after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Giwa: 6 Kimchi Takeout Containers and No Leaks!

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t says: This past weekend, my mom and dad were going to visit, so we suggested getting Giwa for takeout.  We had gone there once before (review here) and enjoyed the food.  We hoped that they could impress the real critic: Korean mom.

Because we were ordering takeout, I couldn’t order my favorite: dolsot bimbimbap.  I also was wary of the Haemul Pajun because it wouldn’t be crispy by the time they got it home.  It was cold and rainy outside, so I focused on spicy dishes and stews.  I ordered Duk Bok Gi, Soon Du Bu, Kimchi Jigae, Kimchi Bokumbop, and Bulgogi.  My parents picked it up and brought it to our apartment.  It was nice to eat in the dry warmth of our own nice home, on our nice table, with our nice view.  It was a nice time.

On to the food …

I was impressed that although several of the foods were kimchi based (and two were stews!), not a single one of the containers had leaked!  This was very impressive.  Of course, it was only a short trip, but still – inadequate food carriers are a big no-no in my book for Asian takeout – especially when you have such, shall I say, “pungent” foods.

The Duk Bok Gi appetizer resembled classic Duk Bok Gi in that it had rice cakes and fishcakes in a spicy, garlicky red sauce – but it had a twist!  Ramen noodles!  The guy taking my order did ask me if I wanted ramen noodles, but it sounded like if I didn’t, then he just wouldn’t put them in.  Why turn away free food?  Sure!  Add them in!  It was a good thing they did, because I ended up liking them a LOT.  My mom thought it was a little weird, but after she tried it, she’s thinking about adding some to hers next time she makes it at home.  I wonder why more people don’t add ramen noodles to their Duk Bok Gi?

Of the two stews (Soon Du Bu and Kimchi Jigae), the Soon Du Bu was superior.  Soon Du Bu is essentially a fiery red hot soup with plentiful chunks of tofu.  It was quite good – the tofu was soft, the soup was spicy (but not too spicy), and there was a good amount of tofu, too!  Plus, my parents said it was a “special”, so it only cost $6 – score!  On the other hand, the Kimchi Jigae, which is supposed to be a stew of kimchi and pork was a little disappointing.  There was very little meat, and very little “stuff” in the soup.  I actually wonder if they forgot to put meat in it at all.  Also, for the price of the dish, I was expecting a lot of matter in the soup, as neither kimchi nor pork are that expensive (we’re not using beef tenderloin or pork chops here).  Well, at least the kimchi was good.

The Kimchi Bokumbop was a dish that we had the first time we went to Giwa.  I felt that it tasted exactly like it did before with the exception that it wasn’t as dry – so that was actually an improvement.  As far as texture goes – it does still feel a little monotonous, so it was good to share among us.  g whipped out the sriracha sauce to give it some kick – I just added some of the sauce from the soups.

The Bulgogi was well done (with mushrooms and edamame).  I have to admit that it was a little dry by the time it got to us, but that’s not their fault – that’s just the nature of Bulgogi – it’s best straight from the grill.  I liked it enough to look forward to eating it fresh at Giwa next time.  I probably wouldn’t order it for takeout again (I did it this time just to see how it was marinated).

Finally – I think they need to give us a little more rice!  The quantity they gave was on the order of those little pint containers you get when you do Chinese takeout (ok, maybe 50% more).  For stews especially, they should give more because it adds to the heartiness of the meal (especially if you’re going to charge nearly or over $10).  Plus, it’s just white rice, so I’m not asking for truffled risotto or anything like that.

So what did mom think?  My impression of mom’s impression is that older Koreans might not enjoy this style of cuisine.  The number of those little pickled plates they give you before you start your meal (panchan) was too few (she’s looking for like 10 of them).  Also, the tastes are more for the younger generation that’s on-the-go (which is probably what Giwa is catering to – the lunch crowd in center city).  She did like the Soon Du Bu and the Duk Bok Gi, so there might be hope for Giwa, yet – but next time, I think that my parents might consider going there and seeing the place in action … I kept telling them about the dolsot bimbimbap …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

16 March 2010 at 9:42am

2 Responses

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  1. j says: I am so sad that I was not a part of this wonderful meal. You need to stop having get togethers without me or at least let me take the chinatown bus up for dinner!!


    22 March 2010 at 2:20pm

    • t says: As if mom and dad don’t visit you and take you out to dinner like every other weekend … “Hi dad, what are you up to? … Oh … you’re on your way to Maryland? … 10 minutes? … ok, maybe next time …”


      23 March 2010 at 7:55am

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