Monday, November 14, 2011

Food Shots from Busan Shinsaegue: Frankenstein's First Hot DumpSe

Animal Head Shaped Steamed Bread
While I visited the Busan International Film Festival, I also stopped in at the "Largest Department Store in the World." This store was the Shinsaegae and, according to the Guiness Book of World Records" it is a huge new department store that is across the street from the new film festival theatre. What I learned was that...well, people in Busan have very different tastes than in Seoul. Everything looks nice, but the flavors are a bit sweeter and a bit softer. Everything looked fine, but I can't say it was very tasty. The Sinsaegae in Seoul tends to have pretty good food. I would say very good for a department store.

The food looked good and it looked western but it wasn't. For example:
Ram Shaped Steamed Bread
These steamed buns stuffed with meat or red bean looked very cute. I mean they were shaped like rams, rabbits, porcupines and pigs. They were even beautifully colored. The problem was that they weren't soft and plush like normal steamed bread because they had to have tougher dough and it needed to sit out longer, it had a rubbery taste. Not good. If I was a kid, I would have taken a bite and gotten bored.

So...we decided to get some pan-fried dumplings instead from the same store. The problem with these was that they were too greasy. Bleh.
Fried Dumplings that tasted like a hot greasy dump
Our second course was seaweed bibimbap. This stuff was awesome. The seaweed had a bit of body to it and the various delicate leaves mixed with sea squirt gochujang made this a filling and delicious meal. It's a good thing to know that the Korean food at Sinsaegae is good.

Seaweed Bibimbap
Feeling a bit braver (and because my friend is opening a calzone restaurant) we decided to try their calzone. First of all, they chopped into 4 pieces (WTF) and then inside there was chopped hotdog, the ubiquitous white cheese, onions and ketchup. This was not a calzone. This was Dr. Frankenstein's monster's first hot dump. Busan people should probably stick to Korean food and fish.
The most disgusting calzone ever
After this monstrosity, we decided to pass on trying the cheese pretzels and the sausage bread sticks. There is only so much disappointment my taste buds can take.

Dan
Pretzels and Sausage Bread Sticks