Monday, March 15, 2010

Mu Gun Fa: Seoul Dining in Kobe

Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny Sunday in Kobe. My wife and I were downtown doing some shopping when we decided to eat lunch. We were in Harborland (an upscale shopping area near the Kobe waterfront) so we decided to go to Mosiac to find a restaurant. Mosaic is a complex filled with shops and restaurants. There is a quite a variety to choose from, but we went with Korea. I haven’t eaten Korean food in quite a long time and have been craving it lately.

We went to a restaurant called Mu Gun Fa – Seoul Dining.

Being lunchtime, it was quite busy, but we didn’t have to wait for a seat. The buffet seemed to be the most popular thing, but we opted to get individual dishes instead.

I opted for the bulgogi. Bulgogi 불고기 is basically marinated and barbecued beef. In this case it was served in a bowl with rice, green onions, rice noodles and onions. It also came with a sweet sauce.

One of the first things one normally does with a Korean dish such as this is mix it up. Korean people normally like to mix all of the ingredients together so the various flavors can blend.

My wife had he favorite Korean food, bibimbap. Bibimbap 비빔밥 is a popular Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed rice." Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot. Source:Wikipedia

In this case, she had dolsot bibimbap, which is bibimbap served I a hot stone bow. Once it arrives at your table you must very quickly mix it together as it is still cooking in the bowl (be careful not to touch the bowl).

The meal was aslo served with a small side of kimchi 김치 , a spicy/pickled vegetable present at every Korean meal.

As for my food, the bulgogi came in a large portion and was fairly tasty. My wife said her bibimbap was good as well, but the red pepper paste she wasn’t very spicy. I suppose the Japanese pallet prefers food not as spicy as Korea. My wife however, who lived n Korea, loved the spice! She was somewhat disappointed with that.

The atmosphere of the restaurant was a little lacking to. It was relatively sterile and aside from some bottles of Korean soju 소주 on display, didn’t “look” very Korean inside. I suppose I was generally pleased with things there, but the next time we go for Korean food in Kobe, we’ll try another restaurant.


  1. Ah Korean food. I'm taking Jo out for some in just a short while!

    For those wanting more information on soju (소주), check out this video: