Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tabom revisited

I met Ben (the dude from my walk—see here) in Itaewon this evening and convinced him we shouldn't be eating at Taco Bell, which is where he had initially wanted to eat. I suggested Coreanos instead, if we were really going to do Mexican food (you'll recall that we'd had a Mexican fiesta in our office the previous day, so I wasn't really keen), but as we were walking toward that restaurant, I told my acquaintance about Brazilian food and about the restaurant Tabom in particular, so as we were passing by Tabom, Ben insisted that we cancel Coreanos and head upstairs to the rodizio.

Tabom turned out not to be crowded on a Saturday night, which was great news for us: I had feared massive Saturday crowds. We sat down, and I ordered the muhan (unlimited) dinner. We also ordered some Cokes, which came out in cans. After that, it was just a matter of grabbing some plates, loading them up with items from the small-but-tasty buffet, sitting back down, and waiting for the meat to wander our way.

The buffet's modest selection included a Brazilian form of pico de gallo, a standard leafy salad, Korean-style shredded cabbage, an assortment of dressings, Korean-style salada mashed potatoes, a cream-sauce beef penne dish that proved quite tasty, some long-grain white rice, a huge bowl of french fries, a meat-and-cream sauce that looked a bit like a red-meat version of moqueca (it wasn't), and a steaming chafing dish filled with beautiful feijoada whose only drawback was that it contained knuckles and some gristle.

The meat swung by in waves—different types of steak cooked to different levels of doneness, sausages, pork, and chicken—the whole damn farm. The procession was glorious, but even though I had ordered the "limitless" option, I did notice that the parade of meat trickled to a stop toward the end. Not to worry: I ended up pretty full. Ben, who's an athletic guy, had a pained look on his face from all the food he had eaten. His gut was bursting, and his night wasn't over: after meeting with me, he was aiming to hook up with a group of younger friends to go bar-hopping until the wee hours of the morning.

Dinner finished with the traditional roasted pineapple covered in sugar and cinnamon. It was delicious as always—even the strangely fibrous slice of pineapple that had obviously come from a spot near the fruit's core. Because I hadn't eaten all day, I didn't end up as stuffed as Ben did, and it was kind of funny to watch poor Ben walk painfully out of the restaurant and down to the main street. We took a digestive stroll downhill past Yongsan Garrison and the Korean War Memorial, after which we parted ways: I took a cab and Ben went back into Itaewon to meet up with his buddies.

Sorry I don't have any photos of tonight's amazing dinner; I was concentrating on eating it. It was an amazing meal, though, and W31,000 pr person isn't too steep a price—by Korean standards, anyway—for that much protein. Ben says he'd like to take his friends to Tabom, but since I paid for our dinner and refused to tell him how much it cost, he might be in for the shock of his twenty-something life when he reads the menu next time.

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