Episode 1: January 13, 2017
<Raid the Convenience Store> is a three episode pilot hosted by Lee Soo-geun, Yoon Doo-joon, and Wendy. “Chefs” Tony Ahn, Kangta, Park Na-rae, and DinDin cook meals based off of foods found in convenience stores for guests who then vote on which meals they liked best. It’s basically a budget version of <Please Take Care of My Refrigerator>.
The episode starts off with a narration on how ubiquitous convenience stores have gotten in Korea. There are several street interviews with a bunch of people saying they choose to come here for the convenience. It’s not just for buying food, it’s a good place to sit and eat food as well.
We then meet the three MCs who are sitting inside an actual convenience store. Lee Soo-geun says that he wants the program to go for 2-3 years, or maybe even as long as convenience stores continue to exist. Wendy says she believes that this show will do well because of her two talented senior MCs. Lee Soo-geun tells the audience to direct any complaints to her. Wendy is looking like she’s in pain.
We then meet our “chefs” Kangta and Tony Ahn. Yoon Do-joon says he’s a fan of “Polaris” and sings a bit of it. The second chef team is made up of DinDin and Park Na-rae who is dressed in a formal hanbok just like cuisine researcher Shim Young-soon. She’s actually looking really put together. It’s a good look for her. DinDin says they have a good “bromance,” so he expects them to do well today.*fist pump*
Lee Soo-geun then takes out the price scanner. He scans DinDin and notes that his appearance fee is worth 120,000 won. I wonder if that’s true. If so, he’s doing well for himself these days. He scans Park Na-rae next. She’s worth 0 won. Heh.
Wendy then explains the concept of this show which is “modisumer” a neologism made by combining modify + consumer. Instead of just having simple ramen or kimbap, a lot of people these days beef them up to make their own upgraded versions.
Kangta says he has 20 million recipes prepared. He can do this show for 1,000 years. It’s good to see the enthusiasm, because I like the gimmick behind this show, but I don’t know how long they can last without getting too repetitive. I mean after all, there are only so many way you can upgrade ramen right?
Yoon Do-joon then brings out three foods from their hall of fame. They are
- Jjapaguri = jjappagerri brand ramen + neoguri brand ramen
- Oh! Cheese Fry = Oh! Potato snack + cheese
- Mak Set = rice cakes + cup ramen + hotdog + string cheese
The MCs then try these three foods, but Wendy just picks at her Jjapaguri and doesn’t eat it. Park Na-rae asks her why she’s not eating. Wendy, “I’m used to not eating.” SM Director Kangta replies, “You can eat. You really can eat. It’s okay.” Poor girl. Wendy nervously takes a bite.
The next dish is the Oh! Cheese Fry which is hardened already, so DinDin takes it to the microwave to reheat. Lee Soo-geun jokes that he looks just like a convenience store employee since he never hires employees taller than 170 cm. DinDin replies, “So that means I’ll have to quit.”
Lee Soo-geun then randomly explains that Wendy gained a lot of weight when she lived in Canada. I wonder if someone behind the scenes made him say that to make things less awkward for Wendy.
DinDin says, “I’m from Canada! I’m from Vancouver.” Wendy replies, “How long?” DinDin, “I’m you’re fan.” *laughs*
Next, we get a walking scene of Gong Yoo and Lee Dong-wook from <The Lonely Shining Goblin> which transitions into Lee Gi-kwang and Son Dong-woon as they walk into the convenience store. They bring in a potted plant as a present since the convenience store just “opened.” Lee Soo-geun deadpans, “It’s been over three years since this store opened.” I’m surprised that they’re filming at a real store and not a set.
The two introduce themselves as “actor” Lee Gi-kwang and “multi-entertainer” Son Dong-woon.
Lee Soo-geun asks them how they’ve been doing since you know . . . He notes that there are probably lots of things that they can’t talk about. Lee Gi-kwang says he’s rested a lot and wrote some songs. Son Dong-woon says after their fan meeting on December 31st, he got severe food poisoning and was sick for three days until yesterday.
Lee Gi-kwang says he goes to convenience stores often because there’s one that just opened up right by his house. Meanwhile, Son Dong-woon is a huge fan of Japanese convenience stores.
Lee Soo-geun asks Son Dong-woon to say something in Japanese, like something he would say at a convenience store. He says a self-introduction, “Sumimasen boku wa Dong-woon desu.” Yoon Doo-joon yells, “Why would you introduce yourself at a convenience store?!?” Dong-woon then asks for some water, “Mizu wa doko ni arimaska?” That’s better, but I don’t think his Japanese is that good.
There’s another guest today. It’s Kim Do-kyun of the rock band Baekdoosan. He gets his own special chair which is a golden throne. He’s known for being the King of Convenience Stores because a few years ago, he showed off his love for convenience stores back when he was a guest on <I Live Alone>. He goes to them everyday and pretty much only eats at convenience stores.
He has 1,028,618 points saved up. Since you usually get 1% of points per amount spent, that means he’s spent 100 times that in convenience stores. That’s a lot of money. Kim Do-kyun smiles as he explains how you need to download smart phone apps to save more. That way you can find the 10% or 20% point accumulation events. He doesn’t want to spend his points just yet, so he can save up for a tablet PC.
DinDin says, “You should should do a convenience store advertisement.” Actually, Kim Do-kyun says he already did. Kangta exaggerates, “He’s not a king, he’s a god.”
