Two American Korean food lovers of Turkey

Hungover, I went to meet our accountant (who I would heartily recommend) to get scolded for our awful book keeping practices. I’m sure you can envision what sort of mood I was in this morning. Dazed and a little numb, Julie and I left his office after 3 hours and on our way down the stairs from the 5th floor, we passed the Korean-Turkish Association. The door was ajar, so we peeked in. We were greeted by an explosion of pinks and golds, electric blue and light blue. . . the place was so un-Turkish in decor!

No people were visible so we continued to peer in and to read the outdated posters on the doors. Across the room was a large, colorful poster with photographs of food. Korean food. Meat. Excuse me while I wipe up the drool. Julie hummed a little weak, “i like korean food. . . ” Turkey is not really a place with cuisine of diverse ethnicities. Turks tend to be a little biased towards Turkish food. So there are some cuisines that I miss after living in places like China, and San Francisco, and anyplace where you can get anything any time. But I had never heard of a Korean restaurant in Turkey.

So a woman came to the door and jarred us out of our reverie. We asked her if she had some sort of schedule of their events–hoping for a Korean food fair or something, but all we got was a website quickly jotted down on a piece of scrap paper. Then we exited the building and made our way towards the print shop (we are preparing for an exhibition at the Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm next week.) We were acting like the goofballs we generally are–looking into travel agents and trying to score free cut outs of Turkish Airlines stewardesses from the 70s, etc.–when the sky opened up and the rays of heaven alit upon our blessed shoulders. The two of us have walked by this stretch of road 100s of times both together and separately. We thought maybe we would stop at the Indian restaurant before going to the printer. But where was the Indian restaurant? Is it here? up a little further ahead? . . . what is THAT! Is that a KOREAN RESTAURANT!!!! and indeed it was.

We didn’t check the photo menu posted on the wall outside, we just headed right in without considering what type of place it was. We had to get inside before it disappeared like a shimmering mirage. Before we were even seated, I was saying, “I”m going to eat here EVERY day”. I quickly revised this plan once the waiter arrived with the menu and I looked at the prices. It was very obviously a place where Korean business men take their clients. And you know what that means–Female entertainment. Not that there was anything going on at lunchtime. There were two tables with asian men sitting at them. The one within earshot was two Japanese and a Korean man speaking english concerning a business transaction. It wasn’t until I was directed downstairs to the bathroom that I got a glimpse of the ‘Karaoke’ room. Which in reality was a strip club. A raunchy, trashy, old fashioned hostess bar. Pink fake fur. On the walls. We will have to come back for dinner sometime.


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