Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dak Galbi (닭갈비) - Yeongtong

So, I finally made it over to a dak galbi (닭갈비) place in Yeongtong. I don’t believe I’d ever had it before, and I can’t say that I was too impressed with it :(. At any rate, the place I went to with my friend is located down the road from Homeplus on the way to the Immigration Office on the same block as the Real Mayo hair place (yes, it is call “Real Mayo.” Look up when you reach that block and just over the door, you’ll see “닭갈비” in red neon letters on a yellow background. Here is my lovely map to point the way:

They have a menu in Korean on the wall over the large wall mirror. I didn’t notice it until we were leaving and I’m not really sure what my friend ordered since she ordered before I really sat down. I believe she ordered “2 chicken,” which I assume is just two orders of chicken galbi. I really don’t know what else they have here since I spotted the menu too late. I also can’t really tell you a price since JD swooped on the ticket before I could see it.

Now, I was looking forward to having dak galbi since I love me some chicken and what they brought out looked promising.
Pieces of chicken, cabbage, rice noodles, carrots, and lettuce on some chili paste

Off to the side there is a little side bar where you can get some macaroni salad, lettuce, chili paste, and garlic and pepper slices on a little plate.
The garlic and pepper are under the lettuce

You also get a bowl of soup. The soup is a cold soup that tastes mildly of cucumber, so it’s fairly refreshing in the summer when it’s hot and humid out. I don’t really know what’s in the bottom of the bowl since I just sipped the liquid.

So, you stir the stuff all around in the middle of the table for a while after battling the employees for control of the tongs and it ends up looking like this:

It smells good while it’s cooking and it looks good before it’s cooked, but afterwards, I was left disappointed. If you’ve read any of my food blogs before, you know I’m pretty picky when it comes to meat. To me, the chicken cuts used in this particular place are of pretty low quality. There seemed to be fatty pieces of chicken more than anything else, which I’m not a fan of. Everything else was fine in the dish except for the chicken…which is kind of the main point of it. I tried it by itself and wrapped in lettuce leaves both – I think I prefer it in the lettuce leaves. Another problem I had with it is the chili paste flavor is overpowering. This is actually a problem I have with most Korean food (other than all of the fish base and tentacles): they use so much chili paste in their dishes that you can’t taste anything else. As you can see in my little bowl here, all it really ends up being is a red blob.

I think if the chicken was replaced with some other vegetables (or better cuts of chicken) and the chili paste was lessened, I would enjoy it more. It's kind of sad when the best thing in the meal was the macaroni salad - after you pick the raisins out. Other dak galbi places might be better, too, but I can’t really say since I haven’t been to any others. I will keep an eye out for other dak galbi places in the neighborhood that might be better. However, sadly, overall, I wasn’t impressed and probably won’t go back to this place for this particular dish again.

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