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Korea - Land of the Morning Calm

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Peter, my mother always says you can spot a spicy Korean chili by sight--some inexplicable combination of stubbiness, curvature, and depth of it's green color. I've never gotten this technique down, but those chilis struck me as evil-looking

my mother claims to know the same by sight and smell. Usually my sister and I follow the exact opposite of what she says. If she says it's mild and not spicy, we steer clear. Some korean chiles are really long and big, and you'd think they weren't spicy at all, but holy crap some of them are lethal.

peter, do you know how to get seollangtang that milky white? I try to make it every winter (with oxtail bones), but it never turns out as milky. I think the trick to it is to bring the bones to a boil and then throw out the water several times or to soak the bones overnight. Does the wife have any tips?

to the person who bought the pancake mix: usually pancake mixes cause for a 1:1 ratio. One cup of mix to one cup of water. I find it too thick, so I add a little more water or maybe 1/3 to 1/4 cup of kimchi juice (more flavor!)

If you don't have korean pancake mix....I find that adding 1 cup of flour to a cup of water plus an egg works just fine. You can add green onion, chopped chiles, kimchi, mixed seafood, or whatever you want. It's always a toss up with kimchi jeon and seafood jeon with me.

I think one of the best thing about sujaebi and kalgooksu for me is the spicy soy sauce condiment. Basically you take a bunch of chopped chiles, green onion, sesame seeds, and gochugaru and add it to soy sauce. It is nice topped on top of either soup.

eta: I'd be content with a plate of those spicy crabs, a bowl of soup, and glass of ice cold beer :wub:

peter, what do you like better? spicy crabs or soy sauce crabs? I can never choose myself. The spicy crabs are so sweet and well spicy, but you get a more crabby essence with the soy sauce crabs cause you can taste the guts more.

You wouldn't happen to have a recipe for either would you? :wub:


Hmmm I love the crab muchim better mainly because it is harder to get compared to the crabs in soy sauce. How I would love to be able to eat either one right now.

Here is the recipe from Noh Chin Hwa


3 Korean crabs (got kae)

2 c. Soy sauce

1 tbsp. sugar

3 cloves garlic

1 knob ginger

1 tsp. sesame oil

Red pepper threads

1 tsp sesame seeds

Wash the crabs and remove the carapace and cut the crab into sections. Sprinkle everything well with salt. Mix the soy sauce, garlic, pepper,ginger, sesame seeds, sugar and sesame oil. Boil the sauce for 5 - 10 minutes, and let it cool. Pour this sauce over the crabs, mix well and let sit in the frigeratorfor 2-3 hours or over night.

Eat with hot rice, and decide if you are going to eat it all before anyone else gets any, but think fast!

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wow, thanks milgwimper <3

I will eat it all, cause I only live with my boyfriend. He detests all things korean

If I can't get red pepper threads, can I just use some gochugaru?

eta: that doesn't seem like the spicy crab banchan, it seems more like the soy sauce one, am I right?

Edited by SheenaGreena (log)
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cooking for a few days?  I thought cooking for 8 hours was a long time.  Are you serious?

Hi, Sheena,

Yup, we're serious. It takes ages to draw that essence out of the bones. 8 hours will get you a good meat broth from oxtail, which we use for our miyokguk at home 'cause we can't get clams (oh, it tasted so good on the East Coast of Korea with clams), but you don't get the "milkiness".



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Sheena - I echo the boiling for over a couple days to get the milky whiteness from the bones. To see if you are done with cooking, take one of the bones and see if you can crumble it with your fingers. If you can do so easily, your milky white soup is done. Me, I just buy ready-made seolleongtang soup from the local grocery.

I'll try to ask for the recipe for the soy sauce crabs from my friends. *shudder* Sigh, the things I do for my eGullet friends.

Peter - what size of anchovies do you guys like? there are about 5 sizes I can get. I prefer the small ones (about less than 2 inches long). There are really tiny ones to huge 3-4 inch ones. Just specify what you prefer and I'll get a box on the next street market day.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Yes us red pepper flakes if you don't have the pepper threads. Also if you are going to eat it in one sitting you need not boil the sauce. Just pour the sauce over the crabs and let sit 2-3 hours and chow down.

I have agree with everyone else about the oxtail. Mom ends up boiling hers for 12 hours one day lets it cool skims off some of the fat, and then early in the morning starts boiling it again and we eat it for dinner 12 hours later. The soup is nice and white. She usually only makes this dish when she has time off from work.

Doddie- If you can get a recipe for the spicy crabs that would be wonderful. ::beg::

Peter- My Mom said the exact same thing Yoonhi did. *sigh*

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Peter - what size of anchovies do you guys like? there are about 5 sizes I can get. I prefer the small ones (about less than 2 inches long). There are really tiny ones to huge 3-4 inch ones. Just specify what you prefer and I'll get a box on the next street market day.


The kids are happiest with the ones that you prefer, running around about 1 inch or 2 cm I'd say.

Serena's been working through that box from the Food Expo pretty fast.



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Peter- My Mom said the exact same thing Yoonhi did. *sigh*


I sometimes wonder if there's a Star Trek style Borg continuum that Korean mom's operate on, whereby they automatically share all common knowledge.

Thinking about that and the innate knife skills can keep me awake nights.


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October 17 – Cultured

This was not one of those mornings when I sprang out of bed.

I did have the questionable satisfaction, however, of being up before everyone else, which time I spent gloomily surveying the remains of my Lao coffee I’d brought with me. At the current rate of consumption, I would run dry two days before departure.

I’d just have to tough it out. If worst came to worst, there was a Starbucks on the ground floor.

We wandered around the corner of Jason’s building to a noodle house that he frequented. We arrived at the wrong time, just after 12, to find it was packed out, and we waited outside for a table.


Once inside, we ordered bowls of mandoguk (dumpling soup) and kkalguksu (seeing as the place was a kkalguksu specialty shop). The broth for these was incredibly milky, so much so that I’m pretty certain that they’d put milk in it, which isn’t something I normally associate with Korean food.


This didn’t have the taste of seollaentang, it was something different.


The soups were topped with shredded gim, green onion down under the surface, and there were drizzles of egg in the mix.


Jason and I are both heathens in Yoonhi’s eyes, and we plopped our rice into the guk, using that to add to the starch experience.

This padded us out enough that we were ready to see what was for sale on the underground.


On the way there, we saw signs of people getting ready to start making a lot of kimchi.

The underground trip itself was taking us North across the river, our aim being a cultural day at the Gyeongbokgun Palace, to the North of the city.


There were a few surprises on the trip. The first was finding the National Museum closed. Serena and I were heartbroken. It’s actually quite well designed, very modern and set into the environs so it doesn’t jar like the old National Museum building did.

