A Traditional Korean Course Meal @ Jinsadaek (진사댁)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

After coming back from Nami Island (남이섬), we decided to head back to Myeongdong (명동) for dinner. Jinsadek (진사댁) is a traditional Korean restaurant which serves multi-course meals. While we choose the cheapest course called Sa Jeongsik (사정식) which costs 35,000 won per person, it was the most expensive meal we had in Korea.

Abalone porridge (jeonbokjuk 전복죽): This might look intimidating at first, but it was actually quite flavourful and had a subtle abalone taste.

White kimchi (baek kimchi 백김치): I'm not a big fan of white kimchi because it's too mild for my liking. I prefer my kimchi sour, so I think it would've been better if it was fermented a bit longer. Served ice cold, this dish felt like a palate cleanser more than anything else.

Korean vermicelli with mixed vegetables (japchae 잡채): A really good dish of japchae. It wasn't salty and had a nice balance of sweet and savoury flavours.

Roast beef with green onion (sogogi pyeonchae 소고기편채): My most favourite dish of the night. I never knew that half cooked beef and green onions would be such a good combination!

Sashimi (modeum hoe 모듬회): This was my least favourite dish of the night. In fact, it was the worst salmon I've ever had because the fish was hard and almost chewy.

Assorted Korean pancake (modeum jeon 모듬전): I love pancake, and their pancake was fried well because the edges were still crispy.

Korean marinated beef (bulgogi 떡불고기): After having bulgogi at Nami Island, we only had a few bites of this dish. I mean it was good, but we could only have so much of the same dish on the same day.

Mustard green with olive oil and mustard sauce (겨자잎 샐러드): A nice salad, but they could've been a bit light-handed with dressing.

Seasonal soup (gyejeoltang 계절탕): We got seaweed soup and I really enjoyed it. I found the seaweed to be quite interesting because it was in thin strands and nothing like I've ever had before.

Steamed pork (bossam 보쌈): Another highlight of the night. When you think of bossam, you would think of pork wrapped in green leaves, but for this dish, we were told to place a bit of spicy squid strips (ojingeochae muchim 오징어채 무침) and the meat on top of piece of white kimchi. This kimchi was much more fermented that the dish we got earlier, so it was a pleasant combination of sour, savory and spicy.

Yellow corvina fermented in barley (boligulbi 보리굴비), miso soup (doenjang jjigae 된장찌개), side dishes (banchan 밑반찬), and steamed rice (gamasotbab 가마솥밥): The fish was too salty (it even reminded me of Cantonese-style salted fish), but the banchan and doenjang jjigae was really good.

Dessert (후식): We had cold five flavour tea (omija tea 오미자차). I would've liked it more without the ice but it was still a good drink that was refreshing and not overly sweet. It had a great balance of sweet, sour and bitter flavours.

Being my first time having a full course meal at a traditional Korean restaurant, I have nothing to compare it with, but I can't say that I was totally satisfied with my dining experience. Overall, the food was good, but the service was pretty average. What I was most disappointed about was that the dishes weren't served at the same time. I've always wanted to eat at a table full of food, but they we brought it out to us one at a one like a degustation menu. I definitely suggest eating a full course meal like this in Korea, but I wouldn't recommend this restaurant in particular.

Jinsadaek (진사댁)
8-10 Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울 중구 명동8길 8-10

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