I couldn’t eat my lunch because it was alive and squirming as it was being cooked on the hot plate in front of me.
We had been enticed by the store display. It was a dish I had eaten in Seoul last time, at another restaurant.
We chose the one at the top right corner. The last time I ate this dish, it was also cooked in front of us, but the seafood was already nice and dead, neatly chopped up into unrecognisable, bite-size bits.
Not so this time.
The veges were brought out first:
Then the octopus came. At this point of time I didn’t know yet that it was still alive:
The moment it hit the hot plate, it started wriggling and squirming like crazy. It was horrible.
I can appreciate how this is done to maximise the freshness of the food, but I really don’t like seeing my lunch suffer for my sake. I prefer the killing to be done quickly and humanely.
Here’s the last picture I took before I couldn’t look anymore and had to turn away:
Kay took a video of the whole process but I don’t even want to look at the video. A few times, I turned back to face the table again because I thought the octopus must have died already but it was still squirming away.
It took about two minutes or so for it to stop squirming. That was when the lady chef started cutting it up with a pair of scissors, while it was still wriggling.
I felt quite sickened as I heard the scissors go snip snip snip and wondered what the poor octopus must be feeling.
Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy my lunch at all. Especially since it wasn’t at all tasty, compared to the previous one I had. Plus I don’t like half-cooked octopus/squid/cuttlefish, which is how the chef left it at, which I suppose is the way most people like it.
I don’t like seafood that is gooey and slimy. I prefer it overcooked and chewy, best if charred at the sides.
This was how the dish looked like after it was done:
I don’t ever want to eat this dish again.
Still on the subject of octopuses, we came across a hawker in Insadong (cultural, artistic district in Seoul) cooking slices of them on actual stones. This one looked delicious. But we didn’t buy any because we were already so full from the previous octopus dinner plus snacking on street food in Insadong.
Insadong is a great place for Korean street food. Go in the evening, say, 5+ or 6pm, because that’s when more stalls are set up.
In other news, I’m getting tired of the crazy cold so am wearing more layers when I go out, so I look more or less the same every day, all bundled up. I bought another (warmer) hat, those with flaps that hang over the ears, which helps quite a bit.
It snowed on Sunday night!
It was only a light snow, but still my first experience of falling snow, although I’ve played in the snow that was already there in an Australian mountain.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t cold when it was snowing because there was hardly any wind, so I was able to stand around and take photos.
A pretty snowflake fell on my arm!
Too bad it didn’t snow heavier. I would have liked to be covered in snow! For a while, anyway.
There’s this little shop near our apartment which calls itself “Shopping Center” and only opens at night (7pm – 11pm).
It’s become a bit of a joke to me and Kay because the first time we saw it in the day, it was closed. We saw the words “Shopping Center” on the signboard and were mildly interested because we thought it would be something nice to check out.
The next time we saw it open, we laughed. It’s just a tiny little shop selling souvenirs and Korean foodstuff.
It’s run by an elderly Chinese couple so we were able to communicate with them. They’re nice people, so we bought some seaweed snacks from them (24 packets in a bundle) but I don’t like it.
Random photo in the street:
Messy hat hair:
Kay will be admitted to the hospital today. Surgery is set for tomorrow and, if all goes well, he can be discharged by Thursday. I’ll be staying at the hospital with him throughout, where there’s no wi-fi the last time I checked, so I might not be able to blog. But will check with them again. Maybe they have a business center somewhere.
I’m actually quite looking forward to enjoying the heating in the hospital. Won’t be doing any sightseeing on my own so no cold for 2-3 days! =)