Albany John stopped off in between our Albany –> Boston trips to see his parents in Western Mass. This is another pic for my San Antonio buddy, but I don’t think he reads this blog – any way, here’s some leaf peeping goodness up top.
Leaf peeping aside, there’s one place in Hadley, MA that has a restaurant that I love. Gohyang Korean Restaurant (111 Russell St, Hadley, MA 01035).
We came in later in the afternoon (and just missed their tempting lunch specials! Darn it!) with big appetites. I will starve myself to pig out at Gohyang.
We got the seafood pancake. Haemul Pajeon – I think this was around $8/9, but well worth it. This would have been much easier to split between four people than just Albany John and myself, but somehow we soldiered on and managed to eat it all.
They also brought out little bowl/plates to eat with. Mine had something… in it. It looked like just a spec of something, and the waitress/woman who is always there and may be an owner was so super cute and blew lightly in it. Normally I’d freak out and ask for another plate, but she was just so, so, so cute about it. That and I saw her washing her hands fanatically before, and oh, if you’re cute about something I just can’t freak out about anything.
The haemul pajeon reminded me of chinese scallion pancakes. It was basically the same dough, with scallions and seafood bits in it (very tiny and easy to eat!) cooked to a crisp in a pan. It was a little doughier/softer in the insides than chinese pancakes, but only marginally. Every piece had some seafood in it, and there was also a side of dipping sauce (soy, rice wine vinegar, pinch of sesame oil).
For my main course I ordered the nakiji bokkeum, a dish of stir-fried baby octopus and veggies. It came out sizzling furiously on this platter.
I had to wait a few minutes for my dish to stop sizzling, which was hard since my impulse control is very poor.
Albany John ordered a cauldron of firey pain. Hee hee, kidding – it’s actually kimchi jigae, which is a kimchi stew with porky bits and tofu in it as well. He actually at a majority of it. I tried a bit, and I thought the flavoring was wonderful – a spicy, porky broth, lots of kimchi, bite sized plops of soft tofu (they absorbed flavor wonderfully) and teensy crumbles of ground pork.
While my baby octopi sizzled, I ate some of the banchan spread that came along with the meal. The banchan is what partially dictates what I order (it looks like maybe only some of the meals come with it? But I’ve been before with people who didn’t order banchan, and they were fine with everyone gobbling them up). After it stopped sizzling, I thought it was OK, a bit too chewy and maybe a bit heavy on the fish sauce. I’d try something else next time, but I hardly ever get octopus, so it was a worthy choice. But heck, the banchan are so good, anything that comes with banchan is well worth ordering.
On the far left are shredded daikon and carrots, the dipping sauce for the pancake. On top on the right (l-r) are pickled soya beans, pickled daikon (maaaaybe. or just cabbage). The bottom right has lightly pickled cucumbers, potatoes in magical brown stuff, and kimchi.
Gohyang’s banchan always rocks me. The kimchi drove me to buy a large jar of the stuff at Kim’s in Albany, and I’ve gone through over a pound of it in under a week. Everything tastes just amazing and has such a good firey kick to it. We especially loved the potatoes, though. Does anyone know what they are called? We mentioned to one person refilling how everything was great, and we really loved the potatoes, and she brought out extra potatoes upon refilling the banchan. Yay! Potatoey happiness!
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a jar of kimchi still in my fridge that I need to scarf.