For lunch today, my mummy and I went to a restaurant in Gangnam called China Factory (차이나 팩토리). It was my first time going there, and I heard a lot of great stuff about it from my mum so I was really looking forward to it. Plus, it was in Korea, and you can’t go wrong food-wise in Korea, right?
The China Factory is a franchise operating in Korea, and as the name indicates, they specialize in Chinese food (duh). Basically their thing is you pay ₩18,400 (or approximately $16) to choose 3 standard dishes, and unlimited tea (of various choices), unlimited beer, and unlimited access to the dimsum and dessert bar. Which is pretty snazzy for being located in one of the more upscale districts in Seoul.
Our food didn’t come out all at once which was nice because then we would have had a hard time choosing what to eat. So we just ate in the order that they brought our food out to us, along with our Oolong tea.
First, we had the Ginseng Porridge with Abalone and Chicken. Ginseng and abalone are (in Korean culture) considered to be really healthy for your physique and stuff which is probably why I got it in the first place. It was a bit (well, a little more than a little bit) weird because it was cold porridge and I was expecting something really hot (remember we are still in the winter) but apart from the temperature, it was quite tasty. I could distinctly taste the ginger-ness, though there really wasn’t that many abalones in the porridge. But oh well. Still supposedly really healthy for you, right?
Next, we had the Fried Scallop with Oyster Sauce. This was probably one of my favourite dishes that we had today, but that’s probably because of my personal preference to scallops. The sauce wasn’t too heavy either which was great because sometimes that happens and then it’s like “BLARGH”.
Next came the Sautéed Duck Breast with Mushroom. Again, I gave it a pretty good grade because of my addiction anything and everything duck. However, the flavour was a little tooo rich. But hey, duck! *quack*
We then had the Sweet and Sour Pork. For those of you who have had real Chinese food before, you would know that you can NOT have an authentic Chinese meal without this dish. I mean, it’s so darn ubiquitous it’s EVERYWHERE. But I digress. It had a really lemony flavour, which I loved, and it also had carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, and baby corn. But they also had these pineapple chunks that were a little toooo overwhelming with the lemony sauce.
For some reason they gave us my Mango Pudding (which is dessert) before they were done giving us our entrées. So I didn’t really eat it until I was done with all the other things, but I’m just writing this in the order that they gave us our food so oh well. I didn’t really know what to do with the little sprout decorations, so I just gingerly fished them out with my fingers. It was nice and cold, and it tasted very tart and mango-y, but to be honest, it was a bit bland which was a little disappointing because dessert is the part of the meal I always look forward to the most. And they didn’t bring me a dessert spoon so I had to go get it myself. Hmmph. I know, I’m a brat, but this is supposed to be a high-class restaurant or something.
The Fried Chicken with Lemon Sauce came next. This was my other favourite dish of today. For something fried, it wasn’t too crispy or unhealthy feeling; it was actually quite soft. And it felt a bit strange to eat this right after I had the Sweet and Sour Pork because of the excess of lemony flavours, but it was still really good. Om nom nom.
So all in all, I gave the restaurant a B+ grade. The food was all pretty good, except for the pudding and the cold porridge. Also, there really wasn’t that much variety to the dimsum and dessert bar, which really sucked quite a bit because I was really looking forward to that bit the most. I wouldn’t say that I would die to come here again, but if I was given the choice, I might, but only if I’m with a bunch of friends or something of that sort, mostly because it’s pretty cheap given the amount and variety you get. But the most fun part of lunch was watching the waiters and the manager freak out when I started writing notes while eating. You could tell that they thought I was some sort of fancy food critic or writer or something. Ha.