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I have a question about the aspect of referring to dishes in sentences. Normally, I think no article is needed when mentioning a name of a dish, at least when it is being mentioned for the first time. Can you tell me why they would put articles in some sentences while not putting them in the other sentences? I think it might be difficult without proper context but hoping someone can accommodate me here. Let's assume the underlined words are all names of dishes.

Order gobjang ggi. It's not just pulhoggi and side dishes smothered in red pepper paste. Our table tried a variety of items. The butter chicken was thick and creamy. The Zolo gobi was spicy. As for drinks, the Queenfisher went nicely with the Zolo gobi.
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BelieverI have a question about the aspect of referring to dishes in sentences. Normally, I think no article is needed when mentioning a name of a dish, at least when it is being mentioned for the first time. Can you tell me why they would put articles in some sentences while not putting them in the other sentences? I think it might be difficult without proper context but hoping someone can accommodate me here. Let's assume the underlined words are all names of dishes.

Order gobjang ggi. It's not just pulhoggi and side dishes smothered in red pepper paste. Our table tried a variety of items. The butter chicken was thick and creamy. The Zolo gobi was spicy. As for drinks, the Queenfisher went nicely with the Zolo gobi.

Perhaps in a restaurant review "the" is used with dishes as if to say "the chicken we had was delicious" as opposed to chicken in general. By the way, they all sound delicious!
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The articles work as always: The butter chicken means the butter chicken [that was served / that is on the menu]-- specific reference (though it may be implied only).
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BelieverI have a question about the aspect of referring to dishes in sentences. Normally, I think no article is needed when mentioning a name of a dish, at least when it is being mentioned for the first time. Can you tell me why they would put articles in some sentences while not putting them in the other sentences? I think it might be difficult without proper context but hoping someone can accommodate me here. Let's assume the underlined words are all names of dishes.

Order gobjang ggi. It's not just pulhoggi and side dishes smothered in red pepper paste. Our table tried a variety of items. The butter chicken was thick and creamy. The Zolo gobi was spicy. As for drinks, the Queenfisher went nicely with the Zolo gobi.

Hello Believer,

There is no fixed rule of grammar related to using an article in the context you give.

When I go out to eat I sometimes say, "I'll have chicken", or "I'll have the chicken.

"Which would you like, beef or lamb?" "I think I'll have the lamb please." "I think I'll have beef."

However, you are correct in saying the article is required when describing what you have eaten or drank. It would sound odd to say, "Lamb was tender" instead of "The lamb was tender." BUT, in colloquial speech the article is often dropped: "Mmm! Chicken was tasty."

As I say, no hard and fast rule except that in a text you wouldn't drop the article - "The chicken was tasty."

Regards,

LRV

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