...when the screen takes over...

Youn’s Kitchen, Season 2 Episode 4 (Part 2)

The day turns out to be colourful. But what is the sky without stars? Or life without a few dragons surprises?

Youn’s Kitchen gets new menu: Korean barbecue ribs or Galbi. With new menu, there are more things to do. After an invigorating oxtail soup for breakfast, everyone is ready to face the day.

Some Unexpected Minor Mishaps

Seo-Joon and Yu-Mi go out to work. With €20, they go shopping. “The weather is nice,” Seo-Joon comments.

On the way, Yu-Mi greets a passer-by. “Have you met him before?” Seo-Joon asks. “No,” Yu-Mi says. “I said hello because our eyes met.” They continue walking while listing all the vegetables and ingredients they will buy at the greengrocer’s.

Going to work…

After spending €9.2 — ”I can’t believe all these cost only that much,” Yu-Mi says — they go to Youn’s Kitchen. They plan to cut more vegetables in case they need more. They only need to work on the vegetables because Boss Youn will take care of the meat.

 

At home, Boss Youn and Seo-Jin have breakfast with the oxtail soup. Watching Seo-Jin eating the soup heartily, Boss Youn comments he must really like it. Boss Youn goes through the day’s to-do list. The juniors will prepare Hotteok dough and cut vegetables. She will prepare spinach, boil glass noodles, and marinate meat.

 

 

In Youn’s Kitchen, the lights are lit. Yu-Mi wears her apron. Seo-Joon washes his hands. They rearrange and sort out the ingredients they have. “I’ll eat one banana,” Seo-Joon says. It is a fresh banana they bought this morning. Yu-Mi tells him to eat the banana leftover from the fridge. Seo-Joon declines.

Yu-Mi prepares the kitchen. Seo-Joon prepares the Hall. Around the town, people also do the same: preparing for the day’s business.

Just as things seem to go smoothly, Seo-Joon drops their reserve of sliced onions when he takes it out from the fridge. It is a batch that Yu-Mi had prepared yesterday before they closed shop. “The part-timer has run into trouble,” Yu-Mi says. Seo-Joon throws the spilled sliced onions to the rubbish bin and just smiles silently.

Mistake after mistake…

Yu-Mi prepares water for blanching spinach and gets rice ready to cook. Today, she doesn’t make the usual broth with anchovies and kelp. Kelp is put directly into the water and rice in the cooker. When the water is boiling, Seo-Joon brings the spinach over and does the blanching. “You did well,” Yu-Mi says.

Yu-Mi prepares egg yolks and whites to make egg garnish. “I am going to make daewang garnish (king-sized garnish),” she says. She brings the largest pan that had been used in making the great kimchijeon (of episode 2). Yu-Mi comes prepared to make egg garnish this morning. She’d done research on the internet and is determined to do it right. At the next stove, Seo-Joon prepares pan to stir-fry vegetables.

Tension rises in the kitchen. Compliments for her mastery over egg garnish weigh on Yu-Mi. “I’m nervous,” she confesses. She checks the heat level of the pan. When it is deemed right, she pours the egg whites. She moves the pan to spread the egg whites. She is concerned about the small bubbles forming. After a while, she turns off the fire.

Then comes the dreaded truth. The egg white sheet is tarnished with brown. “Oh, no!” Yu-Mi also fails to unstick the sheet in one piece. Seo-Joon thinks it can still work as the garnish if it is sliced well. But Yu-Mi gives up handling it with care and flips it carelessly. “We can’t use this,” she says. She tells Seo-Joon to eats it. Seo-Joon thinks it looks like a dishcloth.

The Boss is watching!

Yu-Mi pulls her hair, trying to pull herself together and figure out what to do. She is on the verge of a breakdown. Hanged on a wall is a board with a drawn portrait of The Boss and words that read “The Boss is watching!” After she calms down, she moves to try again.

Yu-Mi asks the staff if Boss Youn is already leaving for work. It’s ten past eleven. At home, Boss Youn gets up to get her bag and leave…

 

In the kitchen, Yu-Mi tells the staff that they need more eggs as there is only one left. Seo-Joon eats the failed egg whites to remove evidence. Yu-Mi pours another egg whites into the pan. This time, her trying to flip the sheet tears the edge. Yu-Mi gives it up. She asks Seo-Joon for money for she will go out to buy eggs.

Run, Yu-Mi! Run!

As Boss Youn goes out of her room with her bag, Yu-Mi goes out of the kitchen to buy eggs. She runs to the greengrocer’s. Boss Youn and Seo-Jin walks leisurely to the restaurant, taking their time while Yu-Mi is running back to restaurant as fast as she can. She notices a drone following her. “Don’t film me!” She says as she runs.

