Jeju Pear Lady - (재주 배여사)
near Kyungbook Uni. Hospital, Daegu
Hey kids. I hope your summer vacations were long, fun and, packed with memorable and law-abiding experiences. But now school is back in session. Today's lesson is 정식 (Jungshik), meaning a traditional Korean meal. The first rule of Jungshik: always include its three essential components: rice, soup and sides. Always!
But why this rigid criteria? It's not just about wholesome balance, like they teach you in health class. You won't find the answer in economics either. To understand Jungshik we'll need a cross-cultural exercise in social studies class. Consider the closest western equivalent: the Happy Meal. Whether served in franchises or replicated in cafeterias and dining rooms, custom demands that the Meal include a burger, fries and coke (or some close substitutes). Any other combination would be an unacceptable breach of our standards and practices.
Only fries and a coke? Thanks for the snack, but the USDA disapproves of your unstable food pyramid. A burger, fries and wine? Tread carefully, the ATF has served warrants for lesser offenses. A burger, noodles and coke? Call the DEA, someone's high!
Such grievances are no less forgivable in the case of Korean Jungshik. Therefore, we must better understand this tradition with a case-study of our chosen restaurant.
재주 배여사's dishes are high-quality and their prices reasonable. But most importantly they serve all meals according to the law of Jungshik and its three essential components...
Furthermore, this place offers a wide selection (see the translated menu below), which allows us to see Jungshik applied in its various forms. Let's look at some examples:
갈비찜(Galbijjim) is rib meat simmered in a spicy sauce along with veggies. The the meat is tender and the sauce is delicious. I highly recommend this dish at this restaurant, possibly the best galbijjim I've had. (According to legend, this specific place even inspired the name of Craig White's original website, galbijjim.com.) An order (2-serving minimum) comes with all three parts of Jungshik.
불고기 (bulgogi) is pork marinated in soy-sauce. Here it is served in a stew with veggies and noodles. As for Jungshik, a soup is not included due to the dish's brothy nature. It comes with only rice and sides.
비빔밥 (bibimbap) is rice, veggies and pepper paste "mixed." This version is served in a piping hot 돌솥, or "stone" bowl, that continues to fry the rice while eating. Only soup and sides are served for Jungshik because the main dish already includes rice.
|They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so here goes. Flatscreen TV, aircon and fan, decorative plants, floor seating, table grills, water and cup, suspiciously unattended bag, cushion stacks, and .... dammit, writer's block!|
|The aftermeal dessert and unofficial fourth component of Jungshik: Coffee.|
It is located across from Kyungbook University Hospital (경북대학교병완), a few blocks west of Samduk Fire Station (삼덕소방서), downtown.
By subway, take line #2 (green line) to Kyungbook Hospital Station (경북대병완역). Go out exit #1 and at the top of the stairs take an immediate right around the corner. A few minutes' walk and between a Paris Baguette and a C-Space is an alley on your left. The restaurant is just two buildings down that alley on your right.
The Address is: 대구 중구 삼덕2가 1034