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Thursday, October 1, 2015

GAWA Day #16: My Best $200 Lunch...Ever

Yes, I enjoyed another "best," and this time it was lunch at Jung Sik-dang.  However, there is something about the breakfast buffets in Seoul that is worthy of note.  The Walker Hill W Hotel has a Sunday brunch that, yes, was my best brunch ever.  The daily Sheraton D Cube City breakfast is exceptional, for the doings are way over the top at Feast:

  For example, at the salad bar, here are just the choice of salts and olive oils / balsamic vinegars:

At 15 Craigside, I haven't yet succeeded in convincing the Dining Room that, perhaps, some variety of yogurts can be justified.  There is only one, the original.  Here:

My breakfast and view:

Then, the following morning, a slightly healthier breakfast, for I had planned a real feast for lunch:

Jung-sik Yim has relocated his original Seoul restaurant to a more upscale environment.  This has the look of a modern Michelin 3-Star restaurant.  It already is #10 on the Pellegrino Asian Best, and when Michelin ever bothers to come here, in time, he will get 3 stars.  Already, his newer New  York restaurant has 2 Michelin stars.  He was in the Big Apple today.  There is an artistry, combined with a heavenly fusion of Korean and French in his cuisine.

With the pre-appetizer I had a Kir Royale:

I had to be careful about that white cylinder at the bottom right, for it was my wet towel.  Interesting that in Korea, the drink is not called Kir Royale but has a French name, which I've already forgotten.  Then came the appetizer, a fancy mushroom assortment, with a glass of J.P. Launois Champagne:

Then, tuna with a Chavet Menetou-Salon:

The gender ratio was 4:1:

Everyone was taking photos of their dish:

Tasty octopus leg pieces with a Donnhoff Riesling:

Sea urchin with an intriguing Sol Song Ju, a sweetish, herbish Korean sake, here with Min Seok who served as the primary interface:

With a crispy fried red snapper came a Pouilly Fuisee Domaine Barraud

The steak is from Um-Sung, and is the best beef I've ever had here, with a glass of Chateau Vannieres Bandol:

Two desserts, sujeonggwa and Rose of Versailles came with a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise:

The blue rose deserved a second photo because it was beautiful and delightful.

You'd think, after more than 20 utensils and eight courses, that would be it...but no, a piquant cone and two pieces of exquisite and delectable cookies with an expresso:

I actually ate and drank everything served.  Astonishingly, while I was not really all that full, this was lunch, and I did not eat again for 20 hours, but began consuming again the following morning at the Asiana business class lounge on my way to Hong Kong.  Yes, this was easily my best $200 lunch.

I caught the subway back to my hotel and notice two things, gas masks and the everyone, save for the very young, very old and aliens, using their smart phones:

I will close with my Man from La Mancha outing on the 9th floor of this building last night.  It was a large theater, which was pretty much full, but, for some reason, the seats in front of me stayed unoccupied, so I had a great view of the show.  What I did not expect was that everything occurred in Korean.  No English sub-titles.  However, the music is universal.  Was it worth $100?  Nah, but I did some research and relearned what i might have once known:
  • The show is based on Don Quixote, by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, completed exactly 400 years ago.
  • The plot weaves the life of Cervantes into this book.
  • La Mancha is now a wine region south of Madrid.
Why have I always related to the Man from La Mancha?  For one, like him, I have spent much of my life tilting at windmills.  I actually was chairman of the Wind Energy Division of the American Solar Energy Society just around the time the movie was produced.  The song, The Impossible Dream, has driven me to do what I have accomplished, which is not much, because everything of substance I try is almost impossible to do.  Whether it was my concept to detect extrasolar planets for NASA's Ames Research Center or my time at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on last fusion or the original bill I wrote on hydrogen when I worked for the U.S. Senate or the Blue Revolution, I might well be a millennium ahead of my time.

Whoa, Hurricane Joaquin in the Caribbean is now up to 120 MPH and will strengthen into a Category 4:

If the storm makes landfall, it will probably be over North Carolina late Sunday.  However, computer models continue to be variant:

A tropical typhoon has formed east of the Philippines, will cross over the country, strengthen in the South China Sea, and head for...yikes...Hong Kong, my present locus.  However, it will be Sunday by the time it gets here, when I will be in Singapore:


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