Saturday, February 25, 2017

Andeok-Myeon - Under the Dam (담아래)

Address: 서귀포시 안덕면 창천리 843-19
Address: 843-19 Changcheon-ri, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si
Vegetarian: Nope
Price Range: 15,000
Alcohol: They advertise Makkoli (막걸리; Rice wine) for sure
Hours: 11:00 - 17:00 (last order)
Parking: Nearby parking lots

One of my comfort Korean foods has proven hard to find in my area of the island while also a seemingly common food: the stone bowl bibimbap (돌솥비빔밥). In case you are not yet in the know, bibimbap is rice, vegetables, maybe a fried or raw egg, and (optional) meat served in a bowl with red chili paste (고추장; Go-chu-jang). It's a very simple, clean meal. The only difference with stone bowl bibimbap is that the dish is served in a hot stone bowl. As a result, the food stays hot longer and a layer of rice starts to go nice and crispy. Yum!

With the help of one of my friends, we found a somewhat nearby restaurant in Dae-pyeong-ri (대평리) that has a stone bowl bibimbap on the menu and decided to check it out.

Preface: this wasn't exactly the bibimbap I was looking for, but it was still a tasty and fun experience.

Welcome to Under the Dam (담아래; dam-ah-rae)!

This is a small restaurant with only a handful of tables. My friend and I beat the lunch rush by maybe 5 or 10 minutes and then they asked people to wait outside until a spot was ready.

As is the trend in small-scale Korean restaurants and cafes, the decor was très cute and the restaurant had a nice atmosphere.
Decorations on the wall of the restaurant
I often wonder where all these retro-looking (English) advertisements come from because I've seen them in a number of cafe/restaurants. Under the Dam also had a thing for flamingoes.
Ariel, chilling by the cash register.
No English menu was offered but here is the Korean one below. There are four main options. Following the menu from left to right, the first option includes shrimp and rice with egg and soy sauce. The second option is rice with kimchi and pork. Third is mushroom heaven and then the last option has a type of shellfish.
Under the Dam's Menu
While I would have preferred a traditional stone bowl bibimbap with more vegetables (and beef), the food was very satisfying. I especially liked the variety in the side dishes, which included brussel sprouts and eggplant. Those are not traditional side dishes that I've seen at other restaurants.
The side dishes.
My friend ordered the shrimp and rice with egg and soy sauce. The parts arrived separately and then you can mix however much rice you want into the sauce. I tried a bite and was surprised to say that I liked it, too.
Option #1 - Shrimp and rice with egg and soy sauce.
I ordered kimchi! Spicy rice for me. The bowl arrived with that delightful crackle and sizzle and I almost burned my mouth, so anxious was I to dig in. Very filling and satisfying.
Kimchi and Pork in rice.
After you've gotten as much rice as you can out of the stone bowl, you are left with the crispy remains along the bottom. For this, they give you hot water which you can slowly pore in. The water loosens the grains and makes it easier to eat. The consistency also becomes a bit more like a porridge, but not quite.
My friend scrapping out the rest of her rice.
This small restaurant was a nice find in one of the little coastal villages. It's a refreshing change in the day-to-day's going pace with just the right amount of comfort food.

Love and Hugs

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