It might be a plate of steaming mandu made with fresh kimchi at a street stall on a frigid winter day. Or a perfectly cooked jeon, served up with a bowl of homemade makgeolli in a back-alley hangout. It might be consumed alone, with a new lover, or a group of old friends. The meal might be a new gastronomical concept, unfamiliar and exciting, or may be Grandma's secret recipe, instantly recognizable and comforting.
It's rare, if not impossible, that you will find yourself having a bad Korean meal in Korea. It just doesn't happen. But every so often, usually when it's least expected, you will experience culinary nirvana. It will be a meal that proves to be unique from any other you've had in the past, one that changes you, one that finds you awake the following morning wondering if it was all just a dream.