Maple Tree House 단풍나무집
As you’ve probably noticed, I like simple places. Usually, the less items the better. Fewer choices and a large crowd tend to indicate that the restaurant got something right and sticks with what they do best. Maple Tree House simply serves high quality meat with a few sides to complement. Perfect.
First of all the interior is sexy and feels very new and modern – it fits the price point. Also the Itaewon and Insadong locations opened less than a year ago, which hasn’t been enough time for dust and spider webs to accumulate. The tables are a nice polished brass, with polished brass ventilators hanging from the ceiling. And the Itaewon location may has a ridiculously enormous door. The only things out of place are the cheap looking plastic chairs. At least they’re black and keep a low profile.
Premium Korean Beef Sirloin 한우특등심 35,500 /160g
Though not the cheapest food, it’s definitely one of the purest protein flavors I’ve found in Korea. This sirloin is served unmarinated and flavored by the eater with a dab of rock salt. It’s unfortunate that Korean meat is so much more expensive than American meat. You would think shipping halfway around the world would up the price, but I suppose Korean producers don’t torture the animals and environment like American producers.
All my life I’ve been unable to understand why older Koreans prefer unmarinated beef when I preferred the marinated. However, yesterday perhaps I fully completed my transformation into a real half Korean when I realized what Koreans love about their unmarinated beef. The clean, unadulturated flavor offers an unparalleled analysis. I suppose it was bound to happen. Long ago I moved from enjoying heavily creamed sushi rolls to plain sushi/sashimi, and I cut out sugar from my coffee a long time ago. I guess my palette is maturing, or changing at least. Or maybe my mind is just manipulated to prefer more expensive products. As a student I’m still a cheap ass though, so please don’t expect bougie restaurant reviews only.
Note: If you’re trying to impress a Korean, you definitely have to go for Korean meat – Hanu (한우). There seems to be a general agreement that Korean meat is superior. I, actually, can’t tell the difference.
American Marinated Boneless Short-Ribs 양념 갈비 꽃살 25,500 /200g
Though I preferred the considerably more expensive unmarinated Korean Sirloin above, that’s not to say these Short-Ribs weren’t delicious. They were. The marinade was perfect, and they basically melted in your mouth. Absolutely no complaints. My apologies for the burt meat photo below. I got carried away… eating (and being on a date with my lovely girlfriend).
Chilean Pork Jowl 천겹(칠레산) 11,000 /200g
The Pork Jowl is a great option as well. It doesn’t have the gourmet melt-in-your-mouth quality of the sirloin but it has plenty of flavor and a unique chewy texture. Actually this is my mother’s favorite ‘budget’ meat and she eats a ton of it when she visits. It also is unflavored and salted by the eater at the table. Definitely a great choice.
Doenjang Jjigae 된장찌개
Because 300-400g of meat won’t fill the average eater, it’s customary to finish with some carbs. Doenjang Jjigae and nengmyung are my favorites. Today we swung for the Jjigae (soup). It’s a very flavor rich soup, with Doenjang beans, onions, zucchini, green onions, mushrooms, and tofu.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 4:05 pm
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