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Youn’s Kitchen, Season 2 Episode 8 (Part 2)

Youn’s Kitchen opens on Saturday night when a town festival is also held at Garachico’s town square. Will there be customers?

Yes. At least there will be a couple. At six o’clock in Saturday afternoon, Youn’s Kitchen opens and already gets her first customers, who have made reservation earlier.

Youn’s Kitchen’s Seventh Day of Business

Seo-Joon gives their first customers, a German and Japanese couple, the menu. He informs the kitchen to get ready for their first customers. The Hall team work on the new table layout and numbering.

Assigning table numbers…

Seo-Jin takes the first customers’ order for water, wine, bulgogi bibimbab, and vegetarian bibimbab. He serves the drinks and asks if they want egg in the vegetarian bibimbab. “Yes. With egg,” the Japanese lady says.

The lady thinks the Hall’s decor is pretty then the German man wonders about the food. She asks him if he has ever been to Korea. He did go once but didn’t recall eating bibimbab. He remembers eating mandu and then describes the dish. “Gyoza?” the lady asks. Yes, it’s like gyoza. He also remembers eating a lot of kimchi. She mentions restaurants offering korean food often serve side dish spread for free. The German also recalls going to Jeju Island.

A minute and a half before the first order, Boss Youn is rotating her ankles, Yu-Mi is rotating and swinging the lettuces’ plastic bag. After they get the order, they get ready cooking bibimbab. Yu-Mi cooks two eggs on the egg pan. Boss Youn cooks the bulgogi, puts it on one of the empty egg bowls on the pan, and cooks tofu for vegeratian bibimbab’s topping. Yu-Mi then does the bibimbab plating.

A fulfilled order!

The two bibimbab are ready and Seo-Joon serves them to the German and Japanese couple. The lady asks for gochujang. They share the meat and tofu toppings — the lady finds the fried tofu delicious.

She tries the gochujang a little and is shocked by the spiciness. But it doesn’t stop them from putting a little of gochujang on their bowls. Boss Youn, who watches them from the kitchen, thinks they mix the bibimbab well. They try one spoon and then another. “It’s not spicy isn’t it,” the lady says, which the man agrees. But on the count of three, the spiciness of gochujang kicks in. “Aah!” they say for it does get spicier with time.

Watching the man eating bibimbab with chopsticks, the lady tells him that Korean eats rice with spoon. He then changes to eating rice with spoon mid-course. He notes that the vegetables are warm and fresh, and eats them until the bowl is empty.

In the kitchen, Boss Youn feels weird that it’s dark outside. Yu-Mi also thinks that the kitchen is cooler now than during preparation earlier.

Outside, surprisingly few people walk past Youn’s Kitchen — a pair uses Youn’s Kitchen as backdrop for a selfie. The crowd are concentrated in the Town Square where the town festival is going on.

 

 

Some time later, a couple from Germany and Switzerland take seats outside. The man greets Seo-Jin in fluent Korean which suprises him. He asks if the restaurant is open. “Yes, we’re open,” Seo-Jin says and gives them the menu.

The couple order white wine, chicken gangjeong, bibimbab, “and beer,” the man says in Korean — Seo-Jin compliments his Korean — “and Galbi.” Seo-Jin asks if he has ever been to Korea. The man lived for half a year in Seoul in 2011. “It’s the best city,” he says.

Seo-Joon sets their table and serves drinks. The couple finds the place and ambience lovely and cool. The man guesses, correctly, that a native Korean must be cooking their food right now. It’s a rarity in this place, which makes Youn’s Kitchen special.

Boss Youn and Yu-Mi prepare the chicken gangjeong. It is soon served to the couple outside. They both like it.

 

Inside, the first customers ask for the bill in Spanish, which Seo-Joon has no trouble understanding. The lady also notes that Seo-Joon can speak Japanese for he asked her earlier, in Japanese, about the food. She also notes that the water is not included in the bill. “It’s free,” Seo-Joon says. The first customers then leave.

 

The second customers talk about the man’s time in Korea. He was introduced to Korea by a friend and went there to learn tattoo art. While they are talking, Seo-Joon serves the bibimbab. The man recalls crying alot, but he was surrounded by kind people in Korea. For a moment, he seems lost in nostalgia.

Another fulfilled order…

Seo-Joon serves the Galbi and rice to the second customers. The lady eats bibimbab, bravely adding gochujang to her dish, and the man eats Galbi. She likes the bibimbab’s freshness. “Like aglio e olio,” she says. The man gives her a cut of Galbi. “It’s cooked like toast,” the lady says. They both agree that it’s delicious. He thinks the cook must be very accomplished. He puts gochujang on his Galbi. They discuss the (then) upcoming winter olympics in Korea. He likes Kim Yu-Na, the retired Korean figure skating star. “She is pretty.”

A caption reads “the Kim Yu-Na of bibimbab has not yet retired,” pointing to Boss Youn in the kitchen, sitting on a stool, flexing her ankle. Boss Youn does a monologue, playing a role of a woman who had got married and settled here and never known the life in the big city. She tells the crews that Yu-Mi went to the city today and saw a lot of cars. She has been told to go and see flamenco if she were ever in Spain, but she sees none for she is trapped in the mountains, consigned to the kitchen.

