According to this article on CNN Travel, Parkdaegamne serves some of the best skirts and galbi tang in Seoul. Parkdaegamne (that’s a mouthful to pronounce, so I break it up as Park-Dae-Gam-Ne) is open 24 hours and supposedly sometimes you may run into some actresses eating there in the wee hours of the morning. Not that I care about celebrity run-ins since I have zero idea who they are, but I wanted to try Korean beef aka Hannu 한우. I didn’t even know there was such a thing called Korean beef until I was in Seoul. I guess it’s not exported much and hasn’t gained international attention?
This restaurant turned out to be underwhelming, bleh. Firstly the staff wasn’t all that friendly, I mean she wasn’t rude or anything but the attitude was blasé. Then the food was expensive even though the place was hardly a fancy joint. It was just a regular-looking Korean BBQ restaurant, simple, utilitarian, no frills just grills (heh!). I silently balked as I flipped through the menu. Rib eye and outside skirt both cost ₩52,000 for 150 grams. Galbi-tang is ₩12,000 per bowl. Staff informed us that minimum grill order is two items of meat and after glancing at the prices, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to blow over a hundred grand on beef, especially since the portions were kinda small-ish. 150g per portion to be exact, which isn’t much at all. So instead of two portions of beef, we ordered one portion rib eye and another portion pork which was relatively cheaper… can’t remember the exact price now though. Also ordered the Galbi-tang as accompaniment.
When the rib eye arrived, yep – 150g translated to a puny serving of 8 thin slices. That is pricey yo! Sure, they were indeed very tender but I felt like I could’ve gotten a better bang for my buck elsewhere. I let my parents have most of the beef. The pork was okay, it was galbi style with chunky bone-in and marinated so it was tasty.
The Galbi-tang was not too bad, but nothing to cry home about. What I did take a fancy to, however, were the cabbage kimchi (not spicy at all, but I really liked the flavor; I need to ask my Korean-American friends what this is called so that I can look up a recipe) and also the pumpkin banchan. The wedge of steamed pumpkin was drizzled in honey and had crunchy assorted nuts + seeds as topping. It was simple, colorful, a fun play on textures and I imagine it’s definitely healthy too; I definitely want to recreate this at home sometime.
Somewhat nice to see cabbage not dressed in red for a change.
Gangnam-gu Cheongdam-dong 124-3, Seoul
By the way, staff didn’t speak English at all. The ajumma waitstaff threw me a shade out of nowhere when I tried to communicate to her in English. Then she asked if we spoke Chinese to which I replied yes, so she proceeded to take our order in Chinese – with a flat tone of voice and expressionless look. Generally speaking, I have a slight personal problem in this department because I feel like whenever anyone in Korea started asking whether we speak Chinese, I get uncomfortable from their assumption that we are from Mainland China. I, of course, am assuming that they are assuming. Point is, I am not hot on the negative connotations that come with that, namely because (1) Mainland Chinese tourists are blowing insane money during their travels so we end up getting the Chinese price markup at some places too *EYE ROLL*, and (2) seriously these tourists are plainly obnoxious, disrespectful, bloody uncivilized, and embarrassingly loud wherever they go *DOUBLE EYE ROLL*. Filthy loaded, got cash but zero class. Friggin’ 土豪, man… They are very annoying.
Anyhoo, off to finding other meals in Seoul. And I will track down better Hannu places next time.