Saturday, December 15, 2012

Asian Eyes' Korea - Dolphin Lunch

Korean steamboat lunch 
          Day 2 - Nov/18/12, 12.30 pm: Lunch was steamboat style at Seoul's famous Dolphin Seafood Buffet Restaurant. Sorry, no dolphin meat on the menu here but Shabu-shabu and seafood. Shabu-shabu (also spelled syabu-syabu) is a Japanese variant of hot pot. The name shabu-shabu is derived from the "swish swish" sound of cooking the meat in the pot. The dish is related to sukiyaki in style, in that both use thinly sliced meat and vegetables and are usually served with dipping sauces, but it is considered to be more savoury and less sweet than sukiyaki. It is considered a winter dish, but is eaten year-round.
          This restaurant have a setting of a steamboat pot for 4 persons sharing us. Since there was 5 of us in my family, I was assigned to share another pot with another family. No issue as very soon we are good friends with Kit, Sheryl and their mother, Madam Chian. The 8 of us occupied 2 pots for 8 seats, and soon we ate like a big family. This seating arrangement remained unchanged for the remaining days of our tour in Korea. We had our fill of seafood here, ravishing on clam, crab, snail, squid, fish, octopus and on meat dishes like pork and chicken meat, pork intestine, and vegetable like seaweed, mushroom, turnip, cabbage and tofu. We let them simmered in the steamboat pot filled with chicken stock and ate them earnestly. On cold dish I particularly liked a dish called "konjac", made from Konyaku potato, mostly eaten in Japan, Korea and China. It had a elastic Q Q texture and go very well with sauces. There were also condiment of the ever ready many types of Kim-chi. Beside steamboat dishes, there were also cooked dishes like sushi, pasta, spaghetti and buns, and desserts of cakes, fruits and ice cream and finished off with coffee or tea or juices. We did a couple of runs until our stomach ran out of space. As with all eateries and attraction places we went, they always had a souvenir shop nearby. They sell the usual tourist stuffs but this time we came out empty handed.
           I managed to snap a couple of pictures while having lunch in Dolphin Seafood Buffet restaurant:
Location:  55-16 Mullae dong 3-ga, Yeondeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
The restaurant signboard that greeted us at the entrance.


Foods arrangement are good and pleasing to the eyes in this restaurant.


Metal chopstick and spoon were being used in all restaurants in Korea as 
mandated by the government. According to Ken, our tour guide, the ban on all the wooden chopstick is to protect commoners. South Korea had been deprived of wood due to a great fire in the 1960s and had to import
 wood from overseas. However to bring in woods cheaply, importers resorted to sea-shipment but the woods will rot. To ensure it does not rot they fumigate the wood, but the fumigation materialize hazardous to health. Therefore by banning wooden chopstick, the government is protecting its citizen from putting poison into their mouth. Very clever.  


A bowl of seaweed in the steamboat soup. Yummy.
Cooked meat dishes with onions and pepper - a cold dish.
Seafood section - clam, squid, fish and seaweed. Take as much as you like but make sure you finish them. No wastage please.
Shabu-shabu meats - beef, pork and chicken. The meat was thinly sliced while still frozen, but not marinated. The taste was enhanced from the accompanied sauces and by the hotpot soup. 
Pork intestines (in center) are big in Korean menu. They were also cooked in grill dish called Gopchang. Very nice.
Konjac (or Konyakku in Japanese) is made from Elephant yam which I like very much. Konjac in itself is tasteless, but with sauce it transforms the texture to another level taste. I think I took 3 helpings. Yummy!

Uncut Konyaku that a nice chef shown me.

The restaurant was crowded with lunch crowd, mostly tourists like us. The food spread and amount was generous but the service was so so, and the 
seat was really small.
Middle M browsing through the souvenir shop in Dolphin Seafood Buffet restaurant looking for K-pop stars pin-up posters.

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