Before reading this post, please note that, in accordance with the FTC guidelines, I must disclose that I was contacted directly by the restaurant or a PR and that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
April 25th was an exciting day for me: I was invited to the Opening Ceremony of BCD Tofu House, located in Korea Town. For sure, I did not expect what happened once there! Let me narrate the evening and you will see how it turned out!
I think I went only once to a restaurant opening ceremony, many years ago and I do not even remember which restaurant it was. So I was excited when I received the invitation from BCD Tofu House to attend their event! If you follow this blog, you know that I love Korean food and discovered this cuisine when traveling to Korea many years ago. I still discover new dishes though from time to time...
BCD Tofu House gets its name from Buk-Chang-Dong, a city in Korea where Mrs Hee Sook Lee, the Founder and CEO of the company received her first cooking training.
So, the place is spacious with two floors and a earthy atmosphere thanks to the decor made of wood, dark for the most part. It got crowded pretty quickly with an audience representing the press, the blogger community, but also the Korean community, such as Seung Ki Min, President of The Korean-American Association of Greater New York or Young Hyun Kwun, President of The New York Society of Korean Businessman. The President and Founder of BCD Tofu House, Mrs Hee Sook Lee, was also present to welcome the guests and cut the ribbon.
The Master of Ceremony was Michelle Park, food and fashion reporter at NY1.
|Courtesy of AD Group Communique|
Yes, it was a full ceremony and not just let's cut the ribbon and have some food! The program was the following:
- Opening Remarks by Michelle Park.
- BCD Introduction.
- Congratulatory remarks from Seung Ki Min, President of The Korean-American Association of Greater New York or Young Hyun Kwun, President of The New York Society of Korean Businessman.
- Welcoming Remarks from Mrs Hee Sook Lee.
- Special Guests acknowledgment.
- Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
- Vision statement and closing remarks.
Well, what happened is that at some point they asked me to come to the ribbon cutting ceremony to represent foodies. I was a bit surprised and accepted as it was a great honor, but thought that they wanted me in the background. Once the prayer was completed, they called few people and asked the others to step outside the restaurant, in the street. They then asked me to wait a bit and made me line up after the people that were just called. Suddenly, they handed me over some white gloves and a pair of scissors! Holy Cow! I realized that what they asked me was not to be in the background, but rather to be part of the ribbon cutting!!! As I walked out, people spread out across the ribbon and I ended up in the middle, on the left of Mrs Hee Sook Lee!!! My main thought was: "Do not screw up! Do not cut the ribbon before everybody!!!" Once a person shouted "BCD", we cut the ribbon and shook hands, happy and honored at the same time! That was fantastic to be part of this!
Shrimp Potato Rolls:
It was delicious! First the shrimp was big and well cooked. Then, the potato crust reminded me of hash brown and paired perfectly with the shrimp.
Grilled Tofu Skewer:
The tofu, that was firm, was sandwiched between a piece of pineapple and a tomato. It was interesting because one was giving the sweetness and the other one the acidity that enhanced the flavor of the overall skewer. Pretty good!
The Third Hors d'Oeuvre was a Fried Pork Dumpling:
This one was my least favorite: too crispy and greasy for me.
I decided to order soju, a distilled alcohol very popular in Korea.
This one was made with sweet potatoes!
Then, they started the dinner with the traditional banchan or small dishes. There served my favorite: Kimchi!
It was very good and a bit spicy! I have to say that Kimchi is the dish I always expect when I go to a Korean restaurant! You can also find some at Whole Foods...
Spicy Raw Crab:
It was a fresh crab marinated in a spicy and garlicky red pepper sauce. Well, for sure the sauce was spicy. As for the crab, I cannot say because it was a bit difficult to eat the meat. Not the best dish for a press event!
These two were good and balanced well with the spiciness of the other dishes.
There was also a dish made with gelatin that I tried:
It had no taste and I confess that I only had a bite...
They also served us Jabchae that are glass noodles:
One of my bosses who is Korean used to say that French people are always fond of this dish and...he was right! It was the first time I tried them at room temperature and I admit that it was perfect. In Korean cuisine, they are usually made from sweet potato starch.
Then came the LA Galbi or BBQ Pork Rib:
I think this was a phenomenal dish! The meat might not have been as tender as I expected, but it had so much flavor, similar to the flavor you would get with a bulgogi, thanks to its marinade. Eating it with the chop sticks was a bit of a challenge, but I had enough motivation to overcome it...
Then came the long awaited soon tofu or tofu soup:
The tofu in it was soft (soon in Korean) and therefore absorbed the delicious flavor of the broth made with beef and seafood. Mrs Hee Sook Lee told me that it was 100% organic. It came piping hot and we broke a fresh egg in it so it could cook in the soup!
And it was served with white rice:
This soup was delicious: very comforting, it was perfect because slightly spicy and very tasty. The mix of seafood and meat was really good and the only negative was that the shrimp had its shell, but I guess it is to render more flavor to the dish. If you do not like tofu like I use to, it might be the dish that will change your mind!
After we ate the soup, they brought us some rice in a broth that was supposed to clean our palate:
It was made with the white rice that was cooked in a stone bowl and then a broth was added to it. I had a bit of it and the taste was particular for sure.
Last was dessert:
Apparently, it is typical for celebration and Holidays. I confess that I do not know the name of this dessert that was made with red beans. I did not like the taste of it.
So we definitely had a good time at BCD Tofu House. For sure, it was the Inauguration of the restaurant so the service was perfect and we could expect some good food. I will go back another time as a regular customer to try other dishes, especially the bibimbap and the bulgogi! If you go, I suggest the LA Galbi, Jabchae and Soon Tofu soup that were excellent.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!