The second surprise was the old National Museum building, originally the Government General building from the Japanese occupation of Korea. It wasn’t there.

This wasn’t something that struck me all at once. In fact, it was something that nagged at me after the day was over. But the blocky old “almost Soviet” looking thing which had been erected in front of the old Korean throne hall was gone.

I looked it up. In 1995, for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Korea (Korea was occupied from 1910 to 1945) the building was destroyed, a park put in its place, and the rubble of the old building put on display in the open.

It goes to show my powers of observation that none of this had stuck with me in 1998 when we were here and toured the new museum.

So, we set aside museums for the moment, and toured Gyeongbok Palace, which has had more restoration lavished upon it since last I was there.

Restoration is something that it needed. The original palace was destroyed by the Japanese in the Imjin War (1592-1598) when Hideyoshi set his sites on China, and Korea just happened to make a good starting point. Afterwards it lay shattered until 1867 (partly money issues, partly a question of not being “auspicious”), when King Kojong’s father, the Prince Regent, began reconstruction as a “national unity” symbol, trying to get power recentralized.

Unfortunately, the Japanese came back to visit. This started in the mid1890’s with the Sino-Japanese war, got uglier with the assassination of the independence-minded Queen Min by “Resident Minister” Miura Goro’s men (found innocent in Japan for lack of evidence afterwards) and climaxed with their just grabbing the whole country in 1910.

At that point the ugly old building went up in front of the throne hall, the royal family was moved over to Changdok Palace, and the Royal Palace was broken down and sold off to the publilc.

(From a food perspective, it’s interesting that the Japanese sold off a number of the palace buildings to be used as Japanese restaurants on the slopes of Mt. Nam.)

So, it hardly seems unreasonable that the old building, a symbol of those days, was gone. I suppose it’s strange it lasted so long.

The museum rents audio guides, and I recommend these to anyone traveling with little kids. Serena has the usual interests in museums and culture of a child her age – that is “zero”. But once we plugged her in, and she had an orderly route to be followed (“no, now we go over here!”) she quite enjoyed things.


I was merrily videoing most of this, camera collecting footage that I’m going to have to get around to doing something with. I subscribe to the Clockwork Orange approach to raising children. They may not remember their trips, but they’ll remember the home videos with fear and trepidation.

While shooting, I wandered up to the North Gate of the palace, shooting the Blue House, the President’s residence, framed through the gate.

Right away three very large Koreans in suits with bulges started walking across the street towards me.

I played dumb tourist and started videotaping a tree, ambling off before they could catch up. I must do dumb really well, as they didn’t follow (and I don’t think those guys give up easily if they have real concerns).


Along with the palace visit, we also have admission to the National Folk Museum of Korea.

Again, something wasn’t right. I remember an old, blocky building of two floors with an open centre. At the time (1992) we couldn’t visit the ground floor, as it was being used for a wedding.

This makes sense, as the current building was opened in 1993, according to Wikipedia (although that’s no guarantee of accuracy).

We were racing to get here. The museum closed its doors to entry at 5 p.m., and we had to return the audio guide before they shut their desk up at the front of the palace, as well. We made it through the doors with about 90 seconds to spare.

The space works much better than the old box, I’ll say that. There was a good exhibit on the ground floor of sounds in Korean life, covering farms, day-to-day, music, and, of course, cooking.

When the Koreans talk about culture, they talk cooking.


There was an excellent diorama (I love dioramas) covering the kimjang process, covering the entire communal process of making kimchi (I think Doddies got a posting or two of this on her side).

The ingredients are cleaned and sorted, then there’s the brining, the draining, and then the mixing in of the ingredients, the resubmerging, and the fermentation.


Remember, it takes a village to ferment some kimchi.

The exhibit also detailed a number of the other ways in which food permeates Korean culture. (I’m not obsessive, am I?)

Throughout the year, there are certain fixed dates that require certain types of foods to be served. Lavish meals will be put out (with accompanying booze) to settle the spirits and show proper respect.


The most important of these is Chuseok, which takes place in early October. The old Confucian halls at Jongmyo pack out with ceremony, but, more critical, the majority of Seoul is depopulated as pretty much everyone gets out of town and back to the provinces to celebrate.

And those are just the big, everybody-does-them fests. Individually, families may or may not celebrate a huge number of other rites. I say “may or may not” as it depends upon the religion you hold with, and if you’re holding to just that one.

Chaeseo was one of my favourites. If you’re the eldest son (or, moreover, if you’re the wife of an eldest son) then it’s expected that you’ll make offerings to the family spirits on the anniversaries of their death, birth, Chuseok and New Year’s. This goes for a minimum of grand parents level, and way more if you happen to have the good luck to be the head of the line.

And if you think the Mormons spend a lot of time on genealogies, they don’t hold a match to the Koreans. Registry of the families – the Hojeok - goes way, way back, with a lot of attention having been paid as to who is at what position in the hierarchy, and what common names are to be used for the children.

For chaeseo the favourite foods and drink are laid out. The fruits are “topped” so that the ghosts can get at the food without having to peel and oxidize everything. Likewise any bottles are opened, so the ghosts don’t have to unscrew, decork, or pop a tab.

I’m personally fond of chaeseo, because, after the spirits have had their fill, the food gets eaten.



This display of rice cakes is out for hwangap, the 60th anniversary. The 100th day, the first birthday, and the 60th are the ones that get all the attention.


A standard Korean serving set, in brass, is a fairly daunting collection of bowls. Bowls for soup, for chigae, for stews. Bowls for rice, for panchan, for sauces. They’ve got bowls.


And, given that our local source for tofu has packed up, we were interested in seeing the process detailed for us here. I should’ve bought that grinding stone I saw in Seoraksan. Anybody have any good ideas on what to use for a coagulent?

The museum also had lots of details on brewing. I’ve a copy of a map of Korea, with each of the provinces’ “nationally famous wines” located. But that’s all in Hangul, and it’s going to take me some time to work through it all.

Here’s the quote from one of the displays

In Korea, liquors are made from rice, wheat flour and other grains and yeast and liquor itself are used for fermentation. Under husband-dominated paternalistic family systems in the past, each family had a supply of rice liquor for the spring, summer and autumn and rice liquor and distilled liquor for the winter to entertain guests, offer to the spirits during ancestral memorial services and drink as part of the meal.

It sounds like winter was the time to visit.


