Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eatin Japanese food in Myeong Dong

I don't make it up to Seoul that often but last week I had some marital business to attend to at the American Embassy. When that was all finished we went to my favorite part of Seoul, Myeong-dong. We don't really go many other places in Seoul, the last time we were there we checked out Anyang and Myeong Dong, that was way back in February. At that time I shot some footage of Okonomiyaki.

Now Myeong-dong is famous in Korea for its ability to attract Japanese tourists who seem to like to go there and buy cosmetics, seaweed, and they also like to eat Korean style energy chicken soup. (Normal chicken soup made from a Cornish game hen prepared with garlic ginseng, a fig, a chestnut with rice cooked in the middle.) Naturally a place with so many Japanese people would also have Japanese food.

Okonomiyaki to me is usually a disappointing dish. It is basically an omelet with a whole bunch of stuff on it, cooked for a long time, and topped off with flying fish flakes and terriyaki sauce. Not bad with a beer but it also leaves me with a feeling of having wasted a meal. The Okonomiyaki in this video was no different, but it is kind of cool to film.

In the second part of the video you can see some Doan Ggass. Don Ccass is Korean for the Japanese Katsu Doan. This is basically a deep fried pork chop that is a Japanese dish that is also popular in Korea. It is served a few different ways. Japanese style is just a bare pork chop. A sesame/terriyaki paste is provided for dipping, and is usually served with a cabbage salad at Japanese style Korean franchises. Korean style don Ggass features the pork already covered in the sauce.

Both styles are okay. My favorite place for the Korean style is a small place near by my school called Kimbab house. There you can get a pork chop, some rice, a salad, a cup of broth some little fruit thingys, and the price is only 4000 won. The taste is great too.

For 7000 won in Jinju, you can get the same meal at a Japanese style franchise, with the taste being okay but nothing really that special.

But for 9000 won, you can go to Myeong dong and have specialty Myeong Dong Don-cass. Here the pork chop is nice an thick. It is also quite tender and served with some rice, a cabbage salad, some pickled raddish (danmooji), and some nice miso/dwenjjang soup.

The lady who was our waitress seemed pleased that I ordered a beer using the Southern Gyeongsangnamdo dialect so she replenished my salad, and danmooji, whenever it ran out.

I have never eaten Katsu don in Japan, but I did have Katsu donburi one time in the Japanese countryside. Katsu donburi, takes the same pork chop and terriyaki sauce, and puts it over rice with an egg. I have to say that the Myeong dong Don-cass rivals the quality of the Katsu donburi pork chop that I had four years ago in Japan. Unfortunatly Myeong Dong Don-ccas doesn't have Katsudonburi (Don-Cgass Deop bab) on its menu. But if you want to have Katsu don in Korea, Myeong Dong is the place to go.

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