Hoping to beef up our rather sad Picky Eater Approved Restaurant List, we went to a new (to us) Korean restaurant and ended up beefing about Mrs Daggers instead. We’ve visited this eatery once before. The place somehow didn’t appeal to us visually so we left without eating.
One day on our way home from out of town, we decided, against our better judgement, to drop in and try the so-called authentic K food some online reviews were raving about. The word ‘authentic’ feels to me like it’s being thrown around rather loosely these days.
‘Authentic’, however, does not equal good – to everyone who tastes it. It just means the food tastes like how it’s meant to taste to locals who’ve been eating them for generations – in other words, the real deal. If the reviews are right, the place should be booming busy. We got there at the peak of lunch and surprise! it was empty. As in – completely – empty! Not even kiddin’!
If not for the rows of tables and chairs, this could easily be some modest dining room in the countryside where down home food is served. There were no staff in sight, only the lady boss (we assumed) who brought us water while we were cracking our heads over the haphazard menu on the wall, half in English, half in Korean.
We didn’t know what to order because everything looked… unappetizing. We could’ve got up and left but we’d come all this way. So we simply asked for more time to crack our heads over some pretty difficult decisions. She threw us a glare and disappeared.
Wait, were those daggers she cast at us right now?! Whatever. We were hungry, we just wanted to eat. So we chose the you-can’t-go-wrong stuff – bibimbap, and spicy tofu, beef and seafood soup. Beef and seafood? Sounds weird so we asked Mrs Daggers to leave out the beef.
She seemed none too pleased and returned shortly afterwards with the side dishes, a bowl of rice, a raw egg and get this, 2 sets of eating utensils for the 3 of us. Brilliant! We couldn’t fault her, of course. I mean, already the poor woman is the chef, server, cashier, kitchen hand and janitor all rolled into one. Were we seriously expecting her to do the Math as well?!
We settled down to eat while Mrs Daggers ignored us and went about her own business. We were still one set of eating utensils short and needed our side dishes replenished. Trying to get her attention was nothing short of mission impossible. When she finally stormed over, she gave us a icy glare and said, “Order two. Three people. No refill.”
Okay, it was starting to make sense now. It wasn’t that she couldn’t do the Math. She was sending us a strong message that she disapproved of us sharing. But where does it say sharing is not allowed? This reminds me of the time we were at Chili’s in TheCity and the server growled at us for sharing drinks and I posed this same question to him. WHERE DOES IT SAY I CAN’T SHARE?!!
Restaurants have no right to dictate what and how customers should order when many of them clearly have much more important things to worry about – like their shoddy customer service, poor or inconsistent food quality, diminishing portions and lame excuses for raising prices. We’re not there for free food so clearly it’s the customer’s decision on what or how much to order. Yeah so!
Anyways, as it turned out, the raw egg was to be cracked into the bubbling tofu + seafood soup. And how are eggs and tofu even an item? The bibimbap too came with a sunny side up complete with runny yolk. Omg, the very idea of raw and half-cooked eggs with cooked food = eww!
Even the side dishes couldn’t save the day. They all lacked the flavor that I’m used to in other instances of Korean side dishes I’ve tasted. On the positive side, I guess better flavorless than sodium galore.
And just as we were done stressing out over the eggs, along came a housefly which was obviously even hungrier than us. Oh, c’mon, this can’t be!! We’re fighting for our food with a freakin’ fly now?!! That, right there, is a major violation of our Picky Eater List criteria. Sorry, Mrs Daggers, but you’re so off the list now!!
P.S. This happened in early 2017. I found this post in my draft folder, all written up but sadly forgotten. But like they say, better late than never!