The museum also covered details of the mudang, the shamans of Korea (almost always female) who are still practicing. One bit of information that showed up in the statistics indicates that there are over 50,000 registered mudang (fees paid to the government for licenses) in Korea, which puts them somewhat ahead of the number of Protestant ministers. The display they had set up showed an exorcism for small pox. The mudang had her bells in hand (noise/sound is important), and her hat and knife on the side, and other implements laid out at the ready. And even for an exorcism, you need food.

And, naturally, there were textiles. Lots and lots of hanbok, the traditional Korean dress. The format shows the material to excellent effect in broad swaths of fabric, and you can’t help but feel cheerful when you see the bright colours that are traditionally used.

We were pushing 6 p.m., and we needed to meet Jason over at Gondok station at 7p.m. This meant we had to get out, spend some time in a book store across the street looking at cat books with Serena, then race down Insdong, and get onto the purple line.


Insadong was hopping, but, after the bookstore we were running short on time, and I only had the chance to shoot one picture of the yot (candy) sales on the streetside. The taffy comes in a broad, broad sheet, and it’s shaved off.

Having blown through the Street of Tourist Shops (Insadong is a lot more touristy now than it used to be), we made it to the underground, got to our target, and then Jason picked us up from the topside exit (all Korean undergrounds have exit numbers, so if you’re meeting people, you just say “exit #1” or whatever), and we were on our way to a hole in the wall.


Next: Meating Place

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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The Flavour Of A Long Time Ago. Big Beef Kalbi!

(That sounds like the title from an episode of a One Piece anime)

October 17 - dinner

Jason said ‘hole in the wall” and Jason meant “hole in the wall”.


There was seating for maybe 16 inside, stools clustered around oil drum burners, rolls of toilet paper hanging from rods attached to the grease and soot (or suet?) blackened ceiling. But it was a beautiful evening, and a nice family asked us to please take the next table outside, ahead of them.

It helps having a kid regarded as “cute”.


This was definitely old-school charcoal grilling. Smack in the middle of the table was a glowing yeontan, warming our knees while providing our lungs with a protective coating of


The yeontan station was just outside the door, and there was a constant back and forth as the bearded head chef bustled about getting more heat going on the tables.

I also noticed that the best way for cleaning a charred grill is to get a big piece of beef fat and use that to scrub down the metal.


Nice and toasty, we called in some soju and beer, and started sipping at the big bowl of wet kimchi they’d brought out. This was chilled way down, with ice crystals in the fluid, meant to give you the feeling of eating kimchi in the winter.


The draw here is Han-U, the marbled Korean beef. It’s a combination of excellent meat, and excellent prices. They haven’t bothered to keep up with the competition as they’ve raised prices, they’re just happy to be filled all day long, day in, day out.


The meat that arrived was beautiful, a solid slab dropped onto the grill, garlic spread about, and the cooked to a good just-off rare, scissored up, and finished, to be taken with the usual lettuce, ddaenjang, garlic, and spring onions.


Along with Hite (Jason was driving, so no soju for him) we kept the cheom cheoreom soju coming. As the serving staff (the old guy and the old lady) were running solid, customers would just go to the cooler and pull out bottles for the table. This’d be tallied up later.


With the meat came a big bowl of soup with a lovely hunk of meat. The meat had a texture like a good pot roast. You would just pull the flesh off. This was matched by kunnamul and sheets of mu for crispness.


The second bowl of meat was a wet marinade, a little sweet, with lots of green onion and garlic. We thought there was a hint of red wine, or plum liquor, in there somewhere.


Jason slopped it out onto the grill, the yeontan sputtering as the liquid hit the glowing red charcoal, and a great, heady steam of garlic coming up in the air (okay, this is Korea. There’s always a heady steam of garlic in the air).


This was a good meal. There, I’ve gone Hemingway on you. How could any carnivore not appreciate this? The fat in the meat is just right, filling out all the notches in your palate, the grease to be cleared with shots of cold soju, scrubbed with the kim chi, and then relayered with another round of meat, bean pastes, spring onion, and roasted garlic.

Yeah, I’m kind of enthusiastic about this place. Good food. Great streetside atmosphere. And excellent prices.

Okay, it’s not going to be taking any Michelin stars, and the wine cellar isn’t quite there…….but I still like it.

I dropped into the kitchen with Jason to check things out. I’d watched the weighing of the beef, but I wanted to look over the counter and see the goods themselves.


Mr. Yi SokHi was quite happy to have his picture taken, and had no problems with being posted, so I happily obliged. He’s younger than he looks, it’s the beard that does it. The restaurant as well, jammed into this odd little diagonal corner of a non-descript building on the main street in Mapo (why didn’t we get off at the Mapo stop?), has only been here for 7 years. You look at it, and just based upon the thickness of the grease on the ceiling, you’d swear it’d been here forever.

You wonder about the decisions he made that put him here (he was way too busy for us to do much more than compliment him), but it was obvious he didn’t regret any of them.

Now, nothing in life can be perfect. In the case of this restaurant there was one missing element that we reflected upon as the last of the beer settled into our system.

There was no toilet.

At least not one we’d thought about before we got in the car and got stuck into traffic.

We drove, and drove quickly, to Apgugeong.

We dodged, we wove, and we did some interesting U-turns and reversals.

But we made it.

In time.


(I kept the camera rolling through the drive across the river and into the streets of Gangnam “south of the river”. This should make an interesting cut when it’s done)

Pojang Macha'ing - icha


Nori People is Jason’s pojang macha – literally a “covered stall”. Okay, in this case it’s a lot more permanent, built out from a shopfront, but the idea is a soju tent, basically a mobile stall that’s put up a tarp to keep the elements at bay while the Koreans can concentrate on the important work of drinking soju.


Still, even if it’s more upscale than the usual curbside vision-challenging speakeasy, it was fun.

One of the signature items here (and a current trend in Apgujeong – remember AFS/Café Ahn ) was mixing soju. Tonight we were mixing soju with yogurt drinks.


You poured a couple of bottles of soju into a small amount of yogurt drink, gave it a firm cyclonic whirl, and you had something……interesting.


The yogurt gave it an animal-husbandry sort of consistency, and sweetened it up considerably. This went down very easy.


And Jason had been extolling the kimchi chigae here for anju. Not the normal sort of dish I’d associate as beer food……


but the chigae had a depth and richness to it that I’d have to say made it the best of the chigaes we’d had so far. From the first spoonful of the broth I was hooked on this.


Serena, our 9 year old barhopper, settled into her corner seat and was quite content with a piece of ddeok and her new book.


I could see why Jason favoured the place. “Outside” in the tent, we had a great people-watching venue. We could watch the young and fashionable starting up the night (it was only around 10), and we could intercept those passersby that Jason new.

The yogurt and soju kept coming, and we ordered more chigae to get us by.

