Saturday, November 7, 2009

Han Gang and Lotte Market

We enjoyed a special lunch at Han Gang in Annandale yesterday, full of refined yet hearty flavors. The elegant, calming interior with pretty teal walls and seasonal displays of scarlet leaves, pumpkins, and pinecones set the tone for their fresh and carefully prepared dishes. This sensitivity to nature also reflected in the lovely gardens near the entrance:

A refreshing starter: melon slices and tomato in a sweet, mild peanut sauce.To follow: Saewoo Yachae Twigim, crisp tempura vegetables, full of flavor underneath their crisp coatings (a butternut squash slice was the highlight). Next: Jorangye Tteok Bokki, smooth rice cake noodles in a gentle red bean sauce.

The most interesting banchan was the acorn jelly (at 9 o'clock), a barely seasoned glimpse of earthy, autumnal forest-floor. We found the cabbage kimchee a little tame for our tastes, but overall the selection was nicely varied.

Ahl Bap with fish roe, enoki and radish sprouts in hot stone bowl was amazing! I'd like to try making some variations on this dish at home. My husband had a dish that I could not stop sampling: Bibim Naengmyon, a chilled buckwheat noodle salad with sliced Asian pears, beef, seasoned cabbage, and radish--served with a pungent golden mustard.
After this energizing lunch, we paid a visit to the newly opened Lotte Plaza Asian mega-supermarket, inhabiting the space of a former Costco:


Judy said...

The Ahl Bap looks out-of-this-world good!!! Yet I think if Costco left town for a Lotte Plaza, I would need smelling salts to revive me.

bentobird said...

Hi Judy!
I think I could have used those salts yesterday--Lotte was totally and wonderfully overwhelming. It will take a few visits to fully apprehend its selection!

sherimiya said...

That looks like an awesomely huge and well-stocked market! Lucky you :)

bentobird said...

Hi sherimiya!
It's kind of a bentoist's nirvana! Where do you like to shop for the ingredients of your stunningly bright and healthy bentos?

Anonymous said...

that market looks amazing, so jealous! and the food at that restaurant looks like it was delicious. thanks for the report on both :-)

bentobird said...

Hi bentozen :)
Thanks for your visit and's a good meal out when a restaurant makes you want to try making their dishes at home!

Sandrine Deleuze said...

Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god !! this is the bento box I'm dreaming of !!! They are soooooo beautiful !! in green or orange as well ! with these four little colored squares aaaaaaawwwww !! I would looooooove to have the same ! are they expensive ?? If only I could find one here in Belgium ! NO WAY ! they don't even know what bento is AHAHAHAH ! Would you like to have a swap with me for a box like that ?? ^-^ Have a wonderful week ! Smooches from Belgium ;-)