For our latest date night we went for Korean food – Surprise, surprise! It’s a little crazy just how much we indulge in this cuisine. We order Korean take-out about twice a week. On Thursday nights Justin goes to soccer but we get home with not much time to make dinner before he needs to leave, so on those nights it just works for us. And then there is always another night (or two) where we are just too lazy/ tired to bother cooking. Fortunately, Korean food is healthy so we are not pigging out or loading up on empty calories. Our last date night was spent enjoying Dak Galbi, and we would have had it again but we thought we better mix things up a little. Seems we didn’t do too well in that department because we simply went for a different kind of Korean meal. Here you have it – our date night: Samgyeopsal.
Those following our blog for a couple of years will know that we are huge fans of samgyeopsal (Korean BBQ) and when we lived in Korea we tried many variations of it. Living in China means far less options, for everything, but fortunately there are plenty Koreans in Qingdao so there are a few Korean restaurants to eat at. The restaurant we decided to go to on date night is not really great. They serve Korean food, but still very much in a Chinese way… Boo! Nevertheless, we had a good evening and enjoyed our food.
For our new followers, Samgyeopsal (삼겹살) is a popular Korean dish which is commonly served as an evening meal, however we have enjoyed it at almost any time of the day. It consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat. The meat is usually not marinated or seasoned, you cook it yourself at your own table, and it is normal to eat directly from the grill.
The literal meaning of the word is three (sam) layered (gyeop) flesh (sal), referring to what appears to be three layers that are visible in the meat. One can also find ogyeopsal, with the o meaning “five”. Our favourite kind of meat in Korea is galmaegisal (a cut of meat located near the pig’s diaphragm). This restaurant had a few styles of meat to choose from so we could experiment a bit but the staff were bossy and kept bothering us. As I said, Korean food – Chinese “rules”! Oh how we miss Korea. If you want to see some real authentic Korean BBQ, you can link up to one of our older posts: Samgyeopsal & Noraebang.
The banchan (side dishes) were just okay so we didn’t eat all of them and instead ordered some other sides to compliment our meal. The kimchi was pretty decent though – Thank goodness!
Above is a portion of Pajeon, which is basically a Korean pancake made with eggs, flour, green onion, and various other ingredients, like kimchi in this case. Below is tteokbokki, a popular Korean snack food made from soft rice cake, fish cake and sweet red chili sauce. I have to admit that both of these were a little disappointing. They must have fired their Korean chef because we have eaten here before and the food was much better.
After our Korean BBQ dinner we went to get some McFlurries before heading home. This date night was a little disappointing in the taste-depratment, but as always we enjoyed spending time together and chatting about life. When baby comes we will probably take him with on our date nights until we feel comfortable enough to leave him with a babysitter. We are wondering if baby will come out hungering after Korea food since I have eaten it so much during this pregnancy?!
We haven’t decided what we will do for our next date night, but we will TRY and not eat Korean again! We can’t promise, but we will try!
Thanks for following,