Photos and review by Chris Hoffman, ETA ’16-17
City: Changwon (창원)
Restaurant Name: 두유라이크?
Restaurant address: 사림동 24-6 두유라이크, 641-824 창원
24-6 Sarim-dong, Uichang-gu, Gyeongsangnam-do
Food Served: Pizza, pasta, steak
Price: Well priced with about 10-14,000 won for a main dish
One of the food-related ventures I miss most about living in New York is the abundance of Italian American food. Fresh marinara sauce. Garlic cloves hanging from the ceiling. Mozzarella to fill every bite. As an Italian American living in Korea, I yearned for my mother’s homemade meatballs, my uncle’s famous antipasta, and the small Italian restaurants that smelled like home. When my friend offered to bring me to a “small Italian food restaurant” in Changwon, South Korea, I couldn’t resist.
I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for hole-in-the-wall joints. The harder to find and the more bizarre the hours, the better. I like to think that this adds an adventurous thrill to the experience. Well, though this restaurant was close to the university and relatively easy to find, I knew it was a hidden gem of the locals. With just two staff members working (a chef and a server/hostess), I knew we had hit the jackpot.
The hours of the place are also a bit strange. It’s open from 11:30-9:30 most days, though they break for a nice afternoon siesta/riposo from 3:30-5:30.
The hostess greeted us with a smile and told us there was a ten minute wait. I looked around and was surprised to see a large American flag separating the waiting area from the kitchen. Propped in front of the flag was a bicycle with the Union Jack painted on its seat. A small table covered in British tchotchkes stood only feet away.
“Are you sure this is an Italian restaurant?” I asked my friend.
We walked in to find that the whole place was only large enough to fit a maximum of 15 people. Cute personal napkins printed with the words “Do You Like?” were waiting for us at the table. “What’s the name of this place?” I asked.
It’s called “Do You Like?” or 두유라이크? in Hangul.
My friend ordered for us while I began to take in my surroundings. Hanging from each wall was a framed picture of Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Audrey in white, Audrey laughing. There was also a large Marilynn Monroe picture, but it was diffidently the gallery of Audreys that was running the show. It didn’t matter where we sat; there was always a set of Audrey eyes watching us while we ate.
I took a look at the menu and found it cute and helpful. The “family motto: No Pain, No Gain,” was clearly printed on the bottom, along with “Eat Pray Love.” We ordered the 해산물 먹물 파스타 (ink pasta), which is one of their specialties. To my knowledge, I had never willingly ingested ink. Unsure of how this delicacy would taste, I braced myself for a mouthful of black pasta.
The 해산물 먹물 파스타 was delicious! Complete with mussels and shrimp, the pasta was smothered in a rich ink which just added to the seafood flavor. If you enjoy seafood and are looking for something a little different, I would recommend 해산물 먹물 파스타!
Just remember, the meal does stain your mouth black!
We also enjoyed the thin crust gorgonzola pizza. Dipped in a tiny bit of honey, and you have a mouth-watering mix of savory cheese and sweet honey delight.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the unique ambiance and quirkiness of Do You Like? The food was delicious. The staff were helpful and cheery. The Audreys were a bit intimidating, but they grew on me with every forkful of pasta.
So to answer the question:
Do You Like?
Why, yes. I do!