

Wagyu Mori

The Watami folks have redone their ION Orchard place to focus on beef (2 Orchard Turn #B3-23, 6509-9366). It wasn't teppan though; instead they specialized in a sweet stew or something. They had some wagyu sushi too, but even then, it wouldn't fit into this no-carb exercise that I'm on for a few weeks. So one of the few things that I could get was this wagyu sashimi above.

No, I didn't like it. You'd think that the marbled cuts in particular would be awesome, but I guess the fat just doesn't taste good until it's exposed to direct heat. The other stuff here is gimmicky and seemingly geared toward theatrics, including a "dancing salad" that just tasted like what I would've made at home. I guess I should've realized this when noticing that the beef in their display window was made of plastic.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sake-Flavored Kit-Kat From Japan

Sake-Flavored Kit-Kat

The first time I saw these boxes at the supermarket, I stared in horror. Why in the world would anyone want to drink Kit Kat-flavored sake? It took me a few minutes, but after seeing the cashier lift up the box, I realized that it was the other way around: it wasn't Kit Kat-flavored sake, it was sake-flavored Kit Kat. But that didn't exactly make it sound any more appealing.

No, I didn't buy it. But I still had the chance to try a couple tonight. It was fine going down, but there was a bit of a lingering aftertaste, and not in a good way (it gave me flashbacks of the next morning, if you know what I mean). Well, the box said that there was real alcohol in there, but I think I'd rather go for mojito-flavored Mentos instead.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Moroccan Tangerines (or Clementines?) from Cold Storage

Moroccan Clementines

The last time I mentioned these little bags of mandarin oranges, it was a discussion about some Spanish, Israeli, and American ones. Well, now Cold Storage has some Moroccan ones (although I think they're clementines rather than tangerines), and they are now my favorite. They have a slightly taut skin but are seedless and super tangy, almost making them taste like Jolly Ranchers or some other kind of candy. I'm not sure how long they will still have them; just the other week they had Spanish ones that weren't as good, and even had a few duds in the bag.

Trying Out Some Seng Choon Carrot Eggs

Seng Choon Carrot Eggs

I'd seen this on the supermarket shelves for a while now, but was always curious: what the heck is a carrot egg? Is it supposed to taste like carrot? Or more likely, perhaps were the hens fed on a diet of carrots, perhaps making the eggs taste sweeter? Or maybe it was just that the yolk was more orange in color?

I had no idea what the answer was. But we needed some eggs last night so I figured this was a chance to give it a try. It honestly didn't taste any different from your everyday egg. Granted, I'm hardly one to be able to recognize the difference in taste if there were one, but right now I'm just shrugging my shoulders.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chef Yim Jungsik's Pork Bibimbap on Singapore Airlines

Pork Bibimbap with Perilla Oil

SQ's menu this morning said that flights departing Seoul have a special menu created by a Michelin-starred chef, like this pork bibimbap. It was pork rather than beef, and thus slightly different from the one on the flight up here. Either way, it was surprisingly underwhelming. Honestly, if no one had told me that this was from a Michelin-starred chef, I never would've even suspected it. Still, it is just airplane food, and DIY bibimbap is sure a lot more exciting than just chicken or fish. I am kinda curious to try his restaurant in town one day too; it incidentally seems to be right next to Oh Tongyoung, as well as a few really nice cocktail bars.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The New Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, Korea


Our last meeting today wasn't too far from Noryangjin. And the market has moved to a brand new building next door, so we came over to check it out. The new one is more brightly lit, and the fishmongers were still pretty aggressively touting. Anyway, the local team picked out some stuff and sent it upstairs to one of the restaurants, including a bag of sea urchin, especially since we failed to get some the other night.

Fish Stew

It's too bad then that the sea urchin were totally off, presumably since we're not in season yet. And I was a bit bummed with the other things that we had too, including that stew above (not as spicy as it looked) and the sashimi platters whose cuts of fish were tough and rather boring. One interesting thing at least was a vendor who deep fried a bunch of stuff including shrimp heads and even a few sawagani) and brought it to your table on Styrofoam plates. But maybe I should've gone downstairs to buy some clams.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Poongchunga in Sujeong-gu, South Korea


Last time we were out in this neighborhood, our local team mentioned that there was a good eel place across the street. I'd never had eel Korean-style before, and thus we came here for a team dinner tonight (173-1 Sangjeok-dong, +82-31-721-6252).

It was good. Unlike sweet Japanese unagi, this one was grilled straight with a bit of salt and of course the usual complement of ssam wraps and banchan. I was delighted to find some raw garlic as well as some shredded ginger to offset the crispy bubbling fat and crispy skin. They even left the spine for you to grill into a crunchy treat.

Perhaps even more interesting was some kind of aphrodisiac soup featuring ground up bits of eel that not only made the texture gritty, but also gave it a nice deep flavor. I was very happy, especially since it sure beats the usual beef and pork. Their fermented raspberry alcohol was an interesting twist too.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

An Outlet of Shinuiju Big Soondae in Seoul, Korea

Soon-dae Jungshik

I didn't even know that this was a Korean blood sausage chain. I thought I had walked into a fugu restaurant, judging by the gigantic blowfish sign outside. But when I walked in, the menu had nothing but pork. I assume that this blood sausage chain had since taken over the blowfish shop. Either way, I went for the first item on the menu, which was this set of offal soup plus some cuts of sausage and pork.

That soup turned pinkish after you stirred put the wad of gochujang at the bottom of it, going nicely down into my belly either way. The cuts of pork went progressively from lean to medium to super fatty, and one could complement that with some raw onions and chili peppers. Plus, there were an array of condiments to dip into. They're open 24 hours, so this makes for a nice post-drinking snack or even breakfast.

Oh Tongyoung in Cheongdam, Seoul

Jeonbok Musoesot Bap

The other day, I was reminded of my old note to find that place that served sea urchin bibimbap. This place came up in a search, perhaps because it's a Michelin Bib Gourmand (B1F, 10 Seolleung-ro 158-gil, 02-544-2377). It's too bad then that the bibimbap was only served for lunch, so we went for the abalone rice instead. They threw on some butter and cut it up with scissors after arriving at the table.

I was a bit bummed, actually. It didn't really stand out as much as I had hoped. Sure, the seafood was fresh and firm, and the tastes were very delicate. But there wasn't enough butter nor salt to get me excited about it, other than having that crispy rice lining to scrape off of the bottom of the clay pot. I must come here for lunch one day though to try that bibimbap.

My First Taste of Daegu Jiri in Suwon, Korea

Daegu Jiri

I think this place is called Daego Babsang (Samseong-ro 168 Beongil 17, 31-213-7086); the local team picked it for a quick lunch in between meetings down in Suwon today. They specialized in this cod soup featuring a clear yet mildly spicy broth with a bunch of bean sprouts and tofu. It was more delicate than I was expecting, but not in a terribly exciting way either. At least the broth was refreshing. Apparently this is commonly eaten when you're hungover.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Beef Bibimbap in Singapore Airlines Peanut Class

Beef Bibimbap

To my surprise, Singapore Airlines had these DIY bibimbap kits on the way up to Seoul today. I don't ever recall seeing this on previous runs up here, but I can only assume that it was created in response to Asiana's famous version. It was still just airplane food of course, but I'd much rather take this over other boring trays.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Soto Betawi from Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House

Soto Betawi

Here's the soto betawi from Tok Tok. It wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, mainly because it wasn't hot when they gave it to me. But it all still went down into my belly with ease, especially with those lime wedges and potent chili sauce. I'm still coming back, but I'll send the bowl back if they serve it cold again.