Now, anybody who spends long enough here knows about Korean restaurants' tendency to put (sometimes a lot of) mayonnaise or sweet mustard sauce on just about any food that is not considered "Korean". It's one of those funny quirks that keeps you on your toes anytime you're in a fusion or foreign restaurant here.
Well, if you read Zenkimchi's Andong post, you'll know that my new favorite thing is complaining to restauranteurs in pidgin Korean.
You'll be happy to know that while there is tons of good food to be eaten in Seoul, there are also ample opportunities to practice my new hobby.
Today I went to a restaurant and ordered a seafood salad. Wanted something fresh, you know?
Dear readers, the thing came swimming in so much sweet mustard/mayonnaise sauce that I couldn't even taste the shredded cabbage. (And you know, you could read that sentence and probably guess that I was in Korea, even if you knew nothing about this blog whatsoever). I actually got out the tissues and dabbed away the excess sauce, because it was so egregiously over-sauced, and built up no small mountain of sopping, saccharine napkins in doing so. (Photos when I get home and download them off my crappy cameraphone). Even so, there was still a puddle of sauce in the bottom of the bowl. It made me feel a bit nauseous looking at how much mayonnaise I could have consumed.
Thanks to crappy cameraphone the second, it's hard to see the veritable pool of sauce still in the bottom of the bowl.
And that was after removing this many napkins' worth of sauce, already.
This was a restaurant I used to like, too, until a few bad choices in background music (speed techno doesn't help me relax and enjoy my food, as awesome as Lee Jung Hyun is in other contexts), and this mayonnaise debacle left, um, a sour taste in my mouth.
Lee Jung Hyun: Wah. Try tucking in to a nice california roll with this on in the background.
However, not to be deterred, I got out my cellphone dictionary (after taking some gross-out pictures of the mayonnaise soup in the bottom of my bowl), and finally looked up the word "taste" and the structure "could/couldn't taste". When I went to pay, I was very proud of myself for saying, in broken Korean, "Too much sauce. I couldn't taste the vegetables."
Yep. After all that talk about complaining expats, I'm learning to complain in Korean.
Look out, world!