Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dinner Out

**I posted this yesterday, but it didn't take for some reason!

Tonight I went out to dinner with the boss, her husband, and my co-workers. We ate samgyupsal. Did you know that I've been spelling that wrong in previous posts? If you google "sangyepsal," the way I had been spelling it, you get ME times two! That's kind of cool.

Anyhow, we ate samgyupsal off of this giant dome. The pork was all laid out at the top of the dome, and then, along the sides, piles of seasoned bean sprouts, sour kimchi, and fresh slices of garlic were placed. The fat from the cooking pork trickled down the dome to mix with the vegetables and help them get all soft and crisp. It's certainly not the healthiest meal, but mmmmmm, it was delicious. I could have got pictures, because I have my co-worker's digital camera with me, but the batteries ran out, dammit. Side dishes were spinach, a mashed potato thing, konyakku noodles, grated cabbage and carrots with thousand island dressing (unfortunately, a standard side dish) and round wedges of tofu with a dollop of spicy miso on top. I always have to fight my bosses little 6 year old for the tofu, he loves it as much as I do. When we'd eaten the portion at my end of the table, we asked the waitress for another, which she brought, and Kevin scooped it up and ate it in one gulp. His mom told him to go and order another one (for me) and he returned with another silver bowl of it, which he squirreled to his end of the table and ate. Tofu hog!

The were baskets of all kinds of leafy greens, all of which I love except the sesame leaves. You grab a leaf, pick a piece of meat off the dome with chopsticks and dip it in a little dish of sesame oil laced with rock salt. Put the meat on the leaf, add some of the kimchi, a slice of garlic, some bean sprouts, and a little red miso. Bundle it up and shove it in your mouth. I know many people (anyone in Korea) knows how to eat this meal. I'm just describing it for all my friends and family in Canada who never read my blog.

We had some beer. That was good. I hate, though, how the serving of the beer at these soirees always seems to fall on Elizabeth's shoulders. She doesn't really drink, and she's not very attentive. My glass kept becoming empty and I hated having to interrupt her conversation to fill up my glass. I'd just as soon help myself, but that's not cool here. You're supposed to double hand your glass and accept the pour of someone else. You switch duties to fill up the other person's glass too. I love that set up when we're drinking soju (which I haven't done in AGES) but beer seems less somehow less formal, and instead of the frosty pint glasses one would expect in Canada, you drink beer in small drinking glasses, so you have to get filled up every couple minutes, like.

The reason I have to interrupt her conversation is that 95% of the time we're out to dinner, my companions are speaking Korean. This is understandable, and I do try to join in or initiate conversation, but what starts in English inevitably quickly reverts to Korean. Fair enough. While everyone else chats it up, I can concentrate on maneuvering my meat to the hottest part of the grill, and hovering around it with my chopsticks. This is because I like my meat cooked quite a bit longer than my Korean pals do. They'll pick it off once the meat has turned white, but the fat is still very fatty. I like it golden and sizzlng.

If you're interested in checking out the website for the restaurant we visited, check it out: HoneyPig. Funny name, eh?

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