Japanese food is very popular throughout the world among global food.
While French food is made of unique ingredients as a luxurious diet, cooking materials in Japanese food are kind of folksy.
Chinese food uses valuable ingredients, too; a swallow´s nest, bear’s paw, or a shark's fin.
However, Japan also has special food. You can see a chef who tries to get good ingredients for his food, wandering everywhere, in Japanese cartoon.
But some ordinary Japanese food’s ingredients can be found easily; raw fish for sushi, noodles for Udong, or rice for a bowl of rice served with toppings. These are cheap and common materials but treated as a gourmet meal. Most people in Japanese restaurant in America are Korean.
Also Vietnamese Pho noodles in western part of America can be famous thanks to Korean. There are many restaurants which sell Korean style Vietnamese noodles. This is because Korean are good at understanding food.
Authentic Japanese food is very simple. One day, I had an opportunity to have a meal in Japanese restaurant in Central America. But the side dish before serving main dish was only jujube-sized boiled spinach.
I ordered Udong and Seafood Soup. They are simple rather than fancy. I was waiting on line to eat Udong in Nagoya Airport, but except its special soup it was common food; no better than one in a cart bar.
Anyway, I ate Udong in Ma-Jjeu-Ya on 9th floor of Shinsegae Dept. Store in Yeongdeungpo. It was a fancy and Korean style restaurant rather than real Japanese style one. I ordered hot noodles with fried tofu and regular Udong meal because they were out of ingredients for Oyster Udong.
As I said, Japanese food use really simple materials and delicious. Regular Udong meal has five sushi, noodle, fried food, pumpkin porridge, and pickled onion and ginger with radish. Chewy noodle and meat broth with dried bonito were really good. Fried tofu was salty and savory.
I once watched a TV program called GTV which showed lots of world food. They explained the process of making Tempura for an hour. I was really surprised because that food was being sold nearby my place. At that moment, I found that identity of Japanese food is very different from ours. Americans still can't understand why we Koreans eat squid. But after Nam June Paik, famous video artist, suggested squid to a host and guests on one famous TV program, they all said that it was really delicious.
The service at Ma-Cheu-Ya was really good. Given that they have a cushion in a spare chair for baby, I think they know how to treat customers. You can enjoy quiet and neat atmosphere in Ma-Cheu-Ya.
Location: Shinsegae Dept. Store, Yeongdeungpo-dong 4-ga, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea
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[Dish] - Namdaemun Halmae Wangjokbal, “Dieting, go away!”
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