Friday, May 13, 2011

Honey Pig : Duluth, GA

On our way back from the Smoky Mountains, we stopped at Honey Pig, a Korean restaurant in Duluth that we've never been to, since it's a bit more north up 85 than we're usually willing to drive.

The one quote that I remember of online reviews about the place is that you should "fast before you go."  After a long drive, we were certainly pretty hungry.

The place certainly has a modern aesthetic with plenty of little cute pig trinkets around. 

At your table, that have something that looks like a wok with its cover on, but it's actually the table grill.

Untitled #1:  Pretentious artsy shot of the grill with the kitchen in background.

We sprung for the unlimited Pork/beef and they kicked things off with vegetables.  

Kimchi - Okay kimchi.  Takes on a sweetness as it's cooked.

Bean sprouts - Fresh bean sprouts. Hard to go wrong with that.

We weren't quite sure what to make of the bowl on the left - scallions in a light broth of some sort.   On the right salt in oil.

Sliced radishes.

Perhaps the grill has a long lead-time on heating up or the restaurant was busier during the beginning of our meal or they were busy raising a pig and a cow, but we spent fairly significant amount of time, munching on the bean sprouts and the kimchi, waiting for our first plate of meat to arrive.

Not so fun when you're hungry.  (Hmm, maybe that's the point - to fill us up on kimchi and bean sprouts?)

Strangely, a few meat servings in, we had the opposite problem.  Immediately after the server had finished cooking our meat (and before we could eat any of it), he asked us what meat dish we wanted next. Hells dude, it's timing. We are not eating machines, wait until we start on the current dish, get a feel for whether we have room for another and what we are in the mood for, before asking about another.

Pork - tasty, mainly because the fat lends a nice richness and moistness. Marvelous combination with the lettuce wraps and the different sauces.

Beef - not quite as enamored about this. The thin slices shrivel and fold up in odd ways, so that parts of it get contact with the grill and other parts stay raw.  The staff don't/can't quite pay that much attention to flipping over, so you have to take matters into your own hands to make sure parts get cooked.  Even still, the beef always inevitably seems to get overcooked.

Fried rice - After you're finished with the meat, they asked if you want fried rice. It's fried on the grill with  seaweed flakes and any leftover kimchi and bean sprouts with the intent to soak up the flavor that is left on the grill. A lot of people enthused about this in particular, but by this time we were kind of sick of the pork/beef flavors, and this essentially gave you more of the same flavor.


The pork was certainly tasty, but that's because it's fatty meat, which inherently is good.

Everything else struck was not that memorable and to top it off, service was just off.  

Perhaps for those less adventurous in palette, this might be a good intro to Korean, but we don't think we'll be returning

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