Lee Gi-kwang says he has 4,185 points accrued. Lee Soo-geun asks how he spent so much money when the convenience store just opened up. Lee Soo-geun then asks, “Did you spend it all on the lottery?” Everyone looks around awkwardly and then Lee Soo-geun explains that the lottery is a good thing, the government uses the profits on diverse social welfare programs. He asks, “Right Tony Ahn?” Tony Ahn, “Of course!” (Both were caught and fined for gambling which is a crime in Korea. Hehe)
Kim Do-kyun then brings out some of the food that he usually eats at the convenience store. He takes out some bibimbap, kimchi, and tofu. He says, “Since the convenience store is open 24 /7, it’s like a friend that’s around when no one else is.” He makes an upgraded version of bibimbap.
Next, Son Dong-woon shares a new milk product. There are four flavors, and his favorite is the corn milk. The “king” Kim Do-kyun gets to try it first. DinDin walks over wanting a sip and stares like a little kid. Kim Do-kyun takes another sip. DinDin cries, “Sunbaenim, don’t drink it all!”
His voice is so high pitched that Kim Do-kyun spits out the milk laughing. He sprays it all over himself and DinDin. DinDin says, “Argh! I really wanted to try that.”
We then take a look at the two teams preparing for today’s food battle.
First, we go to Kangta’s house which is full of figurines and comic books. He even has a arcade game machine. It must be nice being so rich. He and Tony enter the kitchen with several bags of food from the convenience store. They really did raid it.
They turn on a live stream broadcast while they try out a few recipes. This is Tony’s first time doing livestream, so he sounds stiff introducing himself, Kangta tells him to just talk normally. Tony Ahn, “No, because Moon Hee-jun always yells at me for not speaking properly.” They want to come up with a team name, so they ask the livestream viewers to help them come up with one.
They try out a few recipes.
Next, we go to DinDin’s house where DinDin and Park Na-rae also raided a convenience store. They set up a camera for a livestream broadcast as well. Since their guests lived in Japan for a long time, they consider making a ramen dish. DinDin boils some sliced pork. All the fat starts to come out.
A livestream viewer comments that DinDin looks tall next to Park Na-rae. DinDin looks happy. He then calls his mom to ask where the scallion is. I guess he lives with his parents and this is his parents’ house?
Back to Kangta’s house. Tony Ahn says that Moon Hee-jun told him spaghetti is popular among young people. I remember them talking about this on their <Radio Star> appearance. The two have bread and pasta, so they try making some pane pasta. Kangta toasts some bread.
Back to DinDin’s house. DinDin makes some appetizers with saltine crackers, tomato sauce, sliced bacon, and spam, and puts it in the microwave. He says that it’s okay to eat spam without cooking it, even though in Korea, it’s almost always boiled or stir-fried first. He asks his American audience to reply that they just eat it straight out of the can with a spoon. No one responds. That’s because in America, spam is not considered food.
Back at the convenience store, Lee Soo-geun notes that DinDin and Park Na-rae are getting along really well. He asks “relationship expert” Wendy what she thinks. Wendy, “It’s like watching a newlywed couple.” When asked what he thinks of her, DinDin responds, “Well, she’s not an evil person . . .”
Tony and Kangta have come up with a team name. It’s Tota Saeki. (Saeki can refer to either three meals or bastard.)
DinDin and Na-ra’s team name is I Dina Like It.
Today’s battle will consist of two rounds. The losing team will get to take home a small basket worth of convenience store food while the winner gets a big basket. They only have ten minutes to cook each recipe.
Round One is DinDin vs Kangta. The clock starts counting down the ten minutes. DinDin makes Chashyu Dinamen which is made of beef ramen, sliced pork, scallions, dumplings, and half boiled eggs. He says random Japanese words while cooking like, “Itadakimasu.” Kangta makes Hot Curry Noodle Set from stir fry udon noodles, seafood ramen, instant curry, curry powder, peppers, instant rice, laver, mozzarella cheese, eggs, and canned salmon.
During the middle of the cooking, Yoon Doo-joon takes out his special spoon and tries some of DinDin’s soup. He’s like this show’s version of Kim Seong-joo on <Please Take Care of My Refrigerator>. He takes a sip of Kangta’s dish as well. He says it tastes too normal.
DinDin takes out a torch to cook his pork. Hm . . . that seems a bit too fancy for convenience store food. No?
It’s time to try the food. Kim Do-kyun likes the torched sliced pork, but isn’t a fan of the curry. It’s too spicy. Yoon Doo-joon really likes the ramen too. DinDin gets two votes. Kangta gets one. Team I Dina Like It gets one win.
Now it’s time for Round Two. It’s Tony Ahn vs. Park Na-rae. Na-rae makes Haughty Kimchi Cheese which uses nacho chips, onions, bacon, dumplings, kimchi, cheddar cheese, oyster sauce, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce. Tony Ahn makes ‘Ghetti Inside Bread from sandwich bread, cream sauce spaghetti, cream of mushroom soup, milk, cheddar cheese, diced garlic, and butter. The ten minutes start counting down.
Tony accidentally rips his bread while Park Na-rae looks composed. She’s actually a really good cook, so I think she’ll win. Her plating is really good too.
The ten minutes are up. The food’s done. Lee Gi-kwang says that kind of pasta usually costs 25,000 won at restaurants, but this one taste even better. Wendy really likes the nacho dish. She’s eating quite confidently this time. Surprisingly, Tony Ahn wins unanimously.
Since it’s a tie, both teams get the big basket to stock up on convenience store goods and take home.