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4.299 Chicken Inasal


-Cycle 4, Item 299-
31 (Thu) October 2013

-Philippine-
Chicken Inasal

2.5

by me

at the cabin

-Hoengseong, Gangwon-

with Mom

I had to go to the cabin to oversee some renovations.

So long as I was there, I took the opportunity to fire up the barbecue and try my hand at chicken inasal.  

Having enjoyed so much of it during my recent extended trip to Manila, I've been itching to make it myself.  

I followed the recipe from The Adobo Road Cookbook (ARC) (see generally 4.276 Classic Chicken Adobo...), the 10th recipe attempted (see previously 4.285 Lechon Kawali...).

Paired with tomatoes from the garden and wild blueberries from the grounds; I brought the beer (it's Philippine).

It turned out okay.  Marinated overnight--a simple/standard mix of garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar.  Cooked over indirect heat until done.  Brushed in a glaze--a combination of the annatto oil and banana ketchup leftover from a prior dish (see generally 4.277 Filipino Spaghetti(ni)).   Finished off over direct heat to get the dish's characteristic char and color.  Would've been better without the banana ketchup, which rendered the skin somewhat too moist/sticky, not dry/crispy as it should be, and tasting too much like an American-style BBQ sauce.   

4.298 McSpicy Cajun Burger


-Cycle 4, Item 298-
30 (Wed) October 2013

-American-
McSpicy Cajun Burger

2.0

at McDonald's (E-Mart)

-Seongsu, Seoul-

with Wife

Having recently reopened the floodgates (see 4.275 Mr. K + Quattro Smoky Whopper), I guess I'm back to wasting my wad (time, money, calories, health) on stupid point-of-sale promotion gimmick burgers.

McSpicy Cajun Burger is the latest chicken sandwich from McDonald's Korea.  Consists of a deep-fried minced chicken patty, plus tomato and lettuce, topped with a spicyish "cajun sauce"--probably a simple mix of mayo + mustard + hot sauce--in a sesame seed bun.   Not bad in its simplicity.  Patty was a bit dry.  3,500 won for the sandwich, 4,900 for the set.

Part of the new McSpicy line-up, items featuring some form of spicy deep-fried chicken. 

Nice tomato.

4.297 Bokchoy in Oyster Sauce


-Cycle 4, Item 297-
29 (Tue) October 2013

-Chinese-
Bokchoy in Oyster Sauce

2.0

at China Bob

-Oksu, Seoul-

with Wife and Dominic

China Bob is a Chinese restaurant.  The latest addition to the Oksu dining scene, located in the new building (see most recently 4.286 Haemul Jjim).  Aspires to rise above the level of a typical neighborhood delivery joint, with a couple dishes on the menu that could be characterized as "progressive" for a Korean-Chinese restaurant, but the overall menu and prices, as well as the general vibe, suggest that it's exactly a typical neighborhood delivery joint.

The "Bob" is a play on the Korean word for rice/food, usually translitered as "bap/bab."

On this first--and probably penultimate--visit, we ordered a few of those newfangled dishes, which were sadly disappointing.  As described below, the preparations seemed to demonstrate the chef's utter lack of fundamental skills/understanding and/or lack of experience with such newfangled items.  Thanks for trying, but no thanks.  We'll go back one more time to see if the traditional dishes are done any better.

Rice Noodles in Garlic Sauce (1.0)
--rice noodles are virtually nonexistent in traditional Korean-Chinese restaurants; here, the noodles themselves were improperly prepared, resulting in a texture that was simultaneously/strangely mushy in the middle and crusty on the edges, while the sauce was a whitish goo, as tastel. 

Seafood in Black Bean Sauce (1.5)
--whereas jjajang myeon is arguably the most commonly ordered Korean-Chinese dish, other dishes containing black bean sauce don't exist; here, despite the appearance of being dark and rich, it was surprisingly bland.


