My one and only true love has always been food. Really...I enjoy food the way most people enjoy music. A delicious plate of chicken liver mousse can melt my heart faster than any Leonard Cohen song. It is one of the main reasons why I want to travel, to explore the word through my palate. It is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I sleep. I dream in food, and my idea of a nightmare is waking up before taking a bite out of whatever it is I'm dreaming of. With this in mind, you could imagine how sad my heart/stomach has been living in Florida. I have been deprived, and being reunited with my first love has been joyous (Cue images of Food and I running in a flowery field towards each other in slow motion.) Before this trip, I spent some time making a list of all of the places I needed to eat at to replenish my soul, I have tried my best to complete this list, but with the limited time I have here, I don’t know if it can be done. Welcome to my Tour de Food…
Korean BBQ….In my opinion, one of the best Korean restaurants in NY is Hahm Ji Bach in Murray Hill, Queens. This neighborhood is the unofficial Korean-town of Queens with blocks and blocks of Korean restaurants, businesses, and storefronts. This place is known for their Dol Samgyupsal (do not ask me how that’s pronounced, I usually just point at the menu and smile), which is thick sliced pork belly that is cooked table front on a hot stone. It is best eaten after dipping it in a sweet Korean horseradish soy sauce along with some powdered soy beans, and wrapped in lettuce with raw scallion and a pickled daikon radish. The best part about Korean BBQ isn’t just the meat, but all the little sides it comes with. Depending on the restaurant, your sides could range anywhere from tiny deep fried minnows, to raw crab marinated in red chili sauce, to pickled cucumber, to sesame marinated bean sprouts., to kimchee (fermented spicy cabbage).
Good kimchee has almost an effervescent quality to it, because it is naturally fermented, the healthy bacteria known as lactobacillus, is always live and active. It is comparable to a spicy sauerkraut, and it gets its vinegar flavor from the lactic acid caused by the fermentation. It is very good for you, and Koreans, back in the day, would bury it so that they could have sustenance throughout the winter. Another yummy thing on the menu is their Doaeji Bulgogi, which is marinated thinly sliced pork also cooked tabletop. If you’re ever in the area, this place is a must try.
|My sister, Ying, and her boyfriend, Elliot|