Even though I’ve been home from Japan and Korea for about a month, I’m still seeing different friends for the first time and telling travel stories. I’m often asked what my favorite meal was or what country’s food I liked better or what was the craziest thing I ate. Often I mention the one instance 80 and I tasted cheese in the Far East as one of our best dishes.
We were shopping and strolling in the area near Seoul Women’s University. It was drizzling. Kinda chilly. Comfort was in need. It became our ritual to walk in, sit down and then leave restaurants if we couldn’t maneuver the menu or waitstaff. Because sometimes even hand gestures get lost in translation.
My co-worker Sherry told me about her sister’s views on Korean food while she lived in the country. The sister wasn’t fond of Korean food but enjoyed the country’s take on Italian food. 80 and I really did, for the most part, dine on each country’s cuisine. But at this moment, with seventy-five percent of our trip past, we needed something a tinge familiar. We needed cheese.
We walked into an Italian restaurant but then quickly left. We couldn’t communicate and weren’t up for the long batter of guesses. We snuck out. And instead we found college grub. Fusion college grub.
This place would fucking kill in the US. Huge bowls of hot rice, options of kimchi, veggies, chicken, whatever, then topped with melted mozzarella. Stir together with metal chopsticks. Awesomeness. Spicy, gooey, stomach-coating. Perfect drunk or hungover food. Plus, this place serves a side cup of broth to start. God I miss broth at every meal.
(PS–I hated Korean chopsticks: metal and thin. Hard to hold, become slippery easily. )