June 9, 2008

Silk Road III Day 1: Seoul Stopover

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Today I embarked on my long-awaited trip to Central Asia with a few friends. We are flying from Taipei, with an overnight in Seoul since we are flying Asiana Airlines. The flight was short and relatively smooth, and we were picked up by the driver for my friends' colleague.

We went to dinner first, at a nice Korean restaurant in the mall attached to the 63 Building. I was really looking forward to this meal, as I haven't had good Korean beef for more than 2 years.

Honestly, the beef was disappointing. The sirloin that they brought out didn't look very fresh, as the color was starting to darken and wasn't bright red as it should be. And the waitress overcooked the beef (maybe to cover up the fact that the beef wasn't fresh) so the pieces were tough and chewy.

The other problem was that the grill they used was a hybrid. They used real charcoal, but there was a fan mechanism to increase/decrease the airflow to control the temperature. At one point the temperature was so high that as a bit of fat dripped onto the charcoal, flames shot out over the grill. That should have never happened.  Anyway, the kalbi ws not bad, and the side dishes were delicious. I enjoyed a very nice bowl of cold noodles (冷麵), and a very, very ripe persimmon that was totally delish.

After checking into the hotel, walked around Myong Dong (明洞) and found some of the worst-tasting donuts I've had in recent memory at the New York Donut Plant. This really wasn't my day in terms of dining...

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