Coming from the book launching of Memories of Philippine Kitchens at Enderun, I was in the mood for some dinner. All that talk of food certainly made me hungry.
For the late dinner, I found myself in Sariwon together with some friends. (I love love love it when I call friends out of the blue for a get together and they say yes!) I had been reading good reviews about Sariwon and the first time I tried to have dinner here, the place was fully booked so I was not able to get a table. So when one of my friends suggested it, I agreed right away. Needless to say, I was very excited to finally find out what all the fuss over Sariwon was about.
As is traditional with Korean restaurants, we were welcomed with little plates of appetizers from kimchi to mashed sweet potatoes. I appreciated the courteous gesture of offering wet towels before we started our meal. These wet towels start their life as little dry white tablets and they grow to their full size when water is poured onto them. I must admit that the child in me found this quite magical.
We ordered Dolsot Bibimbap, which is your typical bibimbap but served in a hot stone bowl. Left alone, the hot bowl toasts the rice in the bibimbap, which I quite like. I normally mix my own but that night, I let Sariwon's servers mix it for us, with the instruction of using only half of the Korean hot chili paste, gochujang.
For the grill, we ordered Ggot Galbisal and Toshisal. Ggot Galbisal is 130 grams of boneless USDA Choice ribs while Toshisal is 130 grams of fresh lean USDA Choice short plate. These beautiful cuts of beef are cooked on the grill right at our table together with some slices of fresh button mushrooms. My friend suggested grilling some kimchi as well. It resulted in a slightly sweeter kimchi with a nice smoky roasted flavor.
The food we ordered seemed to be on the thin side considering there were 4 of us sharing, but with the side dishes it was a very filling meal for all of us. To wash everything down, we were given barley tea which, despite being hot, I found to be refreshing. And if that were not enough freebies, the good people at Sariwon also gave us Sikhye, on the house. Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean drink made with malt and rice. It was a perfect sweet ending for the wonderful dinner.