What do all of these things have in common? We enjoyed them all in the past 24 hours. Friday night we decided to finally to try a rotisserie chicken place we've walked past on a regular basis. The chickens are very small not like the chicken's you get at Meijer that now seem to us to be on steroids. Despite their tininess their skin was super crispy and the very little meat there was, was very tasty. It cost 11,000W (about $9.50USD) not super cheap but not bad really considering it was enough for one meal for the both of us if we added some sides. We'll definitely being getting another.
An optical illusion...
It's not much bigger then the can of Pepsi that was included.
There was also a handful of roasted garlic cloves inside the chicken which were delicious.
Today we slept in, if felt sooo good. I spent sometime chatting with my family then we headed out for a bit to enjoy the day. I needed to go to a pharmacy to see how I could get my asthma meds here. Surprisingly the pharmacist just down the street spoke enough English to explain to me that I would need to get a Korean prescription for the inhaler and that they would then have to order it as they don't stock it, as I suspected. But it was at least a huge relief to find out I will most likely be able to get it here. Now I just have to go to a Korean doc and explain this, that should be utterly difficult.
Next, we popped into a coffee shop and I managed to order a latte and it was actually delightful. There was an actual espresso machine and the sound of steaming milk was music to my ears! Nothing out of a packet there. MMM! We headed downtown to find a snack and waste a little time before our dinner appointment. We wandered into BANG BANG a clothing store and I found a steal on a cute silver sequined top that would goes over leggings, so cute! Normal price 63,000W I got it for 19,000!!! Score one for Amy's closet! (ok, not really I just have a few drawers but I'll make it fit somewhere.)
As we headed downtown we wandered down an alley to scope out some restaurants for future testing. We happened upon a snack place and tried a potato that was fried in a spiral on a stick then rolled in your choice of flavored powders; cheese, onion, or red pepper. We opted for the cheese and wow was that a nice little treat for 1,000W.
Here's Ben with the cheesey-potato-swirl-on-a-stick.
The potato swirl awoke our hunger and we decided we needed to eat more so we were going to split a meal. To be honest we were VERY nervous about our Korean dinner hosts tonite and the meal we would have to eat so we did the dishonorable thing of eating before we went to dinner. We walked another 15 feet down the alley and decided to try Han's Deli because we could actually read the menu being in English and having delightful pictures of all the food. Tt looked quite good or at least we hoped.
We ordered "oven cheese spaghetti", an order of garlic bread, and a coke to share and all for 8,000W. It was absolutely delicious. The spaghetti sauce was actually tomato-y and even a little creamy and it had mushrooms, onions, carrots, and garlic in it with toasted cheese on top. The garlic bread also was fabulous, salty, garlicy, and buttery just the way it should be. The meal was far better then we could have imagined so we'll definitely be going back.
Ben getting ready to enjoy spaghetti.
A look around Han's Deli.
After our pre-dinner we headed home. On the way we spotted another coffee shop and thought we'd cross the street to check it out. There was car parked in front of it so we had to walk in front of another shop to get to it. As we did that a lady was standing at the door smiling and said Hi! Come in! in English. We were kind of surprised and tried to turn her down because we thought for sure she would just try and get us to buy something we didn't want. So we peeked into the coffee shop that ended up not being so exciting.
The lady just seemed so nice and she invited us in again so we obliged and went to check out her tiny shop. The second we stepped in the door she gave us these small bottles of yogurt an said "calorie down, good for you", meaning its low-cal and good for you. Not sure if she said this because she thought we were fat or something or what. She was just excited to give us anything for some reason. She wasn't being fake either, she was just genuinely being kind.
The store had a completely random assortment things from blankets to underwear to soy sauce. We looked around her store politely and she told us every word she knew in English. As we looked at the bottles of soy sauce she said "sample sample!" and handed each of us a small bottle soy sauce. After that we needed to head home. We left not purchasing anything but with the intention that we would return her favor by coming back and purchasing something. Her random but genuine kindness was definitely refreshing.
Precisely at 5:30pm our JW friends knocked on our door ready to pick us up and take us to their home for dinner. The live quite close only few blocks away in a very small apartment considering four people live there. We were very warmly and excitedly greeted by the entire family. They lead us into the dining/bed room where we saw a feast had been laid out for us. We planted ourselves on the floor around the table and she brought out several more dishes including rice and seaweed soup.
Here's only part of the spread.
Here are a few of the dishes: galbi(a pork, potato, and carrot like stew), Jap-Chey (rice noodles usually only made for special occasions),egg rolls, Kim Bap Nora (seaweed and rice and other stuff rolls), sweet/sour meatballs, non-fermented Kimchee (still spicy but MUCH better then the rotting kind).
For dessert she served strawberry and grape yogurt and a fruit platter of apples and bananas. They also offered us beer and Makkoli (rice wine). I tried a little of the Makkoli to be polite expecting it to be horrid but it was actually much better then Soju. If I had a gun to my head and force to choose I'd hands down take the Makkoli although its not something I'll run out and purchase a bottle of.
After dinner we chatted and the Mrs. wanted to take a picture so we obliged, I was glad we got to capture this memorable evening of food and friendship. It was by far the best meal we've ever had and probably will ever have in Korea. We were truly honored to have been guests in their humble home. The Mrs. even offered to come over and teach me to make a few traditional Korean dishes as I mentioned I like to cook. I definitely be taking her up on that and expand my cooking skills and recipes to include a few traditional Korean recipes.
My only regret was that we had pre-dinner, I would have loved to stuff more of this great food in. However, I'm not exactly bummed that we found a great little place to get some good cheap tasty food. All around today was a win-win for team Ben and Amy in the food department. It appears we've turned a corner are glad to say we now legitimately enjoy several Korean foods.
After a long dinner they asked us if we wanted to go to a Nori-Bong (karaoke room) and we happily said YES! We had wanted to go since we got here but the opportunity hadn't yet presented itself and we weren't about to try it on our own.
Talk about a fun time this whole karaoke thing was much more fun then we anticipated! It started off a little rough but we got better. They were absolutely wonderful singers and put us to shame with the first song. It was kind of awkward because it seemed like the pace was slower then how we were used to hearing or singing the songs so we were just off and had trouble finding the beat. But the more we sang the better we got. We ended our time with a lovely duet of Ben and I singing I Believe I Can Fly.
The song selection book.
Our private Nori-Bong room with a disco ball and all!
Over all it was a surprisingly fantastic day and tomorrow is going to be more of the same. We are heading out early tomorrow morning for a day in Seoul with Ian and Casey. We're all very much looking forward to going to a Pub with a menu full of things we desperately miss. Ben is psyched for Krispy Kreme donuts and I'm aching for a grande vanilla latte! Fun times in Korea!