By: Rachel Corseri
Another year, another set of birthdays! 2017, and therefore our time here in Korea, really feels like it’s flying past so quickly. I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year! As is my custom, I had a few birthday celebrations this year. Notably, I had a local celebration with friends in town, and Kelly and I had a special royal frouple dinner in Seoul! So here ya go, a quick update highlighting my birthday shenanigans.
Cheongyang Celebration: Pasta and Presents
On the day of my birthday, I felt more love than usual from my students. I got many smiles and well wishes from my children, and they even made me presents to surprise me. It was certainly a cheerful day. The sixth grade girls and boys even made acrostic poems with my name in English and Korean, respectively. What a wonderful surprise!
Later that day, I met with friends in town to have a birthday pasta dinner at a restaurant called Gallery. Everyone that I invited was able to come, and I was so happy to spend time with the circle. Even Brian was in town at the time, so it was a full house of friends! I got some very sweet presents, including a Pikachu onesie from Kelly, which I proceeded to wear for the remainder of the evening. ;D
After we finished dinner, we all went upstairs, to the bar one floor above. We had cake and drinks, and we played games. It was truly a wonderful time, and I’m so happy that we could all have such great fun together.
Seoul Celebration: Frouple Royal Dinner
This year, I wanted to do something special for my birthday. For a long time, I had wanted to try Korean Royal Cuisine, and for my birthday this time, Kelly and I were finally able to go! We decided to try the twelve-course royal banquet.
We got to the restaurant and it was less busy than usual, making us one of the only customers. This ended up being really awesome, because the owner and waitresses were able to pay us special attention. We got alot of interesting information behind what we were eating, and the amazing wait staff made sure to keep the courses and beverages coming. One course after another, we enjoyed snacks, salads, soups, seafood, meats, drinks and desserts.
I would like to share my pictures of all the food, because I was so excited to catalogue everything.
Here we go with the courses from our Korean Royal Cuisine experience:
Dry snacks (including chestnuts, beef jerky, and other treats), and gourmet soju to drink. I even got to keep the bottle!
Milk Porridge and Water Kimchi, followed by Bamboo Shoot Salad with Persimmon Dressing. Soup and salad, traditional Korean style!
Next was Meat Skewers with Deep-fried Ginseng (and just a little bit of salt for dipping), and Royal Steamed Prawns with Pine Nut Sauce.
Some smaller dishes were up next. We enjoyed special Mandu (dumplings), Wrapped Kimchi, and Fruit Sherbet (palette cleanser before continuing).
Now we’re getting to the heart of the meal! Royal Seafood Casserole (lit underneath to cook it nicely), and Grilled Short Rib Patties (aka Tteok Galbi) with Ginseng and Vegetables.
After all these dishes, finally the main course! Abalone Rice Porridge in front, and banchan (side dishes) including shredded beef and several varieties of kimchi.
Tea and Dessert – a beautiful way to end the meal. The three desserts were: Korean melon, honey cake, and a special floral rice cake.
In all, the experience was delectable, educational, and fun! I had an amazing birthday, both in Cheongyang and Seoul. My celebrations were full of wonderful food, friends, and activities! It was spectacular, and I certainly got everything I wanted. Happy birthday to me!