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Monday, April 19, 2010
One of the problems of traveling for business is the tendency to over eat and to eat unhealthily. I have tried my best to eat in small portions throughout this trip in Korea and I am still nursing my disappointment over my colleague's choice of a family seafood buffet dinner the night before. It was a place where one goes for quantity than quality. Food was at best mediocre and I watched in resignation as my colleague happily devoured plates after plates of cold crabs.
Hence, when my ex-colleague,who is now my customer, told me he was going to take me to an impressive restaurant, I couldn't contain my curiosity. Perched on a steep little hill in the outskirts of Daegu, the restaurant has a little farming patch behind the main building where it grows its own vegetables. To the side of the restaurant laid huge urns of preserved kimchi.
The restaurant exudes an air of raw simplicity which was extremely calming. I must say I was a little apprehensive about the type of food they were going to serve, worrying that I would be eating tasteless bark-like food.
The first dish was a green bean porridge with a mild comforting taste. The next dish was a colourful plate of various roots and stem cut to the finest shreds. Eaten with the colourful pancakes pigmented with natural vegetable colour and flavoured with the Yuzu dressing in the center of the plate, this dish is refreshingly uplifting - instantly instilling in a sense of general well being.
The next dish is bamboo shoot tossed in a flavourful sweet spicy sauce. Do not be fooled by the intense colour of sauce, it actually tastes quite mild. Nothing on the table tastes over-powering. Tastes are mild but the elegant subtle flavours will not escape you.
I especially like the next dish which is a salad dish dressed with a fruity vinaigette. Accompanied with crisp nashi pears and topped with dried persimmons, I never dreamt that salad can taste so good.
The cabbage did not leave a deep impression with me but in-line with the rest of the dishes, it was subtlely flavoured allowing the natural sweetness of the cabbage to manifest.
What I have shown above are only the starters and the portion in the photos were meant for 2 person. I did not take pictures of the main dish as I was busy eating. The main dish was a very beautifully charcoal grilled fish, seasoned just right with Chinese herb infused sea salt and served with fluffy brown rice. (yes, brown rice can be fluffy)
I am in awe at the way they have managed to accentuate the natural flavours of the vegetables with equally natural and healthy seasoning. Without fuss, without gimmick, this meal is totally unforgetable. It has made me curious about Macrobiotic food and I will definitely find out more about this interesting lifestyle.