March 26, 2024

50 Best and then some day 6: piggy feast

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At an event a few days ago, Mikacina introduced me to the owner behind Geumdwaeji Sikdang (금돼지식당), the famous "Gold Pig". The place is apparently very famous, and came highly recommended by my friends including Kutsuyama, who has been there and could vouch for how tasty the food is. Well, OF COURSE Gastronaut and I were dying to go, so strings were pulled and we got ourselves seats for lunch today - without needing to line up outside the no-reservation restaurant. I was really looking forward to lunch today.

I was not too surprised this morning when I got a message from Gastronaut, informing me of a sudden engagement on his side. He won't be joining me for lunch, but others will take his place. I'll be lunching with his chef friends.

I saw a group of people lined up outside the restaurant entrance when I arrived, but the others were already upstairs on the top floor. At my table were Chef Edward Chong of Peach Blossoms (鴻桃軒) in Singapore along with family and team. As I was the last one to arrive and the boss had already set us up with a selection of goodies, Britney arrived shortly and began her introduction to the different pork we would be having.

Nunkkot moksal (눈꽃목살) - the famous "snowflake pork neck" is up first.

We were instructed to take the first piece with some Maldon salt.

I dipped the second piece into the green onions marinated in soy sauce.

Galmaegisal (갈매기살) - we were instructed to wrap the "seagull" with basil and add a little ssamjang (쌈장). The flavors of the basil leaves were surprisingly strong. This was chewy, fatty, and also crunchy at the same time.

I took another piece of this beauty. So juicy!

Bonsamgyeop (본삼겹) - the famous bone-in pork belly.

The belly was separated from the bone to continue grilling...

This was sooo good! With a very springy texture.

I had to take a second piece, and just look at that tasty, charred fat!

So I then had a third piece...

Kimchi-jjigae (김치찌개) - OK la... Yes, it did come with pork.

Deung moksal (등목살) - this was the "back neck meat".

First piece taken with the green onions. Very tasty.

Just couldn't resist having a second piece.

Pork cheek (항정살) - just look at that marbling!

So, sooooo juicy.

I took a second piece and made it into a ssam with pickles.

We ordered up a second serving of Bonsamgyeop, because why the hell not?! We're here for the first time, and might as well enjoy as much as we can!

Just look at the beautiful layers of fat, now charred around the edges.

Yes, more! More! I would never say "no" to delicious fat.

OK, since some of the others seemed to have stopped, that meant more for me. This one wrapped into ssam.

The eringi mushrooms were pretty good.

The staff then stripped the meat off the bones, and made sure to grill them properly. As we all know, the meat right next to the bone packs the most flavor.

Another piece from the bone, this time with grilled leek.

Finally, we come to the dessert part of the meal - which actually comes from the pig, too. Yes... it's actually the pig skin (껍데기)!

This was slowly-grilled until it gradually becomes translucent and slightly charred.

The texture was definitely chewy and bouncy.

It's served with soybean powder like kinako (黄粉) along with a garlic sauce. When dipped into both, the sweetness of the powder dominates, and it really IS like dessert!

I was really, really happy that I got to come and try this place. So much delicious pork! Thankfully I didn't eat any rice with my meat, which meant I could take in more of the goodies. At the end of the meal, I discovered that Chef Edward had snuck off to pay the bill... Very grateful for the kind treat, chef! And many thanks to Mikacina for arranging everything.

I strolled around COEX Mall to walk off a few calories, and walked into Krispy Kreme because I was curious about their collaboration with Haribo. So I ended up trying this one... which was a real surprise because the gummies were actually pretty damn sour!

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