Adventures in Eating & Cooking
For the first time ever in my life, I lost my voice last week. It was unbelievably frustrating to have suddenly been rendered speechless permanently for a few days. Even more unbelievable was the crazy seizure-like hacking cough I had developed after I regained my voice. It was awful. And sadly, I wasn’t the only one afflicted with this terrible bug that’s going around.
When my friend B. Yi heard me die halfway through speaking, he recommended getting some hot and spicy soup at Koreana, a small Korean family-run restaurant at the back of Chili’s near Penn‘s campus. Apparently traditional Korea remedy says that drinking extremely spicy soup is throat-healing. Well, at this rate, I was ready to give anything a try. Plus, even if it doesn’t work, this would be a perfect excuse to eat Korean food, which I miss and love.
It was a bit difficult to find Koreana since it was hidden around the back of Chili’s and appeared sort of shady at night (a bit like a run-down supermarket stand in Chinatown). However, when my roomie and I went inside, it was packed! Nearly all the customers there were Asian college students, but that’s pretty understandable considering it was Friday night, near Penn’s campus, and had nice prices.
Food was ordered up front where we picked up a number and put at our table. My roomie and I lucked out as two people just left when we went to sit down. The wait was a bit long, but it was fun chatting and enjoying the bustling environment.
I got the Samsun Jan Bong, as recommended by B. Yi for my cough. This was basically a large bowl of savory spicy noodle soup, probably made with red chili paste base. The broth was great, except after several spoonfuls, I would feel my spice-levels rising, and had to chew on some noodles. The noodles were on the soft side, a bit boring since there was no elasticity whatsoever. I liked the octopus bits inside the soup as they were chewy and seafood-y. I picked out most of the onions, although I must say they added good flavor to the soup. (I just dislike eating them.)
Overall, I really liked the soup. It had a soothing comfort food effect and had the same nice spiciness as the Indian takeout we ordered two weeks ago, really tummy-warming, and heart-warming as well!
My roomie really enjoyed her Samsun Udon soup too. (I didn’t get a picture of this, but I did get a taste. It wasn’t spicy but still warm and savory.)
After our meal, we went on a little adventure on Penn’s campus (or more like walked around in the cold), so we froze up a bit again. Thus, we decided to pay a visit to The Naked Chocolate to defrost with some hot chocolate. Mmmm…
So the thing is, two of my other friends who had Naked Chocolate’s hot chocolate, hated it. They thought there was nothing special about it to be priced at $3.75. However, the more they had said it was bad, the more I wanted to try it and see for myself.
My roomie got the Classic Hot Chocolate European Style, and I got the Hawaiian Hot Chocolate European Style. It was served in a cute dish with a glob of whipped cream drizzled in caramel sauce and a wafer cookie. Very classy. I approved.
There was a little spoon for me to drink the hot chocolate with. One sip, and it sent me flying to chocolate heaven. I loved the rich thick chocolate that was so similar to ganache. It was only somewhat lighter and less viscous than ganache, but it had the same decadence. The Hawaiian chocolate was savory because it contained some salt, which I actually thought added some pizazz to the drink. However, after drinking the chocolate by itself for a while, it became too salty. The proper way to enjoy the Hawaiian was to spoon some whipped cream and caramel into the chocolate. The sweetness of the caramel and lightness of the cream balanced out the salt. That was pure bliss.
My roomie loved her Classic as well. It was very similar to the Hawaiian except there was no salt or caramel. However, the deep chocolate is still pretty awesome by itself. We both contended that we would order their hot chocolate again, and theorized that our friends must either have no tongue for exquisiteness or ordered American style (which perhaps tastes more generic).
It was a wonderful night!
Grade: Koreana B+/A-, Naked Chocolate hot chocolate gets an A, for amazing!
Conclusion: Yummy warm fluids are the perfect medicine for a recovering cough and a cold day!
3801 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
The Naked Chocolate (check previous post)