My son tells his encounter on Korean food beginning of 2011 . . .
In January of 2011:
So this week is definitely my Korean food week. I visited two Korean restaurants, very different, yet somehow having a common strand between them. The first is somewhere my family and I spent the weekend evening at, a restaurant we always go to, Maru. The other one is Mashitta's, a Korean-Japanese stall within the UP shopping center.
I tried three dishes, but only two were Korean. I definitely wanted to try their version of Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish topped with vegies and egg, in the order according to the 5-elements/ 5-colors. When it came to me, it looked like this.
Well, I was expecting something more pretty, but it did have all the required elements and colors, so it was fine. It tasted good enough, especially considering that the Bibimbap they have here does not have any meat! I was so horrified at first, but afterwards, I realized it was okay. It had an egg in the middle, with carrots and eggplants and of course, some kimchi. I quickly finished it up without any leftovers!
The other dish that I really had to try was the Egg Roll Kimbap. They had some in stock the day I visited, so I ordered that as well, but I was so full with the Bibimbap that I had to ask for a take out for this one. However, when I did share it with my mom and dad back at home that day, they said it was good. Personally, I thought it was good as well, with its tuna and carrot filling. My dad said it definitely needed a sauce of some kind, like soy sauce or kikkoman, and I'd have to agree on that.
Well, for a stall in UP, this was a good treat, and a peek into what Korean cuisine might be. But there really is no comparison between this and true Korean food, specially prepared in my fave Korean restaurant, Maru.
We started going to Maru last year, and there was even a point in time where my family would go there every Sunday. That's how good this place is. We love how there is such a variety of appetizers, and every visit, we get a treat of new sets of appetizers. For the appetizers this visit, we got a taste of a variety of spicy dishes, as well as some interesting palate cleansers.
The main highlight of the visit was trying so Dolsat Bibimbap, a version of Bibimbap with ground pork (yes! not vegetarian!) It was really good. It was even served in a hot stone bowl, which was so hot that it burned the rice at the bottom of the bowl. I'm usually not fond of tutong or burnt rice, but definitely this kind of burnt rice is really good. I even scraped it off the bottom because it was that good. I've heard in Korea, they would fight over who would get to scrape off the rice at the bottom of the bowl, so I guess even they appreciate it!
And the main course we had was some mackerel and some beef, which you wrap up in pieces of lettuce. It has this amazing smoky flavor to it, and you dip it in this wasabi sauce and it's awesome. It's might be salty for some people, but I think it strikes a good balance between salty and wasabi-y.
All in all, thank God for Korean food! Really a winner week for me!