Our ghetto gourmet dinner series continued with 'Indian' as the theme for our second dinner. Thrilled to introduce the guest blogger for this post-Thomas Richard Walsh, another witty Brit in our group (just had to add the middle name, haha). Recently moved to Seoul from Hong Kong, this lawyer, food lover, blogger, cyclist (he's trying to get me into fixie's), has joined our culinary super group! The story of our friendship arose from twitter and fellow food blogs, and somehow played a role with his new 'addiction' to Seoul. Hahaha. Welcome to Seoul Tom!!!
Must check out his food/travel blog written by both him and his girlfriend, Jen Meoller (who will be joining us in Seoul shortly!)
Tom and his fancy scarf and blue socks...just had to get this shot.
3 weeks ago, my first week in Seoul, I was invited to series of dinners called “Ghetto Gourmet – Dining in the Rough”. Little did I realize that that such an offer came with a series of conditions:
First, I had to eat the food. That bit was easy.
Second, I had to write a review of the meal. I’m getting to that now.
Third, I had to commit to cooking at some time in the future in return. And that would then be reviewed.
If I was sensible, this would be a scathing review in which I set the bar barely higher than a cockroach walks to help set the stage for the fantastic meal I (or more accurately Jen) will eventually have to cook.
However, rather annoyingly this isn’t possible and it is not because I am a nice person (I’m not); it is because the theme of the meal (Indian) was expertly cooked by two quasi-natives.
The chefs for the night were Andy, a British guy, whose national dish is obviously Indian and Sooyon, a Korean native, who did the diplomatic childhood thing and lived in [India/ Sri Lanka]. Combine the two and you have victory.
However, going back to the fundamentals for a moment, quite frankly I have sod all idea why they are “Ghetto Gourmet” dinners, as there is absolutely no mucking around going on. When we arrived at around 8:00pm Andy and Sooyon had already been cooking for something like 8 hours. They had that look of miserable intensity that comes from having focused on food for far too long, and the knowledge that they would be waiting on us hand and food for the coming four hours. Which they did.
Fortuitously for us, their misery was our joy. The curries were a Sri Lankan beef curry, chicken Balti curry, and a Palak (spinach) curry. Quite frankly I suspect that I won’t be having such Indian food in Seoul again in the near future. Both were spot on benefited from the hours of slaving over the stove that Andy and Sooyon had been forced to do.
Then, in what was either an avant garde attempt to overthrow the bourgeoisie constraints of a normal meal or that the mains took far long than expected, the starters started coming out as side dishes. Home made samosas, parathas, mirchi bhajji (stuffed green chili fritters), pompadoms, naan breads and on and on. Coupled with some Korean style craft brewed pale ales and wheat beers from a local brewery, this was the perfect meal for a Brit newly arrived in Seoul (apart from Korean bbq of course).
All I can say is thanks to Andy and Sooyon for the invite and that this really should be renamed “Damn Fine Gourmet Dinners”. However, come a couple of weeks I am about to slam dunk this whole series.
These stuffed peppers just out-did Hanchoo...ok, I just said that...wow.
Sue and Sarah being silly in the kitchen...
Keeyeon was the first to pack a goodie bag for the wifey...