Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

I get to go back May 17th -23rd Seoul then Pohang and back. Any must go to places. I will be staying at the JW Marriot which has western fare. The food court in the adjoining basement though has everything - except dog. There is a sign with a Basset Hound with a red circle with a slash across it.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks zenkimchi. I just got back from Seoul but I will probably have another chance to use these phrases, maybe even in Japan. And I'm sure they will be useful for other visitors.

Yeah. Too bad we missed each other. Next time.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
I get to go back May 17th -23rd Seoul then Pohang and back. Any must go to places. I will be staying at the JW Marriot which has western fare. The food court in the adjoining basement though has everything - except dog. There is a sign with a Basset Hound with a red circle with a slash across it.

I can't think of any must-go places except this one country style -- country style -- restaurant south of Seoul on the subway blue line (line #4) that makes its own liquor. It's at the foot of Gwanak Mountain.

Really, any place with stuff swimming in the window or a good smell leaking out is a good bet.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Did you all catch Bourdain's Seoul No Reservations? What did you think? I was a little disappointed he didn't talk to local chefs. Seoul is really coming up in the restaurant arena, and it would have been nice to have an inside peek.

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was pretty good for a first look at Korea. A lot of people don't know ANYTHING about Korea. When I said I was moving to Korea, my mom had to look for it on a map.

Later down the road, I guess we could do a good Chefs in Korea thingie. Who and what restaurants were you specifically thinking about?

I'm hungry!

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites

That’s a good question, because now that I said that, the only restaurants I can think of are Western!

Still I would have liked him to explore Kim chi a little more (where was the Kimchi jjigae?) or at least sample a few varieties. Or hwae even.

This show felt a little off. Maybe it was because there was a sidekick (who really held her own against Bourdain), or because the focus of the show was returning for a family gathering rather than him meeting up with local food experts giving him a tour of the city. I half expected to see A. Salmon or I. Cho form the Joong Ang daily leading him through the night food stalls in Dongdaemoon.

But from the prospective of people who haven’t visited, I guess it is an interesting cultural snapshot. At least now they know the horrors of a Norae Bang!

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw it, and it was a real kick to look at Seoul again. The places they went were cool...It was nice how she met her grandfather for maeuntang...I guess, to me, Korean food has a personal touch - made by wives, mother, grandmothers....or simply offered and cooked by you at your table (Or from the end of a stick, scarfed down under a red and white awning while you're freezing), much like we saw in the show. When my parents went to visit me in Seoul, my boss's wife laid out a huge feast for them, just like in the show. She even spent hours wrapping the special pancakes around the veg and beef, and she hand-tied them all with green onion! It doesn't have a real Wow! factor on TV, maybe, but it was lovely. I agree with Zen, anything to get people thinking about Korean food at all. I know it's popular in urban centres in the U.S., but not everywhere. We just took a friend out last night for Korean food. She's from South Africa, and had never tried it before. When the waitresses started marching out with side dish after side dish, she was blown away. We had samgyeubsal and soju (of course), and she loved it. So we can convert people one at a time if we have to!

Are there restaurants in Seoul that offer "high-end" Korean? What are they doing?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think many of the high-end restaurants are re-creating Korean cuisine using foreign ingredients or organics. More attention is being paid to the quality of the ingredients and health concerns. Well-being is one of the biggest trends at the moment. Personally, my theory is that due to the growing number of Koreans going overseas, many are returning with a taste for international cuisine, but with a Korean twist. Fusion will make some here roll their eyes, but that is changing. A branch of Le Cordon Bleu opened a couple of years ago, and produced a cookbook merging many French and Korean dishes.

Here is a link to an article about the Le Cordon Bleu Kimchi cookbook in the JoongAng daily.

http://service.joins.com/asp/print_article...+a+la+Francaise

Going back to the Seoul No Reservations, you are right Nakji, the story was touching, and anyone who’s been lucky enough to be invited to a home cooked meal knows what a treat it is. All those side dishes! I guess I’m greedy. I love Korean food so much I wish he’d have spent the whole show showing all there is to sink our teeth into.

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is a link to an article about the Le Cordon Bleu Kimchi cookbook in the JoongAng daily.

http://service.joins.com/asp/print_article...+a+la+Francaise

Where can I get that book? I've hunted Amazon, WhatTheBook (Korea), and Google, and I can't find any place that sells it. Would it be at Kyobo?

EDIT: I found an online version at the Korean Agriculture and Fisheries Board site (which co-produced the book).

