Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sparkle Down: Quack Quack

And so it was a grand day to be had with the Sparkling down sparkle people of great and outer Seoul.

We joined forces at the holiest of holy meeting spots, which was in Itaewon near the glorious Cold Stone Creamery.

Our goal was to get our bellies full of roasted duck flesh at the “The Ginko Tree House” (은행나무집) in Hannam. To get there we kind of followed these directions:

Head from Itaewon station past starbucks, past the fire station and the rocky mountain tavern until you get to the Cheil building, opposite the Itaewon Hotel. Turn right (take the left hand fork, not the one going to the Flying Pan) and head down the hill, down the stairs, past Chingri (an Indian restaurant), past a pet shop, past the Thai embassy and past Soon Chung Hyang Hospital (on the left hand side).

Just past the hospital is a KB Star bank, turn left and the restaurant is a little way down the alley on the right hand side.

We followed our mighty leader, whoever that was, and finally after a taxi ride and some walking we arrived at our destination.
We were seated and awaited our roasted ducks to be served to us on golden platters (more like stainless steel).

Ah ha? What is this? A lovely picture of ducks on our placement, a gentle reminder of the fat beast for which we will feast upon.
The side dishes came rolling out, yet the anticipation for our ducks was too much to handle.

The side dishes that come with the duck are very simple and very sour: a bowl of iced water kimchi (동치미), some slices of pickled onion (양파 초절이), cabbage kimchi (배추김치), spicy pickled radish (무생채), large pieces of pickled radish (무 초절이), garlic and chili pickles (마늘 고추 초절이) and shredded scallions with red pepper flakes (부추 무침). The rational seems to be that the sour pickles will combat the fattiness of the duck; whatever the case, if you’re a vinegar fan, this is the place to go. source

And then one-by-one the steaming ducks came to our table. Rob gets his camera ready...

Oh, I am blind!! And my senses are overloaded with the scent of....
white rice, black rice, cinnamon, sultanas, pine nuts, ginko nuts, pumpkin seeds, ginseng, sunflower seeds, black beans, black sesame seeds, red dates and deer antler
....which rose out of the dish like a pixie slowly sprinkling fairy dust upon us.
We dug into the beast taking up morsels upon morsels of pure heaven.
Filled our bowls with a great quality meal.
The aftermath of our gobbling. Bones and charred flesh.

It was time to move on and go seek other pleasures that Itaewon could bring us. But if you are still interested in seeing pictures from the event check out Paul Ajosshi's captured moments.

Off we went again back to Itaewon in search of a friendly Pub to relax and dine in.

Along the way noticing some flowers blooming in the sultry afternoon air.

Wait...wait for us!
And we found ourselves at a wine tavern nearby the Smokey Saloon.
Champagne was poured and glasses clinked as we shared our tales of life in Korea and other such novelty's as Internet memes.

A luxurious 팥빙수 or patbingsu was consumed and helped soften a belly full of duck meat.

We talked and shared laughter as the afternoon drew on.
It was a light hearted and fulfilling sparkle down here on the peninsula. Both Koreans and Expats gathered together to share life and enjoy it as well. Till next time....quack...quack.

1 comment:

  1. Great pics, nice post. But 'antithesis' means 'opposite of'. Don't think that's what you meant...


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