Monday, October 13

Tteokbokki lunch (spicy rice cake stew), Seoul

With the disappoint of Gogung deeply entrenched in our minds, we decided to keep things spontaneous when it came to meals. Hunger stroke fast when we were in Samcheong-dong and I decided to make the call to have lunch in this hole-in-the-wall, no English-or-Chinese-menu diner.  

Believe me when I say, space is scarce. Inside, the eatery was no bigger than a shoebox apartment and you can forget about lugging your shopping bags or stroller in for that matter.

Manned by a middle-aged couple that had little regard for nonsense, the size of the restaurant and consistent flow of locals could only mean one thing - lunch would be served fast. Hooray!

Not banchan, just pickles. Yup, no supporting, just bring on the main act please.

There wasn't a great deal of variety, just variations of tteokbokki stews in various portions and main ingredients. I ordered a all-in-one chapalang tteokbokki stew. What is the worst that could happen right? At least, I know flavour would not be missing.

The stew arrived fast and furious - just check out Munckin's need to bolt. To our happy faces, it was substantially filled with mussels, squid, cabbage, (bits of) bulgogi, fishcake, cheese, cellopane noodles and ramen. Pretty much sounds like a disaster if I made myself.

But I trust the people who run the eatery (and not just because they have leaden facial expressions).  Any hesitations were immediately displaced when I scoped up a spoonful of sweetish spicy deliciousness. Incredible potent stuff!

As KW and I were both wearing white, the owner passed us a couple of red aprons. Oh you mean, things could get messy? Niceeee... 

When we were 90% done with the stew, a bowl of rice was dumped into the pot for good measure.

The finale was one of those decisions that you would never not regret. Mixed with corn, seaweed and cheese, the rice soaks up the amazing stew and lends itself to an addictive burnt base. Paella, who?

I have no idea what this eatery is called but I say, go with your instincts - If it is foreigner-unfriendly, chances are the meal will be awesome.


Oysterdiaries said...

you are totally right. my friends and I focused on finding korean food that we liked to eat, rather than hunting down particular restaurants when we were there.

Bern said...

dayme...that stew looks so gooood!! me thinks a trip back to seoul is in order!!