[gardeners] Korean dinner

penny x stamm (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 23:32:16 -0500

All right,  I'll describe the Korean dinner we went to with 
friends on Friday night...

We started with a glass of chablis, diet coke, Korean beer
and a Bud.  Green tea is always available. 

Dinner gets shared all around. For appetizers we had a seafood
pancake (yum), and some sushi -- Spicy Spider Crab (that's a
fried soft shell crab rolled into a sushi and then cut into 6 pieces),
tekkamaki (tuna) and unagi (eel).  Now in a million years people 
would NEVER order eel unless they were tricked into trying it first, 
but let me tell you, it's delicious when prepared properly. [A little 
aside, but did you ever taste the eel with garlic in aspic served at 
the Brussels in New York as an appetizer...?  To die for...]  

After all of that they started bringing out the dozens of tiny dishes
filled with cold spinach in sesame oil, and shredded daikon slaw,
and tiny fish cakes, and hot spiced kim chee, and romaine lettuce
bites in a marvelous dressing, and sliced oy (pickled cucumber)
and subminiature dried and sweet anchovies (don't knock 'em...),
and pickled garlic slices, and bites of fish, and --- well, they keep 
bringing them until there isn't a square inch of space on the table top! 
Along with all this they give each person a covered stainless cup full
of steaming white rice, plus a cup of clear broth. Then they light the
fire in the recess in the middle of the table, and squeeze a plate of raw

beef marinated in sesame oil and soy sauce into this joyous chaos, 
plus another of either chicken or shrimp or tongue, and a basket of 
fresh romaine lettuce leaves in which to roll your bar-b-qued meat. 
Oh yes, and there were 4 little dishes of  spicy sauces. Either the 
waitress cooks the meats for you, or else, as we chose, one of the 
diners takes charge, so it's not rushed. 

You eat until you drop. And eventually, you drop. 

The Korean restaurants always have a lot of young children and 
babies at the tables, but that is completely not a problem. They are 
NEVER obstreperous, NEVER cry, NEVER get up from the table and
run around. The Daddy  invariably holds the youngest child on his
lap, and feeds it with his own chopsticks. They are an object lesson
in quiet, smiling, convivial togetherness...   

Dessert was fresh sliced oranges eaten with your fingers. In
summertime they give you instead a small slice of fresh 
watermelon. Perfect endings..


Penny, NY
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