Saturday 13 February
We wanted to go someplace new for dinner with our friends Lynne and Tom. It's still officially Lunar New Year, but Tom doesn't care for Chinese food; at least, not the sort you get around here. So we decided to try the established and well-reviewed Riverside Korean Restaurant, just across the river.
Our bones being a bit too creaky to sit on the floor, we reserved a western-style booth, and decided to eat family-style.
Our starter was succulent Hai Mul Pa Jun, a thick egg pancake with shrimp, squid, crabmeat, and scallion, served with a soy dipping sauce.
Then the Ban Chan, six little dishes of kimchi and other relishes, came out, along with two soups, each of which was a meal in itself: Duk Man Du Guk, rice cake and beef dumpling soup with beef, onion, zucchini, egg and sweet potato noodles; and Sam Gae Tang, a whole Cornish hen (very lucky for New Year's) stuffed with sweet rice and garlic, floating in chicken broth with two (inexplicable) dried dates, scattered with scallions. Both were delicious, though it was hard to scissor, tear, and portion out the chicken, and we kept losing the sole ladle under the hot broths.
Beef dishes had arrived while soup was still on the table: classic Bul Go Gi, marinated slices of beef, grilled, with carrot, onion, and scallion; and what was probably Jab Chae, sweet potato noodles with beef, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, onion, scallion, and a scatter of sesame seeds. So plates were flying around the table, and we stuffed ourselves with everything possible.
Lots of fun and tasty food, so we'll be back.