Yu-Mi manages to get back to Youn’s Kitchen before Boss Youn and Seo-Jin arrive. She picks up the handphone to look up the internet but then she freezes in the kitchen. “I can’t think straight,” she says. Seo-Joon reminds her to work.

On their way to work, Boss Youn questions Seo-Jin’s prediction that they won’t get a lot of customers today. Just in case that happens, Boss Youn thinks they should feed the crews with the leftovers. Seo-Jin agrees. Gesturing towards the camera-person who is following them, he says he had told them to take it easy. “At least, get them coffees,” Boss Youn says.

In the kitchen, Yu-Mi tries cooking the egg yolks. She manages to spread it into large sheet. This time, to make it easier to flip, she cuts it in half. But, being nervous that Boss Youn is arriving any time now, she doesn’t cut it properly that it tears when one half is flipped. “It can still be used,” Seo-Joon says.

The Boss is coming!

Outside, Boss Youn and Seo-Jin are already walking along the wall of Youn’s Kitchen. She finally steps into the Hall, commenting that it’s hot. Yu-Mi and Seo-Joon greets her. Seo-Jin opens the window.

Yu-Mi immediately tells Boss Youn that she failed in cooking the eggs. “Did the whites get browned?” Boss Youn inquires although she seems unfazed. “Oh, well. Cooking egg whites is difficult,” she says, “it’s okay.” Boss Youn sees the evidence in the kitchen. The yolk sheet can still be used if it’s sliced finely.

Calm and joy return to the kitchen.

 

Boss Youn puts on her apron, helped by Seo-Jin. Seo-Jin puts on his apron and stands by the entrance as he explains to a passer-by that they will open at one o’clock.

In the kitchen, Boss Youn prepares glass noodles. Yu-Mi says they should prepare eight portions of noodles. But Boss Youn recalls Seo-Jin predicting there would not be a lot of customers. She starts with five portions. Seo-Jin is currently cutting the galbi meat. Yu-Mi tries to salvage the eggs sheets. She also slices and chops the ingredients at the counter. At one point, she looks as though she tries to understand whatever Seo-Jin had said. “I didn’t say anything,” Seo-Jin says.

Yes, Boss, we need you!

Boss Youn marinates the galbi. Seo-Joon prepares 24 chicken cuts and deep-fries them for six minutes. They will be refried for three minutes before serving. Seo-Jin brings the sliced garlic to Boss Youn. She will make garlic flakes. She wipes the spaces around the stove and notices the mess left by previous accidents.

The perpetrator of the mess, Yu-Mi, is cutting vegetables at the Hall’s counter. Yu-Mi suddenly speaks as if she tries to get something clearer. Seo-Jin is baffled. She realises she, once again, hears things. Seo-Jin looks around, pretending to look for anyone else who might have spoken.

While Boss Youn is frying garlic, the chicken cuts are cooked. Seo-Jin and Seo-Joon bring out the outdoor tables. Seo-Jin wipes the Youn’s Kitchen sign. He goes to the kitchen and informs the chefs that they will open in five minutes. Boss Youn has accomplished her garlic flakes cooking mission.

Seo-Jin checks other ingredients. All is ready. He then asks Boss Youn to go outside and put on the open sign.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, Youn’s Kitchen is open.

 

Youn’s Kitchen’s Fourth Day of Business

an interesting musical instrument

Seo-Joon goes to stand by the entrance, fascinated by a sight of a little girl pulling a string that is attached to cans. The trail of cans make clattering noises.

 

The trail of cans is a curio particularly popular around the Fiesta de San Andres (Festival of St. Andrew) at the end of November. Small children run around dragging the cans. Older kids parade while banging on cans. They all produce sounds similar to that of empty wine barrels’ metal rims hitting the ground as the barrels were rolled down the hill to the sea. The barrels were to be washed with salt water.

In a nearby town, the festival also sees men riding wooden boards down a steep lane. The ride ends at a pile of tyres. The sport is inspired by the practice centuries ago of rolling wine barrels down to the sea to be shipped or sending boards that were used to make ships. At the night of the festival, impressive fireworks are put on display to end the celebration.

Fiesta de San Andres

 

Back to Youn’s Kitchen, the wait for customers starts anew. Seo-Jin busies himself swatting flies. Seo-Joon folds napkins. Boss Youn finds a spot in the kitchen from which she can see the Hall entrance without being seen — there is a wall with holes through which eyes can see.

Outside, a family of five stop by the entrance. They take the seats outside, occupying two tables. Seo-Joon, who’s been checking his hands, sees them. Four minutes after opening, Youn’s Kitchen gets its first customers, a Lithuanian family. One of them reads the menu by the entrance. Seo-Joon then goes out to give menus to each one of them.

