As parents, J. and I want to encourage our little Phil Bae to be as adventurous as he can be when it comes to eating. Imagine the delight and magic a baby's tongue experiences when it touches new and exciting tastes for the very first time.
I spoiled Phil with the umami (pleasant savory taste) of breast milk for 13 months. When he was five months old, we introduced him to solid food (rice cereal, homemade congees, yogurt and bananas). Now that he's 13 months old, we're taking him to eat at restaurants.
We recently took him to Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong (KHDB), a family-friendly Korean barbecue restaurant in Flushing, Queens. If you want to experience good Korean BBQ, you can't go wrong by going to KHDB. The restaurant is spacious and on off days and nights, you won't have to wait long for a table. (We experienced a five minute wait time on a Sunday night with a party of five.)
At a Korean BBQ restaurant, the waiters often cook the meats on a barbecue grill atop your table and serve it to you. Without having to man the grill, you can fully enjoy dinner time with your little one. Your baby will love watching the waiters work the grill. An entertained baby at the dinner table is a good baby.
At a Korean BBQ joint like KHDB, babies can eat the delicious complimentary small side dishes (banchan) and appetizers such as Gaeran Jim (steamed egg), yachaejeon (vegetable pancake), romaine lettuce, grilled veggies and grilled corn and cheese. I placed 10 small pieces of yachaejeon on a plate in front of Phil. Phil skillfully and happily served himself the food and minutes later, his plate was empty. By the time our meats were cooked, Phil was quite full (though he refused to acknowledge that fact). He also ripped through many pieces of lettuce (which are used to wrap the cooked meats, but this time they sprinkled the floor beneath Phil as decorations for the floor and more work for the waiters). Phil did get to sample a piece of cooked rib-eye. Yummy yummy! What an adventure for Phil it was!
I don't suggest exposing babies to kimchi (spicy fermented Napa cabbage) or too much BBQ grilled meats too early. Kimchi is too spicy and can upset the babies' stomach. BBQ meats have little nutritional value in my honest opinion, and can be deleterious to health, so we will reserve eating BBQ meats to the adults.
What a guilty pleasure for the parents! UMAMI!
This adventure was rated super awesome for Phil Bae, Mama and Dada and we highly recommend for you to take your babies on a similar adventure.