A Special Evening and Meal
One night, Dr Baik (who organized the workshop at KNU) took us (Rod and I, and Inhyuk and Celia, the two post-docs who are helping Rod with the workshop) out to dinner at a great Korean restaurant on a narrow street (most streets are narrow actually) in the city area just outside of Seoul National University campus. The Korean restaurant name translates basically as “Global Deliciousness”, an interesting twist on the idea of fusion cooking.
The restaurant is very traditional in its layout: a step-up private room with wooden floor for which all patrons remove their shoes; a center table with floor cut away beneath it for easier seating; servers in traditional hanboks.
But the food is slightly modified traditional Korean. Many banchan (side dishes) are still served, plus a variety of main dishes, but some dishes are less salty or less chili-hot than normal. This is to try and accommodate foreign tastes, as many foreigners come to this area to visit the university.
The Koreans in our party told us that one of the whole fishes was fried, Chinese-style, which they were not very excited about. I personally still found the soups very spicy.
Dr Baik suggested we try a typical Korean alcoholic drink: beer with a shot of soju, which they call “Somaek“ (‘so’ for soju and ‘Maek’ for Maekju [beer]). Soju is a traditional Korean distilled rice liquor (somewhat similar to Japanese sake) with an alcohol content of around 18-20%. The slang for this drink is “a bomb”. We thought it was fine, the soju hardly changing the taste of the beer.
A great meal and a very pleasant evening. We have found the Koreans to be wonderful hosts.