korea, Korean, korean restaurants, porridge, sea urchin, sea urchin porridge, seoul, seoul restaurants, uni
This is a rather hole-in-the wall porridge place in Seoul. Nevertheless the food is soulful and good. The banchan is also simple, but they would be foods that you probably won’t be able to find in Malaysia. Even if you do it wouldn’t be this fresh.
We got our hotel concierge to help us make a reservation. The place isn’t very big and is like a family style restaurant. We walked to the restaurant to find the proprietor pacing up and down the road, looking out for us, which was very nice of him as we would have missed it otherwise, being unable to read Korean hangul. My Korean is limited to the common phrases bandied about in dramas. My interest in a drama peaks when someone starts eating onscreen. Delicious food they have in Korea, and Korean style porridge is satisfyingly savoury, unlike the bland Teochew style porridge that people seem to enjoy back in South East Asia.
The colourful storefront.
They’ve got a variety of porridges, ranging from vegetable to beef to abalone and even uni porridge. The sea urchin lover that I am immediately picked this out and I excitedly pointed to the photo in the menu (thank god for picture menus).
I was served a warm bowl of thick rice congee, with tongues of lightly cooked golden sea urchin peeping out like treasure. Seaweed is scattered over as garnish and a single egg yolk graces the very centre of the bowl.
As you can see, the banchan includes some spicy fermented squid, blanched vegetables, seaweed and fresh kimchi. There is nothing else to want for. The porridge manages to be tasty, yet gentle and subtle in layers of flavour that stand out the more you eat it. It isn’t cheap but I thoroughly enjoyed the meal and would definitely come back again.