Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saturday tea and bibimbap in the countryside.

Last weekend, our friend Judy took Leslie and I to a small Korean restaurant in the Masan countryside. We pulled up outside a quiet place and the only sign of Masan was the lonely bus stop and the train line running by a derelict looking Rosa Italia cafe.

Walking into our lunch time destination, we were greeted by a friendly woman who chatted to us, well Judy acted as translator. She told us about her husband's plans to take a trip to New York. He would go there on business related to the restaurant's soybean soup- Dwenjang jiggae 된장찌개. She said she was very jealous and wanted to go there too! I can't blame her and it made me feel good about the food we were going to eat. I am sure that was the idea.

Judy ordered us three bibimbaps. Bibimbap is a very traditional rice based meal in Korea. It is literally a mixed up bowl of rice with seasonal vegetables finely sliced. A dollop of hot red pepper paste is used to combine all the elements together. It is really filling and usually comes with a fried egg on top but this place seemed really traditional and came without. Instead, we were served the usually variety of fermented kimchis and a surprise korean style vegetable pancake, my favourite. The food came in earthenware bowls along with rustic cups of water and small bowls of dwenjang jjigae.

Leslie and I


The dwenjang jjigae was delicious and definitely worth an international business trip. I enjoyed chatting with Judy and Leslie and generally enjoying the decor. There were some pretty cool sofas with gothic shapes. These finished off a really unusual interior. One table top was filled with dried flowers and there were shelves of ceramic pottery and huge vats of infusing red berries.

When we finished our bibimbap, we were served sexy tea. Now, I am not sure if that is the real name but Judy seemed adamant!  Omija cha (오미자차 5 taste tea) is a tea made from the vats of infusing red berries. Omija cha is named simply because the tea has five flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spice and it really does! It's quite interesting to taste all those things at once. It's incredibly refreshing, too. I think I had tried this one time last year when our lovely supervisor gave us some homemade tea.

Omija cha / Sexy tea / 5 flavour Korean tea

We settled up and set off back to the high rises of Samgye. First though, we tried to get into the wrong car! Ha! Thanks Judy for a lovely lunch of good conversation and sexy tea education!

A gorgeous picture of Judy

1 comment:

  1. I have been to this place. It is excellent!