Conversation number one:
Calvin (Chinese): What’s the Korean word for three?
Abe (Korean): Sam
Calvin: That sounds just like the Chinese word for three.
Abe: That’s the word the Chinese imposed on the Koreans.
Conversation number two:
David (Korean): Let’s go have Zha Jiang Mian in K-town.
Alicia (Chinese): Isn’t Zha Jiang Mian a Chinese dish?
David: It’s a dish that the Chinese Imperialists brought to Korea.
Alicia: But the Chinese invented it!
David: The Chinese may have invented it but the Koreans perfected it!
Alicia: I guess I can live with that.
Hyo Dong Gak is a Chinese-Korean restaurant in Midtown on 35th Street between 5th and 6th. I had always watched my dad eat Zha Jiang Mian growing up. We always celebrate birthdays in our family with noodles and my dad’s favorite noodle dish was Zha Jiang Mian. I never could bring myself to try them because I couldn’t get over the black colored sauce. Boy, I never knew what I was missing out on until now. We ordered ggampoongi for the table. When it arrived I couldn’t help but call it a Korean General Tso’s Chicken. The irony in that is that General Tso’s Chicken is not a dish that is found in China. It is a Chinese-American creation. But I digress. The Zha Jiang noodles were amazingly delicious. And the spicy seafood noodles called jjam bong were nicely done, as well. The bowls are huge so this is a great place to take guys, Chinese or Korean! Or anyone else, for that matter. It’s very reasonably priced.