Click on Kimchi in the Western World >> Le Cordon Bleu

Edited by ZenKimchi (log)

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is a link to an article about the Le Cordon Bleu Kimchi cookbook in the JoongAng daily.

http://service.joins.com/asp/print_article...+a+la+Francaise

Where can I get that book? I've hunted Amazon, WhatTheBook (Korea), and Google, and I can't find any place that sells it. Would it be at Kyobo?

EDIT: I found an online version at the Korean Agriculture and Fisheries Board site (which co-produced the book).

Click on Kimchi in the Western World >> Le Cordon Bleu

Ot Le Cordon Bleu's website it says the book is printed in English, Korean, and French, so maybe you could buy it at the school? It is in Sookmyeong Women's University

http://www.lcbkorea.com/cm1.cfm

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to actual dining,

New restaurants in Itaewon are opening at the once of one a day.

I recently are at Buddha's Belly, a sleek hipster Thai lounge and have mixed feelings about it.

Has anyone else eaten there?

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Last night I stopped off at A.O.C in Chungdam for some wine with friends.

A.O.C is a 1920's style art deco wine bar and restaurant. Palm trees intersect dining areas; a back room sports a Moroccan theme complete with metallic flecked fabrics and low cushion. The main dining area provides elegance with dark wood tables, and cream leather dining chairs. Everything from Pink Martini to Madeline Peyroux lightly wafts through the speakers. I reviewed it a couple years ago for the free community magazine KScene.

Since that time I was pleased to see that A.O.C had expanded their menu, to include more main dishes, however the cheese and charticure selections were drastically reduced.

When I first came to A.O.C there were more than 70 wines by the glass, now there are about 15.

We ordered a bottle of CAVA, only to be told 15 minutes later that they were out of CAVA. Why it took so long to get this information to us is a mystery. Our server suggested a Jacob's Creek Brut Cuvee, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, I asked for the Prosecco, her again suggested the Jacob's Creek, I again asked for the Prosecco. Finally he broke down and told me that they were out of all their sparkling wines with the exception of this one bottle.

We agreed.

The price 60,000 won, roughly 68USD. How much is this bottle of wine in America? 10USD.

Ok, I know I am not in America, and I haven't lived in America for quite some times. But still. Ouch.

With our bottle came complimentary snacks; some raisins, some peanuts, and some saltines.

I'm not sure if the saltines were part of the fruit-nut set or if they were to accompany our 12,000 won serving of goat cheese. Which, I found to be a fair mark up considering the price of goat cheese in the foreign supermarkets. Score one for A.O.C

No matter, it was a slap in the face with a limp lace glove. Worse, this is one of the nicer wine bars in Korea, located in the Hollywood of Seoul. Frequented by pop stars, actresses, actors, producers, well to do Kyopos and businessmen.

It is another sad example of how a restaurant here has so much potential, yet rarely live up to it. Many are flawed by easy mistakes and overlooking the simplest of details.

I don't think I will go there again. Maybe if they start serving ritz.

Edited by maryeats (log)

She came, she saw. She ate, she blogged.

www.maryeats.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

So why does foreign dining suck so much in Seoul?

All of the pasta places serve sweet tomato sauce with pickles on the side or drench the (overcooked) pasta with cream and undercooked bacon, (more pickles) and call it a day.

I always used to go to the wine bar down the alley in Insadong. They also insisted on serving crap snacks like corn chips and plastic cheese dip when we bought bottles of wine. Their classiest cheese available was Philadelphia cream cheese cut into cubes.

And I remember the incandescent rage of my husband when he was once served Ritz crackers, covered in peanut butter, spam, American cheese, and ketchup in a bar.

Here in Hanoi, I can get a ridiculous selection of cheeses, wines, charcuterie...even the Citimart, a bog standard supermarket, carries real parmesan and parma ham. Seoul has 20 million people - Hanoi has three million. What's up? I mean, obviously, the French have had an influence here...but they've been gone for 50 years.

I'm so much happier here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As much as I love Korea and Korean food, I am also a cruel merciless critic of Korean food culture at times, especially when it comes to foreign food. Here are the rules I have been coming to discover:

RULE #1: Western food must taste as close to candy as possible.

If you can sweeten it enough for kids to like it, then everyone else will like it. You can't have any strong odors, nothing greasy, and for goodness sake, it can't be savory. It is a crap shoot on whether or not that ham and cheese sandwich you got at the bakery is slathered with ketchup, kiwi sauce, or just sweet corn syrup itself.

RULE #2: We are no longer a poor country, but we must act like it. Especially in pretentious situations

Wine bars and whiskey bars in Korea are laughably depressing. They are all dolled up in black and purple lighting, trying to look sophisticated with the plasticized girls who are there to talk to the patrons. You sit there at this expensive bar, and it is quiet. You get a small plate of stale nuts or tiny slices of dried seaweed while the bar girl stares at you uncomfortably, wishing she paid more attention to English classes in high school. These places try to give a look of sophistication that is intimidating but gets it all wrong in making it uncomfortable -- offering their classic whiskey and milk sets for $150.

