Food + Soju + Good Times
I am not a big fan of Korean restaurants that do course menus, 한정식 (pronounced han-jung-shik), because most of the food is prepared ahead of time, all they do is plate it, the food comes out cold, and it tastes bad. BUT . . . I had lunch with my coworkers at 나무가있는집, should be translated to “house with a tree” but the website says “tree full house” (go figure) and for KRW25,000 per person it was fantastic! Sit back and feast your eyes!
The side dishes (반찬), better than your average Korean restaurant but there was so much food, they became an afterthought.
Acorn jelly salad (도토리묵), one of my favorite foods. I remember my grandmother would collect the acorns in our backyard and I would think to myself, only squirrels eat that stuff. But now that I acquired the taste, I think Americans are missing out, BIG TIME!
Fresh hand-made tofu (손두부), you can really taste the difference.
Buckwheat pancakes stuffed with kimchi (메밀전병). Absolutely delicious, I’d go back just to eat this. At other restaurants the buckwheat pancakes are usually soggy and break apart when you pick it up with your chopsticks, but here they were lightly grilled, firm, and chewy. Great!
Korean pancakes (전) were also very good, especially the potato starch pancake (above picture).
Braised seafood (해물찜), there was hardly any seafood but the sauce was very good.
Coarse ground bean curd soup (비지찌개). This soup is usually served plain with no seasoning and you’re supposed to mix in soy sauce as you eat, but their soup is already seasoned with kimchi, so it was a nice twist to an old-fashioned dish.
You get all that food for $25 bucks! Every dish tasted good, was well seasoned, and was well prepared. Of course some of the dishes were prepared ahead of time, but they also seemed relatively fresh. They used fresh ingredients and gave you good-sized portions.
One more thing . . .
Rice cooked with herbs (산채비빔밥), we ordered this separately because its one of their most popular menu items and it was the highlight of the meal. I’m not sure what kind of herb they used but it was very aromatic with a slight bitterness. It came with a seasoned soy sauce that was ever so slightly sweet. The rice at the bottom of the earthenware pot had browned and turned crispy. Mix it all together and it just blew me away! The depth of flavor and textures! Wow!
Rating: 8 out of 10.
나무가있는집: 02-737-3888, near Gwangha-moon station. Check out the website below for detailed directions, but they also have a location in Gang-nam.