-Cycle 2, Dinner 200-
24 (Sun) July 2011
Deul Bap (들밥)
* * * * *
at Deul Bap
with Wife, Dominic, Ahn HY + Kim IT + JH, Cho JH + Kim KH, Lee HS + Yun YH, MtG + his new girlfriend
The only difference between this deul bap (들밥) and the more common bibim bap (비빔밥) is that the deul bap ingredients are served separately, not directly in the bowl, thereby allowing each individual to add various components according to personal preference. In fact, the ingredients may be kept entirely on the side as banchan (반찬), like in a standard baekban (백반) meal. The name "deul bap," which literally means "field (deul) rice (bap)," suggests that the spread is similar to what a farmer's wife of yore would arrange on a tray and bring to her husband in the field while he was working. Thus, the ingredients are kept simple and humble. Here, the rice was served in those cheap tin bowls that Korean restaurateurs like to use when they want a vibe of retro shabby chic.
The sign depicts a farmer's wife with a tray carried on her head, the old-school way.
The restaurant Deul Bap was located on an actual farm in the heart Icheon (이천), a region famed for its rice, and served nothing but. The types of side dishes were obviously chosen with great care to balance tastes and textures, even while keeping everything simple and humble. Most important, of course, they were prepared and seasoned to perfection. 7,000 per person. A bit pricey for what it's supposed to be, but well worth it.
12 side dishes, not including the doenjang jjigae (된장찌개) and lettuce wraps.
Earlier in the day, we had lunch at a restaurant (the name escapes me as I write this) on the grounds of a defunct temple. The solitary menu item was sashimi-style song-eo (송어), a type of salmon/trout, served with various vegetables and dipping sauces, all of which could optionally be mixed together in a bowl. Very intriguing.