Friday, October 10, 2008

Welcome to Korean Chongol.

Yeah, fuck you. I can't get any good hot dogs in Beijing. But what I can get is my best Korean gal to take me to the ultimate Korean Hot Pot in town.

The place is in Korean Town in Beijing. It's fairly unassuming, as are all the best restaurants in this city. One of my favorite parts about Korean places is that you get a lot of free dishes to start your meal. Pickled radishes, an assortment of kim chi (hot, sweet, sour), a salad and if you're lucky some marinated squid. It's not that you need this free food, but it's akin to going to your grandmother's house and her wanting to feed you non-stop. It makes you feel all warm inside.

You start the hot pot ritual out by choosing the broth. We opted for the really spicey chicken stock. In the center of your table is a burner and you fire that bitch up and get to cooking. You also choose your meats. A variety of seafoods, chicken, pork, or beef. We got the beef.

And you choose your veggies. We got a pretty traditional mix of a few different mushrooms, potato, onion, parsley, cilantro (which is key), Chineeee spinich and egg noodles.

Mix it in the pot. Drink your tea. Obey hilarious rituals that you'll get scolded about. Order some noontime beer.

Afterward, it's great to walk through the Russian market next door for a good laugh.

Min tian jian.

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