Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Mastication Monologues! My latest food adventure took me to, surprise surprise, Itaewon. My two friends, Youngmi and Bora, heard that I liked my really spicy food challenges. So, they threw down the gastronomic gauntlet and lead me to J.R. Pub in Itaewon. It’s easy to get there. Go to the Itaewon metro stop and go out exit 4. Make a u-turn to your left and follow the sidewalk. You’ll see a Taco Bell on the other side of the street on your left. Continue down the sidewalk until you get to a large alleyway and make a right. You’ll see on your right hand side a sign for the Wolfhound Pub, and right next to it is J.R. Pub. Here’s the address: 128-4 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul South Korea.
If you have read my blog before, you know that I am quite the daredevil when it comes to hellishly spicy dishes (see what I did there). If not, check out some of my posts (Hell Hath, Cuckoo, Devil With Wings ). Youngmi and Bora were very surprised that I was actually going to try it, and even advised me to bring milk and eat something beforehand. Nothing like coating the stomach before ingesting hellfire! Looking over the menu, they had most bar food standards like burgers, various barbecue meals like pulled pork sandwiches, wings, and pizza. I ordered the spiciest wings the ladies were telling me about, the Kick Ass wings (8,000 W), and they got the pulled pork sandwich and some chicken fingers. While we were waiting they told me about the last time they ate it, and they rushed to the bar to get milk after just one tiny bite. Definitely instilled a lot of confidence in me. Eventually they came out, and I could smell the evil that lurked under the lava-red surface of the chicken. If you want to see me going to town on these bad boys, check out the link at the end of the post.
When I took my first bite, I was greeted with a jalapeno level of spice with a familiar smoky background that quickly ratcheted up to a mini-inferno in my mouth. It felt like the Drop-Dead Donkatsu challenge all over again, but I was determined to take them down. I was extremely focused on withstanding the heat. With each mouthful I could feel the beads of sweat starting to form on my apparently reddening face, and the hiccoughs were coming on strong. I’ve found that’s my death rattle when it comes to my spice tolerance. In the video you can see them starting around the third wing along with my stunning forehead vein making a grand entrance. By the fourth one, it felt like I replaced my Mentos with blazing charcoal briquettes. The fresh maker? More like the pain train coming into dead taste buds station. The ranch sauce that came with the wings was zesty and managed to take a bit of the edge off the heat.
I rested for a bit while trying the ladies’ pulled pork sandwich, fries, and chicken fingers. The sandwich was good from what I could tell using the last bits of my functioning tongue, and the chicken fingers had more of a panko breadcrumb covering that made for a nice change of pace in terms of texture. Bora even got in on the action and wanted to redeem herself by eating one of the wings. She performed admirably even though she still ran to the bar for some ice. Eventually, I made my way to the top of Mount Doom and banished these wings to the pit of my stomach.
Bora said that they weren’t as spicy as the first time they tried them, so maybe I’ll have to come back for round two.
Either way, I had a great time at J.R. Pub with even better company. They have quality food for reasonable prices along with an amiable atmosphere and good service. Now if you want to see my eternal struggle with the wings, check out this link.