Walking up and down one incline to the next, we're on a mission. Rumored that this particular area features restaurants specializing in dog meat, from barbecue to soup. We finally find a restaurant that looks promising. "Big Dog" restaurant with paw prints on the window and door, this has to be it. We go in, sit down and look at the only Korean menu. While we wait for our server, we comment on the horrific stench inside. Finally the waiter comes over, greets us and asks what we'd be having. In Korea, we ask her if they have Kae go gi? Looking disgusted, she tells us "No." We leave, laughing at how unmistakably coincidental it was for that restaurant to not be a dog restaurant.
So the hunt continues, but by this point, we're starving! Finally, we come upon this putrid smell leaking from a small, fluorescently lit eatery. We cautiously walk inside and are greeted with what seems like disgusted, and judging glares. One of the guys in our small group asks the owner if they serve dog. She says yes and seats us at a stove top table.
The smell is almost unbearable. Not even one I can accurately describe. Somewhere between something unbelievably sour and spoiled meat. I'm getting nauseated now just trying to remember it. Never quite adjusting to the stench, I decide to still go through with it.
Even as a dog lover, I've always wanted to try this dish unique to Korea ever since I learned about it. So here it is. In the dog days of summer the six of us all foreign to South Korea are going to finally indulge in boshin tang.
The cook comes to our table, both hands full of a different cut of dog meat inquiring to which we'd prefer. Virginia, the Australian girl, freaks out and backs out, deciding she just can't go through with it!
Then the cook brings out a large table top pot and sets it to a boil in front of us. Some sort of broth with onions, scallions, garlic and some other vegetables are already inside. Then as that cooks, the lady cuts apart Lassie next to us and adds it to the boiling mixture. Much like a witch over a boiling cauldron, she says several foreign words as she adds and adds ingredients to her potion. Finally, she adds some strange, milky liquid and she's done! This last step is what really grossed us out; even more so than the wreaking stench and the dog meat!
Now, its time to try this cruel concoction. We serve ourselves and mentally prepare as we blow cool the first bite. Surprisingly delicious, it tastes much like roast beef. The meat was striated and came apart like some types of cooked pork. The broth was my favorite part. It was satiated and hearty; a great soup, I imagine, in the winter time.
Finally, we decided we couldn't have anymore and agreed it probably wasn't a good idea to ask for a doggy bag. We paid and left. Never to return again. Our strange experience behind us. Happy I tried, certainly won't make it habit, and praying that all dogs do go to heaven.