The plan was to eat at Village Whiskey before the show, but Village Whiskey was all booked up. Damn it! So we had to go to plan b. There was no plan b, so we started to wander. And this is how we randomly ended up at Miran.
A small korean restaurant in the rittenhouse area, it’s very casual. It must be mainly a bbq place because they actually have the smoke suck things at each table. We weren’t here for bbq, we were just here to fill our bellies before catching a concert. The banchan was actually pretty tasty. The kimchi was some of the best I’ve had in a long time. I was happily optimistic at this point.
I’d been having crazy ddukpokki cravings all week, so I started leaning towards the ddukpokki. This was despite seeing all the dolsot bibimbap dishes being served around all over the place. I kept wavering. But then I just made the last minute decision to go with the seafood ddukbokki. I never knew something like this existed, so I figured let’s try it.
So where to start with this dish. Ok, so it took painfully too long for this to come out. Seriously. I could not fathom why it would take so long to cook this. There’s not much involved really. But we waited. And waited. And then waited some more. We ate all the banchan. There was nothing left to eat. And we were still waiting. Then I asked. He said it was coming out. Then we waited some more. It didn’t come out. Ugh.
When it finally came out, I was sorely disappointed. I mean I gobbled it up in a nanosecond because I was absolutely starving, but it wasn’t really any good. The sauce was way too heavy on the pepper flakes. I’d never had ddukbokki that tasted quite like this. It had absolutely no sweetness. The dduk itself was thick but had a strange texture. It did not taste fresh. And the seafood was just seafood from a frozen seafood mix with some squid and a few of those little baby shrimp. I wasn’t impressed in the least.
So T had ordered the chicken bbq dish. He originally wanted the pork belly, but the server would not let him order it because that dish is really something that needs to be cooked on the table by the eater, and to do that, you have to order two servings of the meat. So he went with the chicken. This really isn’t korean food at all. It’s like something they just threw on the menu to appease some diners that are less adventurous or that don’t like beef. But really, this isn’t really korean food at all. It tasted ok, nothing special, but it didn’t come out until I was done with the ddukbokki. Yeah, and I told you how freakishly long I had to wait for that to come out. And this didn’t come out until long after that. T had to just sit there watching me eat. And then wait some more.
Oh, I’ve had some piss poor service at korean restaurants in the past. I never expect much, because it tends to be notoriously bad. But this was quite terrible. The restaurant is small, but it was quite full, and they had two servers. But I’ve rarely witnessed such unattentive servers, even in korean restaurants. And it would be one thing to wait a long time for excellent food, but it’s another thing to wait forever for not even mediocre food. It’s a shame really.
This is actually the first time I’ve ever eaten korean food in center city. I always eat my korean food at 69th street or the northeast. And honestly, after this experience, this may be my last!