Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taking Julianne to VIPS in Chuncheon

I took Julianne out to VIPS in Chuncheon tonight.

VIPS is across from the Gangwon Drama Gallery (below).

Or, walk out of Emart. Turn right and walk to the major intersection and cross it. On the other side of the intersection, turn right, and cross over to the other side. Emart should now be behind you and on your LEFT (on the other side of the street).

In this pic the small yellow glow in between the two trees on the right side of the picture is Emart.

The decor inside is very nice . . .

I love the mirrors! In Korea, mirrors seem to be everywhere. Even when you're waiting in line for lunch in a school cafeteria there's likely to be a mirror on the wall. If there isn't one at the line up, there is a 99.9% chance that there is a mirror where you drop off your chopsticks, cup, and metal tray.

Mirrors line the entire stair case leading up to VIPS' main entrance . . .

We ordered Seasoned Prime Tenderloin New York Steak, and got free access to the buffet and salad bar area . . . YUM!

While waiting for our steaks we grabbed plates and filled them with stuff from the buffet area.

VIPS offers a 'new' drink called "Wineade." It's basically red wine mixed with something like 7Up or Sprite with syrup blobbed in a circle at the bottom of the glass--oh yeah, and a slice of lemon on top . . . it actually walks a razor's edge between sickening-sweet and upchuck-sweet . . .

VIPS is one of the few restaurants in Korea that has a Western cultural size and decor feel to it. The little guy sitting at a table next to us had quite the time staring at us--but he was cute so it wasn't really annoying (as opposed to the rest of the time when being stared at non-stop while eating, lol, sigh).

The steaks arrive on platters that have insanely hot stone plates upon which the meat and veggies sit. The idea is that you cook it to your preference.

I laughed when I saw that the 'safety fence' (the paper that encircles the food) was UPSIDE DOWN! And, of course, written in Korean (yes, I should know how to read it as I live here--I know, I know).

I can just imagine my dad getting his food and saying--"This isn't cooked. What kind of restaurant serves uncooked food?" LOL . . .

I think after almost four years in Korea I've eaten at so many BBQ restaurants where the grill sits in the middle of the table and you cook the meat yourself, to the degree you want it to be, and then always eat it hot off the grill . . . that I totally get why VIPS serves its steak practically raw on a hot stone platter.

Julianne enjoying the novelty of the whole steak in Korea experience.

I was informed by Julianne that I rarely smile with my teeth showing (see the pic of us both later on where I AM SMILING WITH MY TEETH SHOWING!).

Julianne wanted me to make sure that everyone could see that the meat is red, lol.

Our server actually spoke English! Well, not the first one. The waiter who started with us quickly realized that my level of Korean is abysmal. About 90 seconds after he left us a nice Korean woman in her mid-20s came to our table and she was awesome. The service was excellent.

A mixture of salt and pepper in a dish is served with the steak. Julianne and I did NOT taint the beautiful steak with this, however, as the steak did not need anything added to it.

I know, I know . . . WHY am I showing you a picture of an empty platter? I wanted to show the stone plate on which you cook the steak . . .

This is the 'safety fence' paper that the platter comes out of the kitchen with.

I guess VIPS must be popular with Koreans for birthdays.

Dessert was frozen yogurt and some kind of cake-a-mobbits . . . the buffet has more choices but Julianne and I were almost stuffed as it was.

The birthday singing troop--not bad, not bad . . .

Leaving VIPS, Julianne and I noticed something odd . . . LOL.


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