2. Soondae Nara in Federal Way; a very tiny place that serves excellent soondae(Korean blood sausage with vermicelli) bo-kum( sauteed with vegetable and rice cakes)
3. Old Village in Shoreline; the food improved much better after the ownership change last year. Nangmyun(noodle served with cold meat broth and seasoned with vinegar and mustard at table by yourself)is their signature dish. Galbi grilled at table is also decent at the busy place.]]>
One of the starters we’d planned to order that night was sold out, so we ended up with the wild mushroom bi bim bap, beef platter, some of their housemade ice cream and a custard that my husband described as being just the kind of thing I’d love, meaning it was a little offbeat custard served with grapefruit slices.
I was in the mood for bi bim bap, so I was pretty excited to try their version of it. I liked it more than my husband did. I remember thinking it was “cute” too. I had wished it was a litle more substantial, but I felt the mix of flavors, the crunch of the napa cabbage in contrast to the earthy mushrooms was fine by me. We both liked the beef platter, but stuck almost exlusively to the soy yuzu and blue cheese sauces. The cold cubes of beef tongue were really good. I’d never had it served that way and enjoyed its slightly vinegary pickled flavor. The beef cubes and skimpy pickled carrot sticks were no substitute for kim chee, but I figured they were meant to serve as stand-in. My only problem was that the dish’s proportions were off… One carrot and what seemed like a third pound of beef per person?
In the end, we’ll almost certainly try them again, if only because I also like having good restaurants near home and am apparently more likely to consider location as a factor than you are. I liked that you wrote about them even though you’ve had inconsistent experiences there. This wasn’t so much the castigation I was afraid it might be so much as it was food for thought… Hopefully, the people at Coupage are reading up!]]>
The level of precision and care in Korean restaurants abroad is not, however, that impressive, which might lead to the perception that there’s nothing delicate about the cuisine.
It doesn’t look to me that Coupage is borrowing from the imperial cuisine that you might experience at a place like Pulhyanggi; it seems to me that Coupage is borrowing ingredients and combinations from Korea and techniques and presentations from France.]]>
It’s going to be tough to merge both cuisines together and mantain cultural integrity. Who is going to take centre-stage? French-korean is indeed new territory in fusion cuisine. I am not sure if there are any successful French-korean restaurants around as compared to French-japanese/chinese.]]>
This sounds great! How do I get this recipe?]]>
Somehow I’m still hopeful that there’s more to Coupage… I haven’t made it in yet, although it’s still on my list. But to be honest, I’d be much happier to see a restaurant try to do a good job at imperial-style multi-course Korean cuisine, along the lines of Pulhyanggi at various locations in Seoul, before we start a market for an army of self-conscious Korean-InsertCuisineHere fusion restaurants. It’s hard enough to find believable Japanese restaurants in Seattle, and passable Korean restaurants are rarer still (Hosoonyi, perhaps).
My home cooking often involves combining influences from different cuisines, but I spent a fair amount of time trying to get as close as possible to the cuisine of origin before I started combining things… and I suspect my philosophy isn’t the same as that of most trendy fusion chefs. I think a lot about what the ingredients are doing in the dish, and adapt to what I have available, and I’m not concerned about how cute or impressive the juxtaposition sounds.
If I see a wasabi-sesame-encrusted something-or-other served with “Thai” peanut sauce (note to fusiony chefs: peanut sauce itself is already fusion enough, and not particularly Thai) I’ll probably run, not walk, away.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that there’s nothing wrong with using a little shaved parmesan in a Japanese ohitashi, for instance, because it fulfills some of the functions that katsuobushi would serve. And I’m very partial to the combination of butter and soy sauce (or butter miso).
Anyway, I don’t think most chefs in the US train or travel enough to understand one cuisine particularly well, much less combine two or three or four. I’d like to see more interesting fusion restaurants, but the natural fusion that emerges from the availability of novel ingredients in already strong culinary traditions is often far more impressive.]]>