rice cake soup
- rachel hope
Yesterday, a cold and cloudy afternoon, in an Asian food court near Cal (Berkeley) -- where I am accustomed to eating adequate if junky cheap Asian lunches -- I stepped into a cubbyhole I had not previously visited, and discovered Seoul on the other side! A short bar and a window ledge with capacity for no more than six or seven people. I took the one empty seat. All the customers were Korean (I think), reading Korean newspapers, speaking Korean, slurping their homemade noodles really loudly. The place mainly serves soups (and a few rice plates). Each soup is made to order so the wait is pretty long. And many students came in and ordered soups to go while I was waiting. I had the "rice cake ramen": a very spicy (beef?) broth in an enormous bowl filled with rice cakes (chewy silver dollars, mmmmmm...), ramen, seaweed, spinach, scallions, fish cakes (mmm....), and I don't know what else. On the side a dish of kimchee which I dipped in the soup with my chopsticks (very good that way). Lunch was a minivacation. When I left my mouth was tingling and warm and the cold and clouds didn't bother me any longer. I want to go back every day and try all their soups. The only thing the kitchen produced while I was there which I didn't want to grab away from its rightful ownerwas a fried rice plate topped with an omelette and then literally covered in bright red ketchup, accompanied by a sprout and cabbage salad over which the cashier/cook's helper squirted copious amounts of what looked suspisciously like mayonnaise.
I don't know the name. If you walk down Telegraph, away from campus, then take a left on Durant, the Asian food court is about two-thirds of the way up the block on the lefthand side. The Korean soup place will be on your right (within the court). It has photos of soup bowls on the outside window.