Korea - Fast service, Bulgogi & Crazy Hook Gangnam - 42

Over half the times I went there I received the wrong order even though the menu was in English and Korean and I usually pointed to what I wanted, to be clear and to avoid confusion. Two particular situations in Crazy Hooks will forever stick in mind.

The steak situation – We arrived in Crazy Hooks at 9:57pm, three minutes before last orders for food, with the no food orders taken after 10:00pm. We pressed the buzzer at 9:58. The waitress arrived at the table at precisely 10:00pm. The waitress was insistent that she had to stick to company rules and was insistent that we were too late, despite the Kanganm barsproblem being that she had taken longer than usual to arrive to take our order. Despite our pleading and the hunger pains from my stomach, we were limited to ordering finger food.

A few days later, we went back and on this next occasion we were able to order from the main menu. I ordered a steak meal and after half an hour on this busy day, our food arrived. The only problem at this point, was that even though my food had arrived, my friends’ food had not. Their food was clearly delayed and I guessed I should start eating my food so I dug in.

I was half way through eating the steak when the manager came over and relieved me off the plate as I was lifting a piece of steak into my mouth. I was informed, with a polite smile, that this steak was meant for another table and that, even though it was exactly the same thing as what I myself has ordered and had now half eaten and thus couldn’t be served to anyone else, they were taking it away and I would have to wait for the correct plate to arrive.

Alas, within five minutes of the first plate being taken from my grasp, the correct plate arrived. The order was now incorrect with the potatoes that I had ordered (and which had correctly been on the plate I had had snatched away) were now not available, because they had run out hence French fries sat on the plate instead. Now do not get me wrong. I like French fries even if the French are a little arrogant sometimes. It’s just that at that time I had ordered potatoes because that was what I really felt like eating and it was what I had started eating with the first plate; the plate they had now taken away and not let me finish. Overall I found the situation quite amusing and it is hard to feel angry with the Koreans sometimes, because the people are so polite and do smile in a genuine manner. My friends were STILL waiting for their order thirty minutes later.

Two visits later to Crazy Hooks, I ordered Bulgogi (a delicious Korean dish of shredded beef with rice and onions), and on the third mouthful I could not for the life of me, work out what I was chewing on. It was definitely something very hard and it didn’t seem to agree with my teeth as they tried to bite on this mystery food. I chewed a little harder and I came to the conclusion that it must be a bone. On spitting the item out of my mouth, both my girlfriend and I were shocked to see a piece of hard plastic about 2.5 inches long and an inch wide. After the manager had taken away the piece of plastic and investigated, we were informed that it was part of the edge of a large hard plastic container from the kitchen.

The piece of plastic perfectly fit where the plastic was missing on the container. The meal, the desserts and two beers were free that night, with the staff apologising several times. The thing about this situation is that it did not surprise me at all, but it would have if I hadn’t been living in Korea. Korea is great for many things, the people, the food etc but safety is definitely a low priority and it includes in the service industry: More about safety later. When I am back in Seoul I will again return to Crazy Hooks and I recommend it to my friends.

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