“She saw a lot of cars in the city…”

Boss Youn comments that they’ve got no Hotteok order so far. Yu-Mi has planned to change the dessert’s finishing. A fresh-styled Hotteok awaits them.

 

Seo-Joon approaches their second customers, asks if they would like anything else. The man asks about the dessert. He describes Hotteok as korean pancake with ice cream. “Yes, we’ll have one of that,” the lady says.

Seo-Joon tells the kitchen about the additional order for Hotteok. “Good!” Boss Youn says, “I had been worried we wouldn’t sell any Hotteok tonight.” Yu-Mi prepares the dough and then Boss Youn cooks it. “Finally!” Yu-Mi is excited to try out her new ideas on Hotteok’s presentation.

Along with chocolate sauce and sprinkles of nut, the new styled Hotteok has cookie crumbs, added milk, and a stripe of strawberry sauce. “It looks like volcano,” the second customer says. The couple share the Hotteok to the last bit.

The Brand New Hotteok!

 

Two people approach Youn’s Kitchen. They are the neighbourhood flower shop owners, Mary and her husband. They visited Youn’s Kitchen a couple of days ago and now return for dinner. The couple take the table near the kitchen window, split to two two-seaters. Seo-Jin lights the candle on their table.

Outside, another couple from Austria take seats by a table and become Youn’s Kitchen’s fourth customers.

 

At the moment, the town festival is going on the town square where people gather for music, dances, and food. Many people come to the Hall and asking permission to use the toilet. Seo-Jin welcomes them.

 

 

The flower shop couple decide on the menu: kimchijeon, Japchae, chicken gangjeong, and beers. Outside, Seo-Joon takes the order of the Austrian couple for red wine and something light for the lady. Seo-Joon recommends kimchijeon, on which the lady agrees.

In the kitchen, Boss Youn eyes on the “rival” restaurant, gauging their customers. “It looks like they don’t have a lot of customers either,” Boss Youn says. She then looks left at the bowl of marinated raw meat next to the stove. They should sell all of it tonight. She looks at the right side, at the stack of egg garnishes. “We made a lot of them today,” Boss Youn says, enough for a town festival.

Seo-Joon comes bringing order for kimchijeon. Boss Youn perks up. Yu-Mi confirms the order consolidation. Boss Youn starts cooking kimchijeon. One of the crew asks if she cooks kimchijeon one piece at a time. Boss Youn is shocked. She forgets she should cook two pieces. “I got over-confident, I forgot!” She says and starts cooking the second piece on the pan.

Seo-Joon serves the wine to the Austrian couple outside and the beers to the flower shop owners couple. Mari comments that the Hall staffs are so polite. The man adds that they are not professionals…

One and a half servings of Kimchijeon…

… which shows in the kitchen when Boss Youn turns one kimchijeon a little too late — the bottom is scorched. She saves the kimchijeon that looks okay to a plate. Another try also results in scorched piece. Yu-Mi asks her to do three at once, for two servings of kimchijeon. This time, the three pieces turn out well. “It’s the right heat,” Boss Youn says.

One serving of kimchijeon is served to the flower shop owners. Mary tries one bite and then another, apparently intrigued by something in it. (“It’s kimchi,” a caption reads) She takes a picture of it.

Outside, the Austrian man finds it interesting that there is a Korean restaurant here. He also finds the steel chopsticks interesting.

The second customers are leaving. “The food has been great,” the lady says. Seo-Jin and the man exchange goodbys in Korean. Nearby, the Austrian man observes them and thinks Seo-Jin handsome. “And he speaks English well,” the lady adds.

Offering complimentary kimchi fried rice…

In the Hall, Seo-Jin wonders if the flower shop owners will eat kimchi fried rice. He plans to serve it as complimentary dish for they are returning customers. So he approaches the couple, explains the menu, and asks if they would like to try it. Of course!

Seo-Joon serves the second serving of kimchijeon to the Austrian customers, which the lady thinks delicious — she like kimchi. The man likes the atmosphere here.

 

Tonight sees a full moon and the town square is full of people celebrating in the town festival. A group of musicians sing songs that has been sung for hundreds of years. Some dance to the music, of them are a pair of a mother and daughter.

Our power cook pair, Boss Youn and Yu-Mi, unfortunately, are busy cooking. Next to cook is chicken gangjeong. Once it’s ready, Seo-Joon serves it to the flower shop couple.

They think it’s delicious. “The food here is great,” the husband says. He then takes picture of Mary and the chicken gangjeong bowl. “Pick up the chopticks,” he directs the pose, “stop chewing and smile…” And then it’s her turn taking his picture, eating chicken gangjeong with chopsticks.

 

New customers come into the Hall, two local couples. Seo-Jin brings them to the table by the window. One of the ladies spots Mary and greets her. They are all neighbours.

A lively Hall

Another couple step inside the Hall, the lady holds a familiar baby. The baby once visited Youn’s Kitchen with his mother a couple of days ago, and is now here with grandparents. They greet the customers by the window. They have been to the festival and now they’re up to the second round of eating and drinking. The baby’s father comes and picks him. The couple are joined by another older couple, who have just been to the festival.

Youn’s Kitchen’s Hall, now full of customers, is as lively as the celebration outside.

6

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