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Sunday, March 20, 2011

*SUNDAY IN SEOUL: MY BEST KOREAN LUNCH

1.  There was no doomsday from the Super Moon last night.  Our Moon was the closest to Earth in 18 years, meaning it looked larger (which you could only have confirmed with a some magic truffles), but, nothing happened to Planet Earth and Humanity.

2.  China:  there was panic buying of salt for those seeking the iodide, emptying the shelves, but finding out it was not going to be helpful in preventing radiation poisoning, were declined refunds by stores.  There is a surge of Chinese returning from Japan, but flights remain normal.  Tragedy seems to be melting the Nipponphobia still present among many.



3.  Japan:  On Day 10 of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, confirmed deaths passed 8,500, with 12,000 still missing.  But as half the bodies have not yet been identified, the total deaths should not exceed 15,000.  Power was restored to fuel cooling pools #5 and #6, allowing more efficient temperature control.  But most importantly, the #3 reactor at Fukushima Daiichi is stabilizing.  You can click on the official Tokyo Electric Power Company web site, but don't expect much.  This is the only system using some plutonium.  Here is an unforgettable photos from National Geographic:


Some nuclear fallout apparently reached California, which means Hawaii should also have detected something.  But don't hold your breath because the effect is about a billion times below the health threatening level.  Same for Korea... today identifying man-made Cesium-137.  But the prevailing winds have been away from Korea.  Yes, this was yellow dust from China and, perhaps, their nuclear power plants.  Hmmm...I walked around under this cloud yesterday and did not realize there was a kind of government warning about this.

4.  But life goes on, and Seoul experienced some early morning rain, which cleared up for the best Korean lunch I've ever had.  Well, it ties the other two I previously experienced here, at Kitchen, in the W Seoul.  Sunday brunch here is a noted event in the country, especially for the younger generation.  There were very few "old" people.  There are two sittings, and the two and a half hour feast comes with free wine and champagne.  However, most of the tables seemed to be drinking only healthy fruit juices and no alcohol.  Grace starts our meal by pouring a Joseph Perrier Champagne (11%) for Professor Kiryun Choi.


We also had a Pascual Todo Cabernet Sauvignon (14%) from Argentina, starting with salad and noodles.  I had a tossed green with balsamic and kim chee, cold soba and very hot and spicy Korean udon.  Also, every few minutes, appetizers and soups are delivered, which you accept if you want. My first course:



The prime choices are at the special cooled cabinet holding a variety of meats and seafood.  In small sealed packets are a variety of beef, lamb, chicken pork, fish, shellfish, etc., and the average person chooses three to six for the kitchen to prepare according to your wishes.  I picked a tenderloin, kalbi and red snapper to be grilled to accompany two eggs over easy on rice:


The dessert bar was a fantasy, with a chocolate fountain, so I had a chocolate fantasy.



Tomorrow, Rachel arranged for me to try Jung sik-dang, a next generation Korean fusion restaurant.  Perhaps this will be my best Korean lunch, ever.

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Cyclone Cherono is heading for my two favorite islands in the Indian Ocean, Le Reunion and Mauritius, but it appears to be weakening.
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