Thursday, 18 June 2009
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Monday, 1 June 2009
Jeonju might be the spiritual home of Korean food but options are strictly limited when it comes to international cuisines unless you count Pizza Hut and Outback Steakhouse, which I don't.
In the major cities and metropolitan areas all kinds of cuisines are available but unless they are run by natives they tend to have a Korean twist. Italian restaurants like 'Team' are perfect examples of flawed and faux international cuisine. Their risotto looks and tastes like bibimbap with a bit of cheese.
In my experience as an expat with expat friends, we like nothing more than a good curry, often having to travel to another city. Unfortunately Jeonju is yet to indulge in an authentic Indian restaurant but we do have a quirky, Korean run curry house that does a very nice plate of curry and rice.
Sang Dok is not exactly hidden in the Hanok village but it is on a side street that seems to get little foot traffic. Facing the east wall of Gyeonggijeon, Sang Dok is a small, cosy place that doesn't have what you would call an extensive menu. In fact it has 2 dishes on the menu, curry and hot curry.
The restaurant is vegetarian friendly and the curries come served with a small naan type bread and rice. This is not authentic Indian curry however, more like the Japanese/Ottogi boil in the bag curry but at 5,000 won with a small yoghurt drink to calm the taste buds delivered when you have finished, it is not only a bargain but a very pleasant place to spend an hour or so eating and chatting.
Joey from Friends holds the humble sandwich in high regard as his favourite food and he may well be onto something. Bread has an infinite number of recipes which can include all kinds of strange and wonderful additions and comes in all kinds of colours, textures, shapes and sizes. The fillings for the sandwich are also near limitless, although I am yet to hear of a kimchi sandwich, not sure I would care to try it either.
Every country and culture has sandwiches of one kind or another, each with their own unique take on the aristocratic inspired masterpiece. Sandwiches are not considered a meal in themselves, more fast food, especially in
The Earl of Sandwich was a keen poker player and enjoyed sandwiches because they helped prevent his hands from getting greasy whilst playing cards.
Sandwiches have 'evolved' since those days with meatballs, processed cheese and even peanut butter and jelly [For Brits read Jam]becoming popular fillings. Surely they have to be considered the ultimate convenience food and the single most popular genre of food in the entire world.
On any day, in any town or city, office workers, children, Presidents, Royalty and Manchester United fans (prawn I believe they favour) can been seen tucking into a sandwich as a quick but often healthy snack.
The words sandwich and toast seem to be interchangeable in
Various combinations of ham (well it looks like ham), cheese (well it looks like cheese), cabbage, bacon and egg seem to form the core of the Korean sandwich experience but other, stranger ingredients are prevalent although I have heard of the bulgogi sandwich which I am very, very keen to try. In true Korean style they have taken something from the western world and Koreafied it. Sandwiches have followed the same fate as the pizza but don't let these comments fool you into thinking I don't like sandwiches or Korean toast, I do, but they are not the versatile, healthy snack food I have come to know and love. McDonald's and Burger King get much the same review.
Whether it's called a submarine, a BLT, a Philly cheese steak , a hamburger, a hoagie, a Po' Boy, a panini, Korean character toast or the great sounding hero, sandwiches are the food of Kings and should be revered for the versatile, delicious and ingenious creation they are. In fact go out and buy a sandwich right now. The one with the green sauce and the hello Kitty burned into the bread, you know you want to.