Recently, a new restaurant opened in the food court of my nearby Japanese store. Yes, in the grocery store. There are two japanese stores in my city, and both of them have food courts. Most of the restaurants in them are Japanese, but there are a few oddballs. There is the Italian Tomato, which is, of course, Italian food. There is a Hawaiian barbecue place and a Chinese restaurant. The great thing is that I've loved almost every single dish I've ordered from any of these places, which I think is pretty amazing.
The new place that opened is a Korean restaurant. Having a Korean background, this just made my day when I discovered it. Because if I'm not up to making a huge Korean meal at home, then that used to mean that I'd have to drive several cities away to get to a decent restaurant. Now, I can walk to one in less than 5 minutes.
This soup was so delicious, with mandu (dumplings filled with a meat and veggie mix) and green onions in an amazing broth. It is called mandu guk (pronounced "mahndoo gook").
One of the other dishes I tried was the chap chae (pronounced "chop chay"), which is clear noodles with some veggies and a sesame oil type dressing on it. It is served cold and has a great flavor. Sorry for the slightly fuzzy picture here.
If you've never tried Korean food, I would highly recommend it. They eat tons of vegetables, soups and delicious marinated meats. Whenever you eat at a sit-down Korean restaurant, they serve your meal with a bunch of side dishes that accompany every meal, called ponchon. Sometimes it is various kimchees (pickled, often spicy vegetables), sometimes it is a marinated crab (the crab is raw, but safe to eat, just FYI), and sometimes just cooked vegetables like steamed and seasoned spinach or bean sprouts. I've even had a whole baked fish as a side dish.
While some people may feel intimidated because they don't speak the language, I hope that this won't stop them from trying out their local Korean restaurant. I think that overall it is a fun food experience, not to mention delicious!