THE small slices of duck meat sizzled in their juices and blended with the aroma of grilled onions and garlic on our table. I and my two out-to-eat buddies had not tried duck meat before so we were kind of excited. We were at Guk Bob House, a Korean restaurant that we had been eyeing for some time. Last Friday, we finally checked out what the placehad to offer.
My buddy’s order — the $15 grilled duck came with a serving or steamed rice and more side dishes, sauces and dips and required some work before he could start eating. You put a couple of grilled duck meat slices on top of crisp lettuce leaves and top them with onions, garlic, onion leaves and vegetables, spicy dips and sauces, fold the lettuce leaves and start eating. One bite produces a blend of flavors that’s crispy and spicy and pleasant at the same time.
The couple who runs the restaurant speaks English but the menu is in Korean. We looked at the photos and asked a hundred questions before placing our orders. I decided to play safe and opted for the fried chicken slices, not aware that I was ordering the spicy fried chicken for $10.
Again, I underestimated how some restaurants defined “spicy.” My fried chicken was served in no time at all and I speared one slice with my fork, popping it into my mouth. A full three seconds passed by and a huge tear almost escaped from my eyes but after downing a cup of tea, the initial shock passed and I allowed my taste buds to adjust to what my former roommate would consider as “super-spicy-as-in-spicy.”
As with typical Korean restaurants, our meal came with several kinds of side dishes — salad, fried tofu, sliced papayas, cucumbers and more sauces and dips than I can name.
Halfway into our lunch, the owner came in bearing a boiling pot of pork and vegetables — the house specialty called Guk Bob. Hence, the name of the restaurant. The owner said the $7 Guk Bob pot is becoming very popular not only with Koreans but with their other daily customers, too.
Guk Bob House serves a variety of other dishes between the $5 and $20 price range. The place is small but it provides an ambiance that makes you hungry as soon as you come in.
Guk Bob House is located on Middle Road at the building next to McDonald’s. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, and from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight for dinner seven days a week. It doesn’t accept credit cards. For reservations, call 285-1918.
This article was first published HERE