Monday, 15 September 2014

5 Rounds

So, in this post absolutely ages ago, we met our friend 정현 (now more commonly known as Nathan!) and hadn't really managed to meet up since then. With busy and conflicting schedules, it was hard to do anything other than ping a Kakao message back and forth every now and again.

BUT THEN WE MANAGED!

Such happiness. We met up for my current food obsession: 삼겹살. So, Nathan found us a good place and we pretty much gorged ourselves silly. Too good. There was also the obligatory soju (common in all social gatherings, especially when BBQ is involved!


I love it, mainly because you get all the joy of a freshly cooked chunk of meat (the picture above is before we chopped it up with the provided scissors), in a nice and cool, fresh leaf of lettuce, and a really great spicy sauce that's not too hot and a little nutty. You wrap it all up in the leaf like a sort of healthy (ish) burrito and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. And try not to burn your tongue.

There's no grace here. I used to try and bite at it, being super-conscious of table manners, but it turns out that generally the Korean way is to eat it whole. Makes sense, seeing as my method ended up in juices running everywhere, gochu sauce all down my face and overall a whole lot more mess than the originally rude-seeming all-in-one method.

Nick and his hyung
So, as we learnt in my previous post about school bonding, there's very often several more rounds after the main feast. (Apparently, upon reflection, I also told you about the Korean BBQ. Sorry. Try some and you'll understand why, I guess.)

True to form, we moved on to another social staple: Chicken and Hof. Hof being draft beers. I'm not a beer person, like, at all normally, but Korean beer is much milder, sweeter, and generally a lot less "oh god why is this bread mouldy" tasting.


Korean fried chicken is the greatest thing. So much better than at home. Its reputation actually precedes it, as I'd seen a mention of Korean fried chicken on an expat blog about top 10 things in SK. They weren't exaggerating either! There's a wide choice of baked, fried, covered in sauce or without, and sweet or spicy options too.

Round 2
This time, we went for fried chicken in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce, with crushed peanuts on top. Crushed or chopped peanuts seem to be a really common addition to chicken dishes here, and I love it.

The two little gold bottles in the picture above are "hangover cures", handed out by a big promo team that was going around the area (seemingly a big party district) when we were in the BBQ place. They seemed very confused when they encountered us again in the chicken place, haha.


Thirdly, we went to a noraebang. That's "sing room", so you'll probably know it better as karaoke. For someone who never sings, I'm afraid to say I inflicted my terrible voice on my friends many times.

We had nachos and peach soju here, I think it's customary to have snacks because the first hour is free. Or something. I'm not sure. It was loud and strange, like an underground nightclub but with private booths everywhere?

All I know is that my rendition of Super Bass is apparently very popular. Oh dear. Also, somehow, when Nick and I sang an English song we knew ALL of, we got a score of about 60 (yes, it scores your singing. Terrifying Magic Sing memories ensue.) but when we had a go at singing some Korean songs we got almost full marks?! Not sure how that happened. Probably because we made up for our lack of lyrics with sheer gusto at the chorus.


I was quite excited to find that they had some J-pop in there, including the infamous PONPONPON (we didn't sing it) and the end credits song from Free!, which I was excited about, but being the only one we settled for singing a lot of Frozen songs instead.

Also, for a laugh, I chose Defying Gravity, and it was a really bizarre sort of dance remix version? SO DIFFICULT TO SING.

Afterwards, we finished up with dessert at Baskin Robbins, which was lovely as usual, and then sadly had to haul our gluttonous bellies home before we missed the last train out of Seoul. It was great fun. Even the noraebang! I'd probably even go as far as to say I'd do it again.

Why is this post called 5 rounds? Because we messaged Nathan to check he'd gotten home okay. Nope. Round 5 with the boss, haha.


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