Wow for Now (Hot dogs)

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve talked shit about Korean sausages in the past. In my experience, they either amounted to little more than rolled up spam, or they were dripping with so much of that scary looking see-through fat, just looking at them set one arm a-tingling. Why, I often wondered, couldn’t they be more like those little Thai firecrackers I saw on Eating Asia that time?

As usual however, it appears that I was being a little unfair. I came to this realization recently when on a scour of PNU I decided to give a street hot dog chain called Mr. Wow another shot. I’d had one of their hot dogs in Kyungsung soon after I first arrived in Korea, and although at the time I hadn’t been overly impressed, a healthy queue and the smell of sizzling pork was enough to convince me to give it a second chance.

The sausage was good; coarsely ground sausage meat peppered with just enough onion to impart a decent flavour but so much as to feel like you’re getting screwed. Overall, the sausage had a slight frankfurter twang to it and (this being Korea after all) managed to get a good spiciness going. Meanwhile, ketchup, mustard and peanut sauce represented the condiments, with varying results. The ketchup and peanut sauce were good additions to the sausage (the latter staying comfortably low key) but with regards to the mustard, three was most definitely a crowd. Synthetic and watery, it was like getting an earful of background noise while trying to watch TV – quiet enough to still get most of what’s happening, but loud enough to threaten ruining your enjoyment altogether.

Mustard aside Mr. Wow knows how to hot a good dog. While they may not be on a par with the chili dogs I ate at Harry’s Café de Wheels in Sydney or New York’s eponymous hot dogs, while I’m in Korea at least, Wow for Now will do.