The best dish of the evening, the best of the blah, was the parboiled bokchoy in oyster sauce.  For whatever reason, the vast majority of Korean-Chinese restaurants don't offer vegetable dishes, and even the supporting veg in other dishes tend to be limited to basics like onion, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, canned baby corn or bamboo, maybe broccoli or bokchoy in bits and pieces.  Bokchoy is D's favorite food at the moment, so he was totally psyched to get a plate of nothing but.  It was okay, somewhat overcooked--like I said, a lack of fundamentals: I mean, really, how difficult is it to parboil bokchoy?  In absolute terms, a total ripoff at 18,000 won, though perhaps worth it to see my kid down that much green in one sitting.

Rockin' the Cape: The Vegetarian Vampire 
--he's doing Halloween as Count Dracula ("blah, blah, blah").

4.296 Spaghetti Pesce


-Cycle 4, Item 296-
28 (Mon) October 2013

-Italian-
Spaghetti Pesce

1.0

at Nilli Cucina

-Suwon, Gyeonggi-

with Heo YJ

The occasion was dinner with a colleague in my department.

The venue was an Italian restaurant near school.  

The food was horrible.  Italian food conceived and cooked by people who'd obviously never tasted or learned about actual Italian food.  The "pesce," for example, didn't contain any fish, only iffy seafood in a sweet watery soup, perhaps the worst pasta dish that I've ever eaten at a restaurant.

4.295 Pyongyang Mul Naeng Myeon


-Cycle 4, Item 295-
27 (Sun) October 2013

-Korean-
Pyongyang Mul Naeng Myeon

2.0

at Kangseo Myun Oak

-Sinsa, Seoul-

with Wife

Got back from Wuhan safe and sound (see previously 4.294 Yabozi).

The No (International) Credit Cards Accepted at the Duty Free Store Incident.  At the duty free store in the airport this morning, thinking prematurely that, whatever crap that I'd endured throughout the trip, at least I'd be going home with a trunkload of Scotch, I carefully selected 6 bottles--technically, Korean customs allows 1 liter per person, but I was traveling with several people, most of whom weren't buying anything themselves, so I could hand the additional bottles to them if customs got picky--waited in line, waited while the cashier hand-wrote each serial number into a ledger (no scanner) and wrapped each bottle in plastic and tape (no bags), only to be told as I handed over my credit card that they accept only domestic credit cards.  WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF DUTY FREE STORE ONLY ACCEPTS DOMESTIC CREDIT CARDS?  I'd imagine that this kind of incident occurs with foreigners on every out-going flight, every day of the week.  And yet, that's the way it remains.  Goodbye, Wuhan.  Don't expect me back anytime soon.  While yesterday evening's bug in the food did indeed represent the climax, this was the coda.


Upon my return to Seoul, the only thing that I wanted for dinner was CS-PYS MNM (see generally .  Best way to wash away the whack of Wuhan.  My personal tradition of eating the dish both on the evening before a flight has now extended to the evening of the return (see generally 4.261 Pyongyang (Mul) Naeng Myeon).

The array of sides was provided because the Wife ordered a rice dish.

Kangseo Myun Oak is part of a Korean multi-generational restaurant group.  From the original landmark location (A) (see generally 4.185 OKRKL/2 Kangseo Myun Oak), the son of the founder went off and established a secondary branch (B), independently owned/operated, but under the same name and logo and menu, and with ingredients supposedly from the same source.  (The daughter also has her own place, quite nearby, though for some reason under the truncated name Kangseo (C).) 


The MNM here at B seemed somewhat different than at A (and at C).  Either the claim of common sourcing is bogus, or a lack of quality control is to blame--or example, the boiling time, a minute shorter/longer, for the same raw noodles, can make/break the dish.  I've found discrepancies in the food from other similarly apportioned restaurants (see for example 4.290 Mul Naeng Myeon).  Here, in contrast to A's "sweet and savory," the broth was outright sweet.  And the noodles had a floury aftertaste, while A's had been bland and chewy.  Granted, I admit that my recollections could be off.

Not a very impressive showing of CS PYS MNM, which demands a dry broth.