Duck in Pumpkin and my first Pimm’s

For a few months now, I’ve been hearing about a magical fusion food in Korea: duck in pumpkin (호박오리, hobak ori).  I’d classify this dish as “gourmet Korean food,” considering you have to make reservations several hours in advance so they can prepare the dish.  The duck and pumpkin are smoked for several hours beforehand… it’s so good!! A friend of mine wrote all about this restaurant and dish on her food blog, My Big Bite of Life.  I recommend checking it out because it has a lot more information, including the restaurant phone number and a map.

Somehow I managed to make a reservation at 고야 for 5 people on the phone… entirely in Korean.  Might not seem like much but it was a big hurdle for me! They obviously understood because after walking to the restaurant, the hostess ushered us to a prepared table and started setting up the banchan.  The restaurant smelled divine and we couldn’t wait for ducky to arrive! The waitress could obviously sense our excitement because she quickly came back with the chef d’oeuvre.

Duck in Pumpkin at 고야 (Photo Credit: Ché of mybigbiteoflife.wordpress.com)

After finishing up every scrap of delicious duck, we went back to my place for some Pimm’s and lemonade! For those who don’t know, Pimm’s is a spicy, citrusy English liqueur.  Our friend Claire was desperately missing the stuff, and so she had a visiting friend bring it in his luggage! I think Pimm’s is mainly a summer drink, and it’s mixed with lemonade (which is really Sprite, but in England they call it lemonade…) and assorted fruits.  As far as I know, Pimm’s isn’t really available in America, so it was totally new to me.  It was certainly tasty!! All of the following photos are from the talented Emily Bell:

Preparing the fruits
Oranges, lemon, and cucumber
Claire creating the concoction…
Tada! Happy Pimm’s face!

Since it was Saturday night… we headed to my local makgeolli bar, 대포 3000.  The owner was quite taken with 5 foreigners in his bar and gave us two dishes on “service” – free! All in all… a pretty good Saturday night!

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Shabu Shabu

Today was a gorgeous day in Daegu, with weather in the 70s.  The best way to celebrate the weather, of course, is to head downtown for dinner and drinks! Andy and I met Keir and Emily at Buy the Book, a foreigner-run bookstore and cafe.  They also sell lots of goodies from home, have board games available to play in-store, and offer alcoholic drinks at their bar.  It’s a cozy little escape from bustling downtown Daegu.

The four of us met up with another couple, Justine and Stefan, and went to a nearby restaurant for shabu shabu.  Shabu shabu is basically Korean barbecue… in soup form.  You add vegetables and meat to broth and let it cook that way.  As you continue to eat, the broth becomes more and more flavorful.  When you’re almost finished, you add some noodles and they soak up the meaty/veggie goodness.

If you want to learn more about shabu shabu, check out this video from Eat Your Kimchi:

It’s a bit dorky and long (I recommend starting at the 1:00 mark), but this Canadian couple has been making videos on Korean topics for several years and there’s definitely some good information in there.  This is how I actually learned about shabu shabu for the first time.

After our extremely filling dinner, we headed to a local makgeolli bar (where I went about a month ago) for drinks and pajeon.  It was really fun to be out with two other couples, especially since these two happen to be from England and South Africa.  Always interesting to note the differences–and similarities–between these three countries!

Outside the makgeolli bar – thanks photographer Keir!

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