But at some point well after midnight, as I attempted to stand, it struck me that this might be a good time to be heading home. One of Jason’s friends had taken on the designated driver role, so we left Jason (more people were still coming), and headed home.

I do remember the car being parked. Luckily we had Serena to get us to the right floor.

Note: edited 'cause Yoonhi wacked me upside the head and told me it's "pojang" not "hojang". I asked her what hojang meant and she said "I've no idea" and then laughed at me.

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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Milgwimper - here's your Marinated Crabs recipe.

Ingredients for Marinade:

1 cup of anchovy stock (use dashida [anchovy] powder in hot water)

1-2 cups of soy sauce (dark soy is good if you have it)

2 tbsp garlic minced

1/2" thick slice of ginger, peeled and minced

2 scallions (green onions) sliced into 2 1/1" pieces, cut the white part in half lengthwise

4 heaping tablespoons of red pepper flakes

4 heaping tablespoons of sugar (or corn syrup)

4-5 small hot chili peppers, stems cut off and slice in half lengthwise (leave in the seeds)


Prepare the crabs: peel the carapace (shell off) and then cut the crab in the middle. Chop off 3 milimeters of the claw tips or crack the different arm parts with a hammer. Chop off the legs without the claws at the joint. You want the marinade to permeate to every crook and cranny of the flesh and crab.


Boil the water till hot, turn off the heat then add the dashida powder. Prepare the marinade by adding all the ingredients except the crabs. DO NOT ADD CRAB TO WARM MARINADE!!! Cool this marinade in the fridge. When cool, see if you need to add more gocharu powder (red pepper powder). You can add a tablespoon of gochujang if you like. The finished marinade should be 'saucy' and thick.

Cover the crab with the marinade and mix thoroughly. Pack in a sealed containder and let sit 3-4 days before trying it out. Anytime less than that and the crabs are not done enough marinating.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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Doddie- Thank you again! I'm sending you a big hug through the screen! HUGZ :laugh: Now to find my crabs!!!

Thanks Peter for another two installments of your trip to Korea.

For the stone grinder, yeah I covet them a lot. :wub: To make your own tubu you can use these as coagulants: Epsom salts (easiest to get) then the ones normally used in tubu production magnesium chloride (nigari, bitter salt) or Calcium sulfate (gypsum). Good luck and tell us if you decide to make fresh tofu!

The sollaentang could be adulterated with soy milk maybe?

I think Koreans just like food. I tease my mom that she would lose weight if she didn't watch Korean television since it seems every other scene has food there somewhere, and makes her hungry.

I love the photograph of Serena staring at the meat. :laugh: She looks like a really cute hawk ready to strike.

The hole in the wall BBQ place looks so awesome, and the meat...

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***** Interlude *******

Breaking News!

News.yahoo.com has a story from JAE-SOON CHANG, Associated Press Writer that just showed up an hour or two ago about a new venture selling fried chicken in North Korea

What it boils down to (or fries up to) is that Choi Won-ho, who has a franchise of about 70 shops (but what's the name of the franchise?) across South Korea, announced that he'll open a chicken restaurant in Pyongyang on Nov. 15. Plus, his shop'll deliver chicken and draft beer by phone order.

Let me check out the window to see if it's frozen over out there!

We now return to our regularly scheduled drivel.

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Thursday, October 18 – Quite Ugly One Morning

I found the car keys in my jacket pocket. For a horrified moment, I thought maybe that I’d driven home. But then I remembered that I’d been given the keys to pass to Jason.

That was a relief.

Serena woke up happy, and was in even better form when we broke out some pears to get us started. Serena, Scud, Yoonhi, Jason, I and, I suspect, everybody with an once of happiness in them, loves these pears (I’m not being to encompassing, I hope?).


The only concern is that with Korean pears, you get awfully close to that “should you eat something bigger than your head” rule.

We’d promised Serena we’d take her back to the Coex Mall. She’d been enthralled by the interactive games they’d had there, and by the fact that there was a video arcade (oraksil). She’d tolerated our antics the night before, so it was only fair that she get some time.

Yoonhi was, shall we say, delicate.

With this in mind, once we’d arrived at Coex, our first duty was to get her sitting down, and with food in front of her.


I wasn’t going to be too fussy. We entered the food court, parked her, and Serena and I went out to find stuff. That wasn’t a problem. There were plenty of noodles, a juk (porridge) place, ramyun vendors, grilled anything, coffee, pizza, Italian, and an Indian joint. What you’d expect from a food floor.


The obvious thing for Yoonhi was jyajeongmyun. I got her an order of this, and some Coke to get her sugar levels back to normal. Sticky noodles, with a stickier starchy black bean sauce.

Serena had an absolutely vile lasagna, with something that was supposed to be garlic bread. Mind you, what I wasn’t interested in touching, she was quite content with.

While Yoonhi repented her past night’s indulgences, I took Serena and scouted out what we needed to find. As I did so, I took more note of what was in Coex.

For instance there was the Jumanji Board Game café – a concept of “let’s go somewhere for coffee or milk shakes and play board games”. Not a bad idea, but do you sell enough stuff to cover your costs?

While I’m certain it has a Gallic charm to the ears, Le Crapeau seems like an unfortunate name to assign to an eatery.

And 7-11, in addition to their slurpees, is also selling steamed buns and odaeng.

Mr. Pizza is advertising their new Hancho Gold pizza, with squid and sour cream topping.

That got me looking. I just went to Mr Pizza's web page and found

Grand prix


surprising combination of European cookies and pizza!

Sprinkling the crust rings with sunflower seeds,

pumpkin seeds, and raisons,

this one-of-a kind pizza which tastes like

European soft cookies, will have you craving for

more! And that's not all. With Grandprix,

you can have our two best toppings,

shrimp and potato, on one crust.

And when you're done, dip the rest of the crust

into our irresistible blueberry sauce for dessert!

Now I feel bad I didn’t have enough time for Mr. Pizza! It’s on the list for when I go back.

Serena and I dropped in on the Bandi & Luni’s (I hope that’s the right spelling. Every web site has a different spelling) and found volumes two and three of the Cat School series (translated from the Korean), so I added these to the bribe-your-child account.

After about an hour, Yoonhi was okay to move. We took the girl to the oraksil, where she found, among all the bells, klaxons, and explosions, that she just wanted to play air hockey with me. This would’ve been a good father-daughter bonding sort of thing, if it wasn’t for the bells, klaxons, and explosions.

We’d thought of taking in a film. Like Thailand, Korea is extremely sensible about movies, both in terms of price and comfort. But, looking over what was being shown, we had the usual family problem of either nothing being appropriate, or nothing being in English (that we wanted to see).

