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.
The Lotte Cinema in Centum City is screening “Ben Hur” (1959), “The Mission” (1986), and “Dirty Dancing” (1987), a fairly surprising move for a giant chain of theatres that usually plays only new movies. The films couldn’t be any different in terms of substance or style.
“Ben Hur” is a nearly four hour epic (and winner of 11 Academy Awards) directed by one of the most revered Hollywood filmmakers of the 1950s, William Wyler. Set in Jerusaleum during Roman times, it tells the story of a Jew (Charlton Heston) who seeks revenge after unjustly being sent to the galleys by his childhood-friend-turned-governor. If you’re gonna sit down and watch this beast, the only way to do it is in front of a big screen.
“The Mission” stars Robert Deniro and Jeremy Irons as two Spanish missionaries in Brazil who struggle to protect a local tribe from enslavement after the colony is handed over to the Portugese. Roland Joffe (”The Killing Fields”) won the Palme d’Or for this generally overlooked period piece.
“Dirty Dancing” is necessary viewing for anyone into 80s pop culture. The plot is pretty straightforward – it’s about a girl (Jennifer Grey) who falls in love with her dashing dance instructor (Patrick Swayze) at a summer resort. Don’t expect anything serious; this cult-classic is mostly known for its campiness.
Thursday June 11 & Friday June 12 at 19:30
Saturday June 13 & Sunday June 14 at 15:00, 19:30
Thursday June 18, Saturday June 20, Monday June 22 & Wednesday June 24 at 15:00, 17:30, 20:00
Friday June 19, Sunday June 21 & Tuesday June 23 at 16:00, 18:05, 20:10