When Dr. Yoo’s Korean restaurant announced they were offering Chinese take-out I wasn’t very inspired to try it. Just being honest. When restaurants decide they are going to offer something completely different than what they do in order to meet market demand.
From A Foodie Angle
It’s usually a complete train wreck I don’t want to get involved in. Plus, Chinese food in Korea is often the worst. However, after a while, the word on the street was solid enough I decided to go give it a try. Peer pressure-totally works on me.
My first thought when I arrived was, “I sure wish I didn’t have to try to Chinese food. Their Korean food looks way more delicious. Like, super good. Why are they even bothering to offer Chinese?” Shaking off these thoughts I asked to order-in (since I am opposed to take-out in my own life). After much consideration, I decided on the orange chicken and fried eggplant.
While I waited I checked out the Korean menu and realized the friend eggplant is also part of their regular menu, it’s one of their specialties. I also watched delicious seafood noodle soup arrive at the tables around me and I continued to wish I was going to be eating Korean food rather than dubious Chinese.
Eventually, they brought out a heaping plate of fried food and I thought, “How am I going to survive all this grease?” Then my waitress whispered in Korean, “Do you want some kimchi?” and I gratefully said yes. Which is where everything started to turn around.
When I dug into the chicken I realized it’s a variation of boneless orange chicken found in Korean friend chicken restaurants, not the same but very similar. A type of fried chicken I often wish came with rice and kimchi so that it was easier to eat. Just last week I was wanting this exact meal. I mean, it’s hella delicious but it needs kimchi and rice for me to survive the grease. So now I’m pretty stoked to have this secret wish realized. There will be times when I crave this.
Result Of Reviewing Chinese Menu On This Restaurant
After reviewing the “Chinese” menu in my head I realized that they did an amazing job re-envisioning things they already do well as “Chinese American” and packaging them in a way that resonates better with their foreign guests. So, they aren’t doing something completely different than what they are already doing, they are doing more of the same with a twist and they are doing it well. From a marketing angle, it was a brilliant move that will work out for them. From a foodie angle, this is an excellent hearty meal that’s quick and affordable.
But back to the kimchi. I love theirs. It’s very subtle but added the tang and spice I needed to make the meal work. It’s also great starter kimchi for folks who aren’t ready to level up. Truth be told, last night I would have been happy with just the kimchi and rice and, in the future, I’ll bring my hubby here so that he can indulge in greasy delights while I eat all the noodles and kimchi.
Which is what I like most about this: it’s somewhere I can go and eat Korean food with folks who might not like Korean food. They get what they want and I get what I want.