one great meal:
Kate Richards profiles a simple Birkenhead eatery where there are 25 types of soup – all of them life-changing. If, like me, the thought of heading to New Flavour to share a plate of pork and chive dumplings for the 236th time makes your heart sink, I have the solution.
There’s a place called Yummy Korean BBQ on a bland stretch of Mokoia Road in Birkenhead, opposite one of those horrible interior design stores where everything looks like it should have stayed in the early 1990s and next door to a discount jeweller. You can sit outside at a faux wooden table on cold plastic chairs, or inside where it’s undoubtedly warmer, but just as basic. The walls are plastered with low-res photos of every dish on the menu: a proud display of anarchy in a time of Instagram-worthy breakfasts and #foodies. In short, it’s great.
At the helm are a charming Korean gentleman and his wife, who’ll treat you like they know you, even if they don’t. The food nourishes your soul. Kimchi fried rice is sour and sweet and a little bit hot – it comes with a fried egg on top, making it the ideal breakfast. Marinated pork sits atop a sizzling plate with julienne vegetables and just the right amount of heat for the cautious palate.
The best thing, though? Soup. There are 25 types (I did a quick count) but you must have the pork bone and hot potato version, number 18, or gamjatang as it’s traditionally known. You’ll be able to taste the hours of love that went into it. Wash the bones, dry the bones, cook the bones… You get the idea. It’s delicate and peppery and smacks of ginger and green onion, then there’s this beautiful richness from the pork. Collecting the best bits of fatty meat from inside the bones using chopsticks almost made me feel qualified to perform open-heart surgery. Warm and healing, this is the perfect winter lunch.