Saturday, December 28, 2013

Noms in Asia 4: Gal Bi Jjim

Recently, I satisfied another one of my massive cravings by visiting Hwang Woo Ri in Daegu for some more Korean comfort food — this time, it was gal bi jjim.

Gal bi jjim, another traditional Korean dish, is braised pork or beef ribs in a slightly sweet, soy sauce-based marinade, typically with onions, carrots, potatoes and sometimes rice cake. It's usually eaten with rice and several side dishes including kimchi as many Korean entrees are. 

Hwang Woo Ri had several different kinds of gal bi jjim, noodles (the traditional naengmyun) and soups (such as gal bi tang and dwen jang jjigae). We went with the classic gal bi jjim and dwen jang, a miso-based stew, and they totallllly hit the spot.

Gal bi jjim (갈비찜) in "medium"
Hwang Woo Ri in Daegu

Our dish was with beef ribs, which was insanely tender, falling right off the bone, and very well marinaded. The sauce was yummy without it being too sweet and had the right consistency (neither too thick nor too runny), and the rice cakes — which make the dish way better in my opinion -- were also perfectly al dente. 

The dwen jang was good too but not spectacular — it was just your traditional bowl of jjigae. 

All in all, my trip to Hwang Woo Ri more than satisfied the hankering I had when I was in the states. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Noms in Asia 3: Seafood Kal Gook Soo

On a chilly winter day, I was craving some warm comfort food and immediately thought of kal gook soo as the perfect fix. But I wasn't expecting to get the biggest f-ing bowl of noodles* I had ever seen. Ever. 

Kal gook soo (칼국수) with clams and mussels
Daejeon, South Korea 

Kal gook soo is a traditional Korean noodle dish that's perfect for the cold weather and often sought during rainy days as a pick-me-up. It's usually made with a anchovy- or seafood-based broth, and the noodles are typically accompanied by lots of clams, mussels and/or other kinds of seafood, with onions and scallions.

In this massive bowl of noodles were a very refreshing broth, incredibly chewy (in a good way) noodles and oh-so-delicious and flavorful clams and mussels. And it only cost — get this — $6 per person! 

Too bad the kal gook soo in NYC costs literally twice as much (although they're still pretty good -- found at the Arirang restaurant in K-town). Or maybe that's good cause I'd probably get these too often for my own good.

*OK, fine, so this was for two people, but still, it was a HUGE portion for one person. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Noms in Asia 2: New Flavors of Peppero

"Peppero" is a very common snack in Korea, sold in probably every convenience and grocery store in the nation (and some in America! They can be found in most Asian grocery stores, Hmart and M2M in NYC, specifically). They're just like "Pocky" of Japan — long, skinny "biscuits" dipped in chocolate, almonds, etc. I've loved Peppero since I was a kid but hadn't seen new flavors of it since ... forever — until a few days ago!

I saw these "white cookie" and "hami melon" flavors (wtf is hami?) at our local grocery store, and I had to give them a try. The white cookie is like cookies and cream, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbles. And the hami melon, whatever "hami" means, tastes like a sweet, juicy cantaloupe — this one easily became my favorite kind of Peppero!

Peppero in white cookie and hami melon

Both are extremely delicious, and I'll definitely be taking some of these back to New York with me :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Noms in Asia 1: 'Goldfish Bread'

I bid adieu to New York last week for a short trip to my parents' and brother's homes in South Korea and Hong Kong, respectively, which means no "foodventures" (food adventures) in the Big Apple for a while. But, this also means even more exciting foodventures are forthcoming as I hit up my favorite places in Korea and explore Hong Kong!

I'll start this series with one of my favorite winter street foods in Korea: the boong uh bbang (붕어빵). Directly translated, it means "goldfish bread," which comes from the cute shape of this snack food. Boong uh bbang is warm, toasted bread that's crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside, filled with a red bean paste. It's perfect for the chilly days and very affordable (though the price varies throughout the country) — only around $1 for three.

Boong uh bbang (붕어빵)
Streets of Korea

I would highly, highly recommend this to anyone visiting South Korea in the winter (they sadly don't sell these on the streets in the warmer months). It's only $1 for three of these — what's there to lose? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bon Appetit: Cafe Henri

*UPDATE* This restaurant is (very sadly) now closed.

TL;DR: ★★★★★

IMMEDIATELY fell in love with this place. Food = awesome. Service = slow but great. Ambiance/decor = very cute. Prices = affordable! It'll definitely be one of my go-to brunch/coffee spots now.

Food: ★★★★★
Ambiance: ★★★★★
Staff: ★★★★★

Price: $-$$
Number of visits: 1

(Bedford St. & Downing St.)