We ventured out to Honeypig only to discover throngs of waiting diners milling about the parking lot. Instead of being disappointed, this provided a wonderful chance to try out a different Korean restaurant in Annandale. Heading a short way down to Hummer Road, we arrived at Yechon, another 24-hour restaurant. While Yechon is a Korean-Japanese restaurant with sushi in addition to an extensive array of Korean dishes, we were there to test the waters with some favorite Korean dishes.
Yechon's array of pan chan.
My boyfriend was amused that it was the little details that really stood out to me. While I accept that Honeypig is a different price point, their lackadaisical pan chan generally disappoints me. The attention to detail and quality of the pan chan at Yechon really impressed me. From the fresh-tasting kimchee, the sauteed watercress, marinated bean sprouts to the pickled daikon radish, the pan chan was not a casual afterthought but an indication of the delights to come.
I love seafood pancake, and this version was massive, studded with seafood and scallions.
The soft tofu was left in gentle hunks in this nicely flavored but not overly spicy version. This seemed more homestyle, like something I could and will cook for us in the future. The one downside was we ordered everything at once, and the soup came out in the midst of a full table of food. Next time we'll order the soups later during the meal.
Most of the bbq dishes are cooked in the kitchen and kept warm on a table burner. To have the meat cooked tableside, we could only choose from three options, the brisket, a pork selection or tongue. Our intention of galbi was discarded for brisket and tongue.
Tongue, or gyu-tan in Japanese, is one of my boyfriend's favorite bbq meats.
Traditionally it's served with lemon in Japan, but the dipping mix of sesame oil, salt, pepper and garlic worked well.
The atmosphere is very different and prices are higher at Yechon, where waitress are clad in Korean dress. The menu is quite extensive, and I'm looking forward to a return trip to try out some of the casseroles and other dishes. Luckily we didn't need anything else during our meal, but if we had, a simple press of the button at the table would have summoned someone.