We headed back for the underground, Serena now satisfied. But, as we came up into the exhibition hall, we saw two signs.

Sign #1: Toy Expo

Sign #2: Robot Expo

Okay, I screwed up. I went to Robot Explo first, as it was on the ground floor.


It’s not that this was that big a mistake in terms of what we saw. The robots, covering manufacturing, security (I liked the one with the belt fed machine gun), firefighting, bomb disposal, cleaning (there were four different pod-like autonomous vacuum cleaners), and just plain toys were interesting for all of us.

Yoonhi, along with a horde of others, lined up and spent her time in the massage chair, which I would hardly say qualifies as a “robot”.

No, where I messed up was in that, by the time we’d spent another 90 minutes in there, we’d pretty much exhausted ourselves for the morning, and the toy exhibit had to go by the wayside (but Doddie covered it! Billy lucks out!). We took our sorry selves onto the underground, and bullied our way onto seats so we could rest our feet for the trip home.


Yoonhi was starting to feel normal again, so we had a quiet afternoon on the balcony. Pears, with their clear, sweet juice and crisp taste, seemed like the thing to have.

I do miss Korean pears, and having them available, it just seemed appropriate to eat them at every opportunity.


Jason arrived home in the early evening, and we had another concern.

Where was the car?

I figured we were doing pretty well knowing where the keys were, but if we wanted to get the dinner in for this evening that we’d planned, we were actually going to need to be able to put the keys together with the actual automobile.

There’s an episode of Seinfeld I recall, where they’ve parked the car somewhere at a new mall, and the show revolves around the long, long search for the vehicle.

Luckily, the parking lot only has 3 floors of general parking, and after that there’s “the thing”. The thing is a robotic system which will take your car like a cake into an oven, and descend with it to the lower depths, where it’ll be offloaded into a slot. You get a code for your place in “the thing”. You need to remember your code.

We tried to avoid “the thing”.

We were pretty certain we hadn’t parked there.

Given three floors of parking, we figured the search was manageable.

“I think we parked on the first level,” said Yoonhi.

“There’s never any space on first. Let’s start at two.”

You know where this is going. It was on first, which we checked last, walking about clicking the car keys at random trying to hear a “snick”.

It was dark by now, and we were hungry. Last night we’d done a true “hole in the wall”. This night it was going to be something completely different.

Note: edited to make it easier to find Mr. Pizza - 'cause you need to know!

Edited by Peter Green (log)
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Peter - so you saw this...


It has made us giggle for years now.

I still don't have the courage to try that shrimp pizza from Mr. Pizza (touted as a pizza made for women LOL)

Heard about the news of the Crispy Fried Chicken that will be sold in North Korea. I too, want to know what the fried chicken store's name is. I just hate news agencies who'd write up an article and fail to mention important details pertaining the news - LIKE THE RESTAURANT NAME. :angry: You know who you are, Fox news people.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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A Hole In The Ground

It was one of those distances and locations where you couldn’t do it on public transit, and you probably had no chance of explaining to a taxi where you were going.

So you just drive.

Anyways, we’d found the car.

Just as last night’s spot was, literally, a hole in the wall, this was a subterranean den, a hole in the ground.

It seated about 30 (bigger than last night) but it wasn’t bigger by much. Shoes off, sit on the floor, and tables on either side.

The restaurant went by the name of mujijang meun galbi ondoljib charimsang[/b[ what that translates out as is Incredibly Spicy Rib Heated Floor House Prepared Table

C’mon, say that five times fast.

The place had a pedigree. I was learning to recognize this. The stock photo of the two tv anchors, the signed bits and pieces, stuck up there.


The streetfront was a staircase, which you descended to get to the small entryway where you doffed your shoes before coming onto the ondol.

We took a table near the front to be close to the food, and ordered away.


The panchan was good enough. Some things were a little different from what we’d been having normally. The gaenip was marinated, like what we’d have in cans back in North America (but this hadn’t been canned). And there was a lovely little pile of fresh chives, and a bowl of broth with kunnamul in it, the big bean sprouts like eels in the liquid.

And we had white rice. It seems odd, but we’d had very little white rice during the trip. Lots of bokkum bap and bibimbap, but, outside of eating with Doddie in Icheon (in a town reknown for their rice), and the truck stop (where they’d added in millet), I couldn’t remember a simple bowl of white rice on the table.

But then again, I’m getting old.


They do one dish, and that’s it. Beef ribs boiled in a spicy broth. Your choice is in how spicy you want that one dish.


You can order it medium; hot; very hot; or super hot. Yoonhi put her foot down, and told us we could have it hot, but we weren’t going above that.

I breathed a sigh of relief.


The dish just looked evil. The bright green leeks couldn’t disguise the dollops of chili that were resting there on top of the dish. All of that was going to work it’s way into the meat and broth.

The meat had been marinated in the spice, and then partially cooked. The idea now was to bring everything together in the table-top boil – ribs, leeks, chilis, more chilis, still more chilis, and some potatoes that were submerged under there somewhere.

We considered washing some of the meat early for Serena, but it was already too hot. Serena would be eating panchan, the rice and gim in particular (and we’d brought along some milk for her from a corner store).


As with the outside notes, there was plenty of fan wrting, including some notes from Vancouver, even.

The “hot” was hot enough. I saw now why the rice was there, as you needed something to help sop up the burn in your mouth.

At the table across from us we heard one of the girls on her cell taking an order from her friends.

“No, no! You should order the super hot…….No, it’s not too bad!......Okay, we’ll order that for you for when you get here.”

Some people are just plain mean.


With the rice, Jason and I were coping. Yoonhi had been washing her meat in her kunnamul broth (sensible woman), and her broth was an angry shade of red.


The sauce had thickened up, with starch lent from the potatoes that had been lurking in there. At this point we wimped out, and we ordered another bowl, but this one medium, knowing that it would be building on the sauce already in there.

Loud slurps and expressions of delight were coming from all around us, so I guess the super hot was too out of control. Alternatively, they just weren’t going to admit defeat. Jason did point out that Korean women seem to be able to take food a lot spicier than men.

Maybe there’s hope for Serena? (To be fair, Scud was the same way. Tolerance for the burn seems to be something that comes with puberty).

The restaurant had an offer up on the wall: ”If you come with your mother-in-law, you get one free serving” (the Korean wording is such that this only applies to guys – “wife’s mother” for mother-in-law)

As expected, there was plenty of soju, and some beer. But I’m finding soju works best with the meats here, cleaning the mouth up more effectively.

Dinner finished we unfolded ourselves from the toasty floor, and climbed back to the surface. Serena had been well behaved, so it was time to search the local ice cream chests.

