I love my #FIODT dinner guests, and I’m extremely proud and happy to call them all mine!
They are a discerning bunch really. Out to discover the new and unknown. Not everything cuts it for them, no, they turn their noses up at commercial places that have no soul and I love that. They even call me out on restaurants that aren’t adventurous enough, which I agree, but Fork It Over Dubai has to cater to everyone.
When news got out that I was hosting my #FIODT dinner at Shogun, a hidden gem in Ghurair Center Deira, the table was fully booked / over booked in a span of hours.
I had 17 guests ready to venture down to Deira and taste something real.
One of my favorite things about Shogun is that it caters to both Korean diplomats and young nationals that are looking for a taste of home.
Stepping into Ghurair center, down the hall, up the elevator and to the left, we finally step into Shogun. A small step for mankind, but a giant leap into a different Dubai.
Shoes off as we make our way into our semi private room where the table is set, the grills are ready to go and my guests arrive one by one with a giddy smile on their faces in anticipation of dinner.
We begin with Kimchi, traditional Korean dishes made of vegetables with a variety of seasoning. Whenever I have Kimchi, I tend to gravitate to my favorites of cabbage and cucumber. Bringing the Kimchi to my lips I feel its cool temperature but then its hot kick which I enjoy experiencing most about Kimchi.
A word about tofu, it’s only as good as what you put on top of it or in it, any one who says they love tofu because of tofu is lying. Taking a bite of the Saeng Tofu, fresh Tofu topped with Korean chili dressing, the contrast between the spicy chili sauce and neutral tofu makes for a damn good combination. My eyes widen, as my chopsticks reach out for seconds, that’s a first!
An assortment of egg battered vegetables and shrimp catch my eye, I take a pick and experience the over powering taste of egg in the mixture. Dubai eggs are tricky, they’re very pungent, I would suggest something to kill the egg-iness of the batter.
Chopsticks in hand, I pick up a piping hot dumpling and take a bite, the crispy dough harnesses the juicy and tender meat on the inside, more for me please!
I have a feeling that Zuma ruined black cod for all restaurants. I know that any cod dish consumed is subconsciously compared to Zuma’s. Before the meal started, the owner tells me that Koreans do cod, Undaegu Gui, better than anyone else.
When the cod arrives I’m excited, the soy sauce is poured over the horseradish and its time for a taste.
Zuma may finally have some competition. It’s a crispier take on the fish, which is something I welcome and the horseradish and soy sauce elevate the charred smokiness of the fish. Well done.
The Dolsot Bibimbab, rice mixed with assorted pre cooked vegetables, egg yolk and chili sauce in a sizzling stone pot is put on our table. The chili sauce is added, all the ingredients are mixed and taste is taken. Initially worried that the egg yolk will over power the dish, it elegantly dissolves into the ingredients, the mushroom on the contrary proves to be the most powerful flavor, too overpowering maybe.
And finally the grills are fried up, one then two then three. The beef spare ribs and shrimps are placed on our table. In accordance with tradition, we first massage the grill with an onion in preparation for the meat. The beef spare ribs are gracefully unwrapped onto the grill as welcome the sound of sizzling meat. 5 minutes on the cloc, tongs in one hand and scissors in another, the meat is cut into portion size pieces and given a final turn on the grill.
Lettuce, meat, kimchi and a peanut based sauce; rolling action followed by popping in mouth action. Crispy, cold, hot and a touch spicy. The meat is tender and one of the perks of self-cooking, is it’s cooked to my liking. I don’t get as much marination flavors as I want, but still it proves to be a delicious bite.
The delicate shrimp comes next, only a touch on each side and its ready to go.
I sip on my chilled cinnamon tea, which sparks memories of Christmas while discovering my sweet bean vanilla ice cream. After a bite or two my spoon subconsciously maneuvers around the beans and goes straight to the ice cream.
The highlights of the meal include the kimchi, fried duplings, chili tofu, cod and everything self grilled. Dining at Shogun was a true experience that everyone enjoyed. There was passing of plates, discussion of how to grill meat the right way, tastings of new flavors and most of all laughter. A good dinner experience always puts people at ease and brings out the joy in them. A lovely example of a destination restaurant.
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