RULE #3: Foreigners are fat because they don't eat Korean food

So nothing should be deep fried and if so, it should always be served with kimchi or something pickled -- preferrably sweet (see RULE #1).

RULE #4: This is exactly how they serve it there

Don't even think of trying to correct the pizza guy by saying you don't need sweet pickles with your pizza and spaghetti. You are supposed to have it that way because that's how real Americans and Italians eat pizza and spaghetti.

"But I'm American," you say.

That does not matter. You are in Korea. We are Korean. We are right.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Zenkimchi, you are so right. There are a couple of restaurants that me and my hubby are okay with - The Outback Restaurant and Marche Restaurant. It is laughable when you tell them that pizza is never served with pickles in the USA. Then they ask why? LOL

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
RULE #1: Western food must taste as close to candy as possible.

If you can sweeten it enough for kids to like it, then everyone else will like it. You can't have any strong odors, nothing greasy, and for goodness sake, it can't be savory. It is a crap shoot on whether or not that ham and cheese sandwich you got at the bakery is slathered with ketchup, kiwi sauce, or just sweet corn syrup itself.

RULE #2: We are no longer a poor country, but we must act like it. Especially in pretentious situations

Wine bars and whiskey bars in Korea are laughably depressing. They are all dolled up in black and purple lighting, trying to look sophisticated with the plasticized girls who are there to talk to the patrons. You sit there at this expensive bar, and it is quiet. You get a small plate of stale nuts or tiny slices of dried seaweed while the bar girl stares at you uncomfortably, wishing she paid more attention to English classes in high school. These places try to give a look of sophistication that is intimidating but gets it all wrong in making it uncomfortable -- offering their classic whiskey and milk sets for $150.

RULE #3: Foreigners are fat because they don't eat Korean food

So nothing should be deep fried and if so, it should always be served with kimchi or something pickled -- preferrably sweet (see RULE #1).

RULE #4: This is exactly how they serve it there

Don't even think of trying to correct the pizza guy by saying you don't need sweet pickles with your pizza and spaghetti. You are supposed to have it that way because that's how real Americans and Italians eat pizza and spaghetti.

"But I'm American," you say.

That does not matter. You are in Korea. We are Korean. We are right.

very funny, and very true! by the way, are the pickles served with pizza the pickles you get with fried chicken (cubed radish)? If so, I LOVE those little raddishes. I can say that I have never ordered pizza in Korea in my entire time I have lived or visited there.

3 years ago when my mom and I were in Korea visiting relatives we bought some frozen pizza from a us military base and proceeded to cook it in my grandmother's frying pan because she of course doesn't have an oven. When I got my little korean cousins to try a taste they said it was too sweet. I thought all korean tomato based products were sweeter than their american counterparts? weird

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some friends were talking about the pig in Cheju. It's raised purely on excrement (similar to the famous dong kke) and has a flavour only rivalled by the Zeballeen in Cairo, Christians who raise their pigs in the garbage dumps - strangely right next to the cemetery.

Has anyone had the Cheju pork? Any comments?

Or even as a further question, has anyone any viewpoints on different regional specialties in Korea?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I tried this. "Jeju shit pig" as it was translated to me. It was quite nice, but not noticeably different from regular pork I tried in Korea. As a rule, I find the pork I've eaten in Asia to be much better than any I ever ate in Canada. I don't think it's as lean as the North American product.

I've heard here in Northern Vietnam, it's a hill tribe delicacy to eat the intestine of the pig with the dung still in it. I won't be trying that any time soon, but it's an interesting twist on sausage.

I was told that in Korea, the food is best in the South and the far North. Pyongyang is famous for its noodles (nangmyeon), which regrettably, I never had the chance to try, as it's my favourite Korean dish. Jeonju is famous for bibimbap. Chuncheon is famous for ddalk galbi (spicy chicken ribs pan fried with thick rice cake, leeks, etc. - fabulous and hard to find outside of Korea). Suwon is famous for galbi - they cook it on your table with a pot of coals in the trendier joints, instead of on a sunken grill. Some of the newer places have even taken to offering western wines with it - they make a great match! Busan is famous for raw fish. Every little region has its specialty. I tried to eat most of them while I was there.

My favourite specialty was the Jeju Hallabong, a sort of orange grown on the slopes of Mount Halla, on Jeju island. They usually ran about four dollars each, but were the most succulent and fragrant oranges I've ever eaten.

But I