I'm just back from eating Christmas dinner downtown. Before the meal I was explaining the concept of Hit & Miss to my girlfriend and how the food in the place we were going is either very good or very average. This was most definitely a miss for the both of us. The meal was plentiful. I ate all of mine and some of my girlfriends too, but this was because I had paid for them, not because they were particularly good. I noticed that almost everyone else in the room didn't finish their meal either. Excuses heard included "I've been sick recently", "I'm full already", "Wow there's so much" (that's a lie) and my personal favourite "I'm not hungry". People kept saying it was great but the same people wouldn't finish their food. Maybe I am being simple but if my food is great then I don't leave it sitting on the plate. Nobody had the guts to say out loud that most of it wasn't very good. It wasn't very bad just a let down considering it was Christmas etc etc. It's always nice to eat out and I don't always fancy cooking but this time maybe I should have made dinner myself.
I have to say that my girlfriend loves the shrimp salad they make and I really like the chicken souvlaki so it's certainly not a bad place to eat but I have noticed that a lot of people go on about this particular restaurant as if its the best place to eat in Daegu but its not. It is run by a Westerner who seems nice enough but if it was run by a Korean then I am certain people wouldn't praise it that much. People seem desperate to cling to things from home, especially food and anything resembling Western cuisine instantly becomes good. Is it any coincidence that most teachers here happen to be Canadian and very few people seem inclined to criticise the restaurant or the owner who happens to be Canadian? It's a case of the Emperors New Clothes or new kimchi.
One interesting thing I have noticed since coming to Korea is how different Christmas is to people and how different Christmas meals are. I would usually have lots of turkey, mashed and roast potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, bread and gravy with sometimes stuffing or Yorkshire puddings. Things I ate here include cranberry sauce, pork tenderloin and pumpkin soup. All very different to my upbringing but interesting to try at least once. Perhaps my usual Christmas meal is boring to others or unimaginative but it is certainly better in my opinion. The moral of this story is that their is no substitute for home cooking. I already cannot wait for my Mum's Christmas meal of 2009. After four Christmas' in Korea that will be priceless for me.