Thursday, 5 December 2013

Ceena

Sad news is that a couple of friends of mine who I trained with are leaving work for a bit.  Good news is, they'll both be back next year.
 
So, in order that they remember us and want to come back, we all went for a good old farewell meal at Ceena, just off Ludgate Circus. 
 
Ceena is a Korean restaurant offering a fantastic variety of Korean dishes wither to take away or to be enjoyed from the comfort of a small row of sit-up chairs at the bar.  They also have a tiny private dining room downstairs (which I imagine could just about squeeze nine in at a very uncomfortable pinch). 
 
What they're best known for – and what I understand Korean food is best known for (although I confess to knowing precious little about it) is sizzling bibimbap.  It's a Korean word that means, literally, mixed rice – and that's pretty much what it is.
 
 
Basically, you order up your dish, choosing from an assortment of cooked meats – I went for the barbecue beef, which turned out to be a popular and good choice.  Your meal then comes to you in a gigantic stone pot that has clearly been in the oven for a few hours as it sits there sizzling away throughout your meal, keeping the food hot and effectively cooking the raw egg that comes with it. 
 
The dish itself is a mound of rice, topped with meat, egg, and sauted vegetables.  When it arrives you douse it with gochujang, a kind of red chili paste, and mix it all up like crazy.  The wolf the thing down.
 

 
It was spectacular, no kidding.
 
Also, because it was a special meal, I got to have pudding.  A rare enough treat.
 
What followed was the head chef's recommendation, a dish of hotteok, a small, Korean pancake filled with a brown sugar filling.  The bossman described it as his childhood treat and his absolute favourite thing to have, and I can honestly see why.  What's more, it was beautifully accompanied with green tea and sesame ice creams – both aesthetically stunning and whose savoury flavours were the perfect foil to the sweet pancake.  Washed down with barley tea – a wonderful palate cleanser – this was the perfect end to a meal.
 


 
I am very much hoping, therefore, that when Holly and Claire return next year, we will welcome them back with a return visit…
 
 - GrubsterBoy -

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