August 11th, 2008 § 1 comment

We’re loving the food in Korea, but Benjamin’s craving for garlic bread led us to an Italian restaurant last night. I was excited to order a bottle of wine, as we’ve been drinking Korean beer since we left the states. In Mongolia, they serve a Korean beer called Hite that we renamed ‘Shite’ according to taste, which wasn’t helped much by the fact that beer is served warm, for lack of refrigeration. In Korea we’ve been drinking a brand called Cass, which we haven’t renamed, but if we did (as you can probably guess), it would be ‘Ass’.

Back to the Italian restaurant…

Perusing the wine list, Benjamin mentioned something under his breath about concern whether or not the restaurant accepted Visa. I asked the waiter about this and he kept telling me ‘no’ thinking I was asking for a pizza. Yes it was an Italian restaurant, but most of the menu consisted of spaghetti (100 different ways) and steak (20 ways). We shared a bottle of wine, bruschetta and a caesar salad, and each had a plate of spaghetti, finished off with tiramisu and port. We didn’t come all the way to Korea to eat this way, but after being on the road for more than 3 weeks, something from home is a nice treat.

It’s also nice to have some options that don’t include mutton, and in general, to be presented with a menu with a high probability the options included are actually available. It’s a running joke amongst Mongolian travelers about the lack of availability of items on the menu and it’s not uncommon to hear people placing bets when they sit down at the table: “What’s your wager this time? I’m betting they have this 1,” while pointing at something written in cyrillic. We frequented 1 Turkish restaurant (go figure) in Olgii almost daily, and they consistently only had 4 of the menu’s 20 or so items available to order. After a while I couldn’t bear to eat there again, having sampled all 4 options repeatedly, but there were as few restaurant options in Olgii as there were available items on any menu in town (i.e. limited).

So far in Korea, we’ve had BBQ (thanks to our Me No Speak book, which helped us to order), bibimbap in a stone pot (a rice dish with veggies and raw egg), juk (rice porridge with various additions such as seafood or chicken), and some sort of sushi roll without raw fish but other ingredients, which Benjamin likened to a variation on a sandwich.

§ One Response to Food

  • Rob says:

    Mmmm. Food blogging. More food blogging please. Especially the strange stuff. A photo of a menu would be nice too.