While the first customers are discussing what to order, another couple, from Latvia, with a baby in a stroller take the vacant seats outside. “Do you have another chair?” The lady asks Seo-Joon. Youn’s Kitchen gets its second customers. The three outdoor tables are all occupied in less than five minutes. Seo-Joon goes to the Hall to inform Seo-Jin and get more chairs.

a busy line-up…

In the kitchen, Boss Youn wonders what is happening. She talks about their glass noodle supply for Japchae. There are still usable leftover from yesterday so she had prepared less today. If they need more, they can boil more later just like they’d done in Bali.

The first customers order two kimchijeon, two chicken gangjeong, and a hotteok. Yumi cooks the kimchijeon. Boss Youn prepares the chicken gangjeong although Boss Youn seems to forget to double the cuts in the deep-fryer. Yu-Mi reminds her that she needs to cook another batch of chicken.

 

 

Outside, the first customers talk about the restaurant, how this must feel like an adventure and that the men working here are handsome. Seo-Jin brings their wine and Seo-Joon serves them. The boy complains, in Lithuanian, that he hasn’t got tablecloth. Seo-Jin brings mineral water for the boy and Seo-Joon brings him the tablecloth.

Then two servings of kimchijeon are ready. Seo-Jin brings them to the first customers, one for each table. They enjoy it although the boy thinks it’s a little too spicy for his taste. They come to a conclusion that they’ve made the right choice by going to a Korean restaurant. They are now trying out new delicious food. They may want to order more kimchijeon. Seo-Joon, who passes them after attending to the second customers, notices the empty plates and picks them up. He also receives compliment for the kimchijeon.

The second customer, the Latvian man, returns to his seat and remarks that he likes Koreans. “The men are handsome,” he says. Seo-Joon takes their order for two bibimbab, white wine, and water.

 

In the kitchen, Boss Youn is still cooking two portions chicken gangjeong. She and Yu-Mi then put eight cuts to each plate. Boss Youn comments that she and Yu-Mi go well together because they’ve shared a history. Yu-Mi sprinkles crushed peanuts and black peppers on top of the chicken cuts.

Outside, a couple are interested in the description of kimchijeon. Korean style pancake with kimchi, tuna, and vegetables. “Shall we go in?” the lady asks. The couple from Germany enter Hall and Seo-Jin greets them. Twenty minutes after opening, Youn’s Kitchen gets its third customers. And right behind them are another couple, their fourth customers.

The third and fourth customers…

The German lady thinks the Hall’s atmosphere is great while the fourth customer lady examines the Hall and points out changes that have been made to the place. The fourth customers are owners of a nearby hotel. She too loves the atmosphere.

Seo-Jin brings the two chicken gangjeong to the Lithuanian family. The lady with glasses takes a look at the dish and comments that the chicken cuts look delicious. She tries one piece and likes iw with the peanut sprinkles. The boy, who sits at the next table, doesn’t want peanuts. He likes the chicken gangjeong without peanuts. The lady sitting nearest to the entrance likes the kimchijeon better.

The Lithuanian boy gets impatient while waiting for dessert. After confusion in locating the Hotteok press, Boss Youn finishes cooking the Hotteok and Yu-Mi gives finishing touches. Seo-Joon brings the Hotteok to the waiting boy. The two ladies near the entrance decide to order more kimchijeon and wine.

Seo-Joon informs Seo-Jin of the additional order. He then realises that they have only been serving the first customers when there are four groups of customers.

The Latvian couple are tending to their baby girl who keeps burping. “It’s because she’s had meal,” Mum says. Seo-Joon brings their drinks. The man asks Seo-Joon the Korean for ‘thank you’ and practices by saying it to him. The couple raise a toast to a lovely vacation. They then talk about being new parents — their baby is just three months old. “I am a good mother, aren’t I?” the lady says. “Yes, you are,” the man says.

…not wasting any Hotteok traces…

At the next table, the Lithuanian boy is enjoying Hotteok. He shares it with Mum and Dad. “It tastes like strudel with cinnamon and apple in it,” Mum says to the other ladies. The boy, having eaten the Hotteok and ice cream, licks remaining bits off the plate. His family chuckles while watching him. “He can’t help it,” one of them says, it was delicious. The boy then wipes his hands on his own shirt while Mum is wiping his chin and mouth with tissue.

The others talk about kimchijeon, wondering about the ingredients. One of them gets up and reads the menu by the entrance. They are waiting for the new batch to arrive.

Seo-Jin is waiting for the kitchen to finish cooking the Latvian couple’s two bibimbab. Outside, the couple still discuss the perks of being new parents, whatever pressure that comes with it, and how they are going to deal with it. The lady assures her man to take it easy. Seo-Jin brings their bibimbab. After that, they talk about the bibimbab.

The lady likes the taste of the tofu. “I am so hungry,” she says. The man likes that bibimbab has variety of vegetables. They both like it. “We go to Spain to eat Korean food,” the lady comments. Put it that way, life is indeed full of surprises.

 

On next episode, a misunderstanding leads to severe consequences…

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