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Planning the Meat Jun Mayhem

In terms of planning and coordination, the Meat Jun Mayhem proved to be one of our most challenging taste tests yet.

Challenge #1 - We had a initial list of 24 meat juns that friends and family recommended as competitors.  I never realize had that much places that had winnah meat juns.  So we took this initial list and decided that the ones that had the most number of recommendations and the most passionate recommendations would be included.  This process left us with a list of about 12 meat juns that, after heated debate, we whittled down to 9.  This left us thinking that there may need to be a Meat Jun Mayhem round 2 to give the other places a shot at the title.  We excluded meat juns from the fancier Korean restaurants (i.e. Sorabol) and stuck to the Korean take out places.

Challenge #2 - Among the people who grew up eating at Soon's Kal-bi Drive-In, their meat jun is easy to recognize. So we had to come up with a way to disguise the Soon's meat jun to throw off the judges and reduce their bias towards Soon's, if they happened to recognize it during the tasting.  After some discussion and reminiscing about meat jun, we recalled a story about J's Bbq in Kakaako that supposedly had meat jun just like Soon's.  I not one for gossip...I just pass on here goes.  Rumour has it that the cook at J's has some kind of connection with Soon's (maybe he used to cook at Soon's) and replicated the Soon's meat jun recipe, then opened his own diner. I not sure if this is true or not...just something I heard. So about a month before the Meat Jun Mayhem, I went down to J's and tried the meat jun and it looked just like Soon's...and tasted pretty ono.  So we found our Soon's decoy and entered it as a competitor, but never tell the judges. 

Challenge #3 - Had to have the meat juns delivered to the tasting location as fresh as possible.  Plenty people told us plenty times, "meat jun is not the same if it's cold you know!" and all condescending tone like that. So we recruited 4 of our most talented runners to get 2 meat juns each, except for one runner who had to get 3 meat juns...he's now our elite black belt supa dupa runner.  We had high expectations of this talented group of young food runners and they came through like champs. Malos guys!

This time, we decided to taste only the meat jun and sauce and felt the rice and the Korean vegetables was not critical to the experience of eating a good meat jun. 

We did the same side by side judging style as the other challenges where all the meat juns were lined up with their random letter. Then the judges served themselves in any order and scored each one. We did weighted scoring again with taste=50%, texture=30% and presentation=20%.