Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Korean Ranks #3 in Hawaii

Meanwhile, top honors go to Los Angeles, while New York comes in second.

This here is the savory spread served up by Shillawon Restaurant in downtown Honolulu. My sister and I met up with the patriarch and matriarch of my father's side of the family (both 80-something-years old and still going strong!), and we lay waste to the fine food set before us.

Thumbs way up for the sundubu jjigae (spicy silken tofu stew), which came out boiling hot (so hot my sister had a massive choking fit after she'd swallowed some down—yikes!) and had a pleasingly rich consistency and pumped-up flavor profile (thanks to the pork, shrimp, shellfish, garlic and other goodies swimming around in there). The kalbi (barbecued short ribs) were also mighty fine—well marinated and oh so tender.

But what I really loved was Shillawon's dol sot bap (rice brought out in a stone pot). I rarely have it, but this one made my day, stuffed as it was with so many lovely treats from yummy hunks of pumpkin to sweet dates and peas. You stir it up, scoop most of it out and into a bowl, then pour boiling water into the stone pot which you then cover to let the liquid steep. After you've eaten your meal, you go back to the pot, and finish off what's left inside, making sure to scrape up all the best bits. Good times.

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