4.050 So Han Mari

-Cycle 4, Item 50-
24 (Sun) February 2013

So Han Mari


at Yukdeokjin (육덕진)

-Jeonnong, Seoul-

with Cho JH, Hwang SE, Kim IT, Kim KH, Lee HS, MtG, Noh SJ, Yun YH

A growing trend on the local barbecue scene is the combination platter featuring various cuts of meat in large quantity.  By contrast, more traditionally, a given order would comprise a single portion of a particular cut (see for example 2.212 Grilled Ggot Deungsim).  While combos have always been around, they were traditionally viewed with a bit of suspicion as if constituting older leftover odds and ends that needed to be dumped on the cheap (see for example 1.334 Grilled Chef's Combo Beef Plate).  Nowadays, however, perhaps in response to the already-astronomical and ever-escalating food prices in Korea, especially with respect to meat, more establishments appear to be offering bulk assortment deals--and marketing them euphemistically as "the whole animal" (see for example 4.001 Dweji Han Mari)--and more customers appear to be embracing them.  Here, the deal was 1 kg of beef for just 57,000 won--an excellent bargain, much cheaper than the not-so-great deals at our neighborhood barbecue joint (see for example 3.274 Boriso Special).  

Although I can understand the appeal in sampling different cuts at a single sitting, each having a different taste and texture, the problem is that certain cuts that might otherwise have seemed satisfactory could suddenly seem inferior by way of forced comparison.  The dissimilarities may be even more noticeable when the meat comes from different animals, maybe even from different countries.  The combo here included rib ("galbisal (갈비살)"), ribeye ("deungsim (등심)"), skirt ("anchang (안창)"), brisket ("chadolbagi (차돌바이)"), as well as a few unidentified pieces that may have been from other parts of the cow, some Korean, some American.  Case in point, the American rib came across okay initially but then dry and gamy after trying the fattier and relatively flavorless ribeye from Korea.  

Both the composition and circumstances of tonight's meal were nearly identical to those of a prior post.  The first post of this cycle described the dinner that various members of the camping crew and I enjoyed upon our return to Seoul from Jirisan in early January (see 4.001 above).  With a larger group this time, sans moi, they repeated the same course and decided to have pretty much the same wrap-up dinner upon their return, albeit at an alternative location (which happens to be owned by JH's sister); I joined them just for dinner. 

The pot-in-grill system was also identical.

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