We turned up one of her “Rich Bars” that she liked, and Yoonhi found


Roman Holiday II. What kind of a name is “Roman Holiday II” for an ice cream bar? And was there a Roman Holiday I bar at some time in the past? There was a picture of the Trevi Fountain, so we knew what they were thinking, kind of….maybe……(it wasn’t very good. Lots of faux chocolate and a sponge layer).

It was going to be an early night.

We needed it.

Next: The Blue Ribbon

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Bits and Pieces

I'd bugged Jason about the "nori" in "Nori People" the place we went for yogurt soju shots (which then had its fallout the next morning). Nori refers to play, giving the idea of playful people.

When they talk about cheese in most of Korea, they're talking processed cheese. Think Velveeta.

Having said that, good cheese did start showing up in Seoul a few years ago, and Jason credits this in part with the rise of the wine culture. It strikes you now. When you go through the malls you see wine shops all over the place, and when you're in the hipper districts (and Itaewon) you see more and more wine bars. This just wasn't here ten years ago.

Driving standards. Any trip in a car anywhere in Seoul is going to involve one U-turn (ideally on a major 8 line street) and one stretch in reverse in an alley. You just can't avoid this.

Okay, those are just some things I wanted to get off my chest. I'll get back to the regular write-ups now.

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October 19 – Friday – Le Cordon Bleu


I’d called the day before to make an appointment with Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) in Korea. This is something I’d had in my mind since touring the new facility that has opened in Bangkok in cooperation with the Dusit Thani Hotel.

Here the faculty is set up with Sookmyung Women’s University, over near Yongsan. They’re on the 6th and 7th floors of the Social Education Building, and were quite willing to spare me some time.

I won’t go into a lot of detail here. For the greater part, this is because I want to give this material the attention it deserves, which is going to take more time. There are a lot of tie-overs between the Korean school and the new Bangkok school, as Mr. Young, who I spoke with, who has been a big part of the organization here, had been involved in setting up the Bangkok school.

To cover a few of the salient points, in addition to Le Cordon Bleu’s curriculum in cuisine patisserie, and bakery, they are also offering what they refer to as the Sabrina program, a series of one day courses for the public that touch upon many different aspects of cuisine, not just the strong French base that LCB focuses upon for its professionals. As a tourist, this appeals to me, with sessions touching upon Italian, Thai, kim chi and other topics, and I’m hoping that it’s something that Bangkok will emulate in one form or another.

They’d come into partnership with Sookmyung University through the efforts of Mrs. Lee, the President of the university. She’d been looking for ways to put a stamp of identity on this long-standing (over 100 years) institution. Their rival – Ehwa – had locked down many of the core subjects. President Lee had taken the plunge, and committed the university to being the cultural icon of the capital. This had worked well with Mssr. Cointreau’s plans to internationalize LCB beyond its traditional Paris and London schools (which he has done admirably, with schools in Canada, the US, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and Peru).

I’ll come back to this material after I get the full Korea write-up done, and can devote the time to a coherent piece on what the LCB is doing in Korea and Thailand. You’ll just have to be patient.

Fitting back into the chronology, I’d left Yoonhi and Serena to their own devices in the neighborhood while I spent an hour and a half in the school. They’d used their time wisely, with Serena buying a Korean New York hot dog. Plain dog. No detailing, just ketsup. Especially no hot mustard. Yoonhi had gone in for ddeokboggi. Plain ddeokboggi No detailing, just gochujang.

The guy had massive tubs of ddeok and gochujang, which he was just dumping into the stainless steel metal trays. These were obviously industrial trays made for ddeokboggi joints, about 2 feet by 3 feet, a foot deep, and with a gas burner. They take their ddeokboggi seriously at the universities.


Serena liked her hot dog enough that she went back and got herself another one while her mom was eating ddeok. One of her first independent purchasing decisions.

Yoonhi did notice that a lot of the food joints had university students working in them. This seemed odd to Yoonhi, as it’s not the image she had of university life in Korea, of students working. Demonstrating yes, working no.

When I met up with the two of them, they had already been touring some of the museums in the university. I should rather say that they’d been touring the museum, as the galleries are all part of the Sookmyung Women’s University Museum, which is a collection of artifacts covering not just textiles (which is what I was interested in) but also sculpture, paintings, calligraphy, and ceramics.


The first gallery was dedicated to textiles, or rather costumes, and I was happy to wander around in there and look at the old Korean, Japanese, and Chinese textiles.

Downstairs was a collection of items related to women’s life, and was interesting enough, but lacked the colour of the costume gallery. But that’s a hard thing to compete with.


Also downstairs, which was a lot of fun,was the exhibition of the graduating students from Fine Arts. We hit it just as they finished the opening ceremonies, and were then almost tripped over as the young ladies raced in to stand by their exhibits as the groups came by to have everything explained, piece by piece.

Coming out of Sookmyung we worked our way down the hill, back towards the underground.

At the underground, the timing for this trip was further rubbed in my face by an add proclaiming that I would miss the 1st Chungmuro International Film Festival.

And the leaves will look so much better then, too.

I’d somehow neglected to eat anything, but contented myself with more pears when we arrived home.

We were taking an early dinner this evening, as we were to see a show. With this in mind, it made the most sense to eat close to the theatre, and close to the theatre meant Apgujeong. And Apgujeong meant that Jason had something he wanted us to try.

We ate at what I believe is called Seonbong Hwakrogui, up on the second floor. What we were having tonight was beef.


This time the beef wasn’t ribs, but a good cut of meat taken very, very thin. The cut was closer to what we’d eat at home – sogumgui style – but a little different, without the salt, pepper, and sesame.


Charcoal grilling on the table, with clumps of white hot charcoal deposited and kept fresh. Likewise there’s the Dr. Who fume extractors. You pull these things down for the cooking.


Meat this thin grilled in an instant, which is good, given that Serena was in serious carnivore mode and was snatching everything as it came off.

And the grills are kept clean. As fast as Serena would clear a grill of its meat, the staff would be by to transfer a new stove top in its place.

And as fast as I cleared a bottle of soju, another came in its place.

I think of it as a yin yang thing.


Our chigae was silky smooth tofu. I can’t quite put it coherently, but when you dip into a good communal pot of chigae, there’s a feeling of comfort, of being satisfied.


We ordered a plate of a thicker cut, wallowing in a wet marinade with more mushrooms, this time including some mushroom caps.


This all messed up another grill, but it was in a good cause. The mushroom caps you leave on the grill to give up their water, and then, when done, you quickly pop back the cap with the fluid.

I don’t think we have enough garlic in our diet.


The finisher was bibimnengmyun, cold, hairlike noodle, the egg, sauce, and vegetables all tidy and neat at the onset, and then a cold mess of flavour once the spoons and chopsticks have had their evil way.

We were fed, and it was early. We had plenty of time for the next part.

Next: Nanta!


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great pics peter. They keep getting better and better and food looks more and more delicious. If only I could jump into my laptop screen and grab some food ):

does serena like to dip the ddeok into anything? I used to like it dipped in soy sauce or gochujang and my grandfather loves it dipped in sugar. But he likes everything with sugar added :/

I watched this fantastic thing the other day on the local boston news. They do a documentary type news thing everyday and they have a short series called Future Boston. They feature cities around the world that boston should kind of strive to be. They other day they had on Seoul and it looked completely different. They supposedly have some of the best internet connectivity (?) in the world. It was pretty fascinating and its amazing how much korea changes over the years. Does korea change drastically for you everytime you and your family go?

I mean after my boyfriend and I watched that show on Seoul, even he wanted to go. And he heard from a fellow employee that korea is "filthy and stinks" ): Of course the employee was American and had recently been in the US military.

now on to food - sorry........Doddie thanks for the recipe on the spicy crab (: At least you didn't have to eat it <3

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does serena like to dip the ddeok into anything?  I used to like it dipped in soy sauce or gochujang and my grandfather loves it dipped in sugar.  But he likes everything with sugar added :/

Nope, Serena's hardcore fundamentalist about her ddeok. She wants a stick of it in her fist, with no additives.

I don't try to make sense out of these things.

I watched this fantastic thing the other day on the local boston news.  They do a documentary type news thing everyday and they have a short series called Future Boston.  They feature cities around the world that boston should kind of strive to be.  They other day they had on Seoul and it looked completely different.  They supposedly have some of the best internet connectivity (?) in the world.  It was pretty fascinating and its amazing how much korea changes over the years.  Does korea change drastically for you everytime you and your family go?

Korea's been the "most wired nation" now for a few years, and they've held that title. So, in terms of technology, when you go into people's homes you see those little pod robots scurrying about and all sorts of other neat stuff.

Plus, especially South of the Han, you're seeing new architecture that looks really sharp, as opposed to the Lego blocks I'd touched on before.

North of the Han, the current Mayor (who may be the next Pres) did a fantastic job of restorying an old creek and its environs into a water purification system that doubles as a Riverwalk. Very, very good looking, and a poster child for a lot of the efforts for making cities more liveable (we'll walk through it in another posting or two).

But what I still like is that, amidst all of the Brave New World stuff, when you lift the pretty skirts of these monuments to modernity, you find a swarm of the old Korea, of ryamen joints and bars and restaurants and people pushing food around on carts and.......well.....stuff.

I like stuff.

Darn! Now you've got me using up all of my material for the next posts!

Oh, and regarding the other "fellow employee"'s comments......we were eating around two bulbs of garlic a day.....And fermentation is the primary food prep method.....But, I dunno. Maybe I'm enured to the smells? I didn't find the smell of Seoul's Underground to be anything close to the Moscow Metro during summer. Now that was a pong!

But, if this guy's exposure was primarily Itaewon, I could see that it wouldn't make a great impression. As I mentioned, the Hill still looks like the Itaewon I remember from 15 years ago. You take that and compare it to the neighboring Yongsan base (which is why Itaewon is there), which is like a piece of white bread from the 1950's, and you'd probably make his conclusions.

Pity I didn't get onto Yongsan this trip. But they probably wouldn't have let me shoot pictures anyways. They're fussy that way.

Okay, I'm getting back to writing.

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October 19 – A Night At The Opera


(a non verbal opera)

Basic information on Cookin’ Nanta!

1) It’s really good. Excellent fun. Go see it . No brainer.

2) Expect to go through hell to get a ticket in Korea

We’d already sort of covered some of this earlier, the tickets that is.

We’d gone through several days of trying to get tickets, and finally had to resort to working through acquaintances. Thankfully, we had them.

The problem is that the theatre won’t sell tickets in advance except through the internet. (World’s most connected country). In order to make a purchase of anything on the internet, you must supply a credit card number and your citizenship number.

This is where it gets tough. As a tourist, you won’t have a citizen’s number.

So, get our nephew to get the tickets, you say?

Jason, as a gyopo, has most, but not all of the privileges of a Korean citizen. The “not all” part is kept track of through a different prefix on his number. That prefix doesn’t work with internet purchases.

So, when Yoonhi contacted the office by phone, the result was….frustrating. When they found out we weren’t Korean (it came as a shock to me, I tell you) they recommended that we have our tour guide book for us. When we told them we didn’t have a tour guide, they just hung up.

Oh well.

But there was a ticket office. We figured we could work with that. People, tickets, money….these concepts usually work well when in close proximity.

We’d showed up there a few days before. Nobody. Closed. Nada. Yoonhi had phoned them at that point, and found out that this office only did “extra ticket” sales an hour before the shows.

The bulk of the ticket sales go through tour groups, with block bookings. So there’s a pretty good chance that you can just show up and get a ticket to get in.

I don’t deal well with uncertainty.

Anyways, when we were there and we had our reservation. All that remained was for Jason and Yoonhi to pick up our family tickets from the now-open ticket booth (they issue the physical ticket at this point, once you’re there, then see if there’re spares they can sell).

The final barrier, which Yoonhi and Jason bulled their way through while I was admiring the lobby and the Nanta stuff on sale, was to convince the woman at the booth that we were a family (a 30% discount for a family of three or four). As it was, Yoonhi had to go through:

“Where’s your ID”

“What ID? I’m a tourist.”

“You’re supposed to bring ID to prove you’re a family!”

“It’s not here. It’s back home.”

“You don’t sound like a tourist.”

“But I am a tourist!”


I should’ve been there. White guys get away with anything.

But Yoonhi persevered. She always does.

So, for those that don’t know let’s talk about Cookin’ Nanta!

This is best described, by one of the critics, as “Jackie Chan Meets Benihana Meest the Marx Brothers”.

Do I need to say more?

Okay, okay! The show is a non-verbal slapstick comedy. A kitchen has to prepare a wedding banquet in one hour’s time, saddled with the restaurant manager’s nephew, who’s been added to the kitchen staff.

Okay, with the storyline out of the way, the essence of the show is percussion. Nanta means to “beat relentlessly”. Chopping, beating, hammering, drumming, and some good old stage fighting tossed in. If you’ve watched Korean (and/or Japanese) drum performances, then you’ve sort of got an idea. The finale is very much a traditional synchronized drum dance, but with kitchen tubs and water drums.

And they know how to handle an audience, to get them involved. At that point, even if you can’t understand Korean, it doesn’t matter. When the head chef, trying to get the clapping synchronized has to deal with one old lady in the audience who is always one beat behind, you feel his pain in that long, drawn out “ajimaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

The history of the show goes back to 1996, when it was first started up. Everyone was surprised when the show still kept going strong through the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997 (referred to as “IMF” in Korea). And since then they’ve been running for 10 years non-stop.

They have two theatres, one south near Apgujeong (which is where we went) and the other north, back up to the NorthWest behind Deoksugung Palace (near City Hall). Along with the two theatres, they’re also performing world-wide, with 35 countries covered so far.


With this much work they run six teams. Black, blue, white, green, red, and purple. For tonight, we were watching the black team.


By far the best venue for them has been Japan. In an interview in The Groove (a local entertainment rag – www.mygrooveonline.com ) the Red Team had said that of all the stages, the one in Okinawa was the best, with a rear exit that opened on a beach. I wonder which stage that was?

They reckon that over 70% of their fan base is Japanese. Some of the Japanese fans are really hard core, having seen the show over a hundred times. One of these, when he was diagnosed with a serious illness, went so far as to transfer to a hospital in Seoul so he could catch the show regularly.

And we did hear a lot of Japanese about us. But we also heard a lot of Korean, too, so the show isn’t just a tourist draw (and if you pass your ticket stubs to your friends, they can get a 20% discount).

Success brings competition, so there’re a bunch of these shows now; Jump (more martial arts), Togebi Storm (again, martial arts percussion), and the Nanta people also have B-Boys. Hey, they’re packing the theatres.

And it’s a nice theatre. Not too big, so whichever seat you get, you’ll have a good view (and be in range of them throwing things at you). If you want to be part of the show, sit on the aisles.


With the cast of five, they were flat out for a little over 90 minutes. Man, I’d be ded after ten minutes, and this crew kept on going and going like a pack of knife wielding Energizer bunnies.

We loved the knife work. The flash of steel and storms of cabbage, carrots sliced machine-gun style, cucumbers julienned in mid-air, and an onion tossed up and diced.

I wish I could do that, but Yoonhi won’t let me practice with Scud when he comes back to visit.

Maybe when she’s not around……..

After the show, well, we were in Apgujeong…..


We toodled about for a little bit, taking in the bright lights. Jason talked a bit about the transient nature of business there. It’s the in, hip place to be, and you pay through the nose for rent for that reason.

It’s a good thing that cell phones were invented. It used to be that you’d meet at certain locations, like the McDonalds across from Galleria. But when we went by that block, everything had changed. Suddenly, people were without landmarks.

A lot of shops in this area only last for three or four months. Turn-over is that brutal. And some of the long lasting ones either get by on the reputation of being first (like Rock and Roll)


or by completely renovating every few months like AFS – Café Ahn - and putting on a new face to lure back old lovers (Korea is also the world leader in cosmetic surgery….but I won’t go there).

But, it’s a tribute to the trend-consciousness of Korea that people are quite willing to pay a 30% premium on their drinking and eating just to be where everyone is supposed to be.

Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound that much different than anywhere else.


I wish my appetite had been better (and my thirst less). I found bacon wrapped sausages with chili that just looked real, real good……..

One of the survivor establishments on my list that I wanted to visit was Platinum. This is a proper brew pub, stainless steel on display up at the front, very modern, none of this faux Brittania (or kleine Munchen) that a lot of places go in for.


This is one of the first (if not the first) of the brew bars that sprouted up when the Korean government liberalized its brewing laws in 2002. Not many of them are still around. Jason remembers the early days here, when they only had one beer they could sell. The problem was that, while the laws were liberalized, they still had to license each beer individually on its own specs. Try doing that when you’re in start-up in a brewery! Every day’s another experiment that you have to give away for free because you’re not allowed to sell it.

Mind you, that can build up some customer loyalty.

Now they’ve settled on 7 beers:

Wheat beer 4.7% - typical German

Belgian White 5.1% - “it is a Belgian style wheat beer and has attractive orange and coriander flavours”

Platinum 4.5% - British style

Brown Ale 5.5% - this is self explanatory

Pilsner 4.7% - “it is a legitimate beer of Pilsen, the Czech Republic. The beer is made with czechish hof and is matured more than 50 days.”

Cream Stout 4.1% - ‘taste of Ireland”, using a nitrogen system.

Morphine 8.4% - “it has been brewed without any distillation process. We recommend that you can order this beer after enjoying other beers due to strong taste and high-proof.”

Okay, it looks good. It’s got history. But what’s the beer like?



I did their taster set. Six beers in 120 ml glasses (not a bad serving). I honestly can’t say that I was that pleased with any of them. They were all weak on the finish, and they were overcompensating with aggressive hopping in all cases. I don’t mind a good hoppy IPA, heck, I’m almost tempted to fly back to Singapore for Brewerkz’ XIPA down at Clark Quay, but these were unbalanced, and reminded me of some spectacular failures I’d seen in Vancouver at the 2005 Caskival.


In position, from front right to front left are: brown ale, pilsner, cream stout. Behind them are, from left to right; wheat beer, Belgian White, Platinum.

Good heads in general, as you can see, and respectable bubblousity in the pils, but not one of them really succeeded at what they said they were trying for.

A major disappointment, too, was the lack of Morphine (or Morphone? I’m not certain which spelling they meant to use). At 8.4% this sounded interesting. Anytime someone refers to a beer as “high proof” I’ll pay attention.

Oh, well, you can’t have everything (but I’d sure like to try).


I thought about a hot dessert. The Mini Stop had these tasty sweets for finishing your meal; chili octopus bar, spicy vegetable bar, and triple sausage.

Who needs ice cream? (Serena, that’s who).

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I am glad you all enjoyed Nanta! I have been wanting to see this show for years now, but it hasn't happened yet. It came to New York one year and I couldn't convince DH into going to NY to see the show. :rolleyes:

I wonder if those hotdogs with bacon around it were tasty. They sure do look tempting though sitting there calling out to me. :raz:

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I think my boyfriend's former employee was stationed at youngsan, and yes if that was all he had exposure to then I can see where he is coming from...but still. Korea as a whole is quite beautiful and when he meant dirty he didn't mean the smell of garlic...I think he meant people's hygeine and the sanitation in the city. Koreans are some of the cleanest people I have ever met btw....at least when it comes to themselves and their houses.

I heard about the mayor of Seoul trying to build some riverfront park. I saw the plans and they look awesome! I can't wait till it's up and running.

hot dogs + bacon and chili? whoa....that would've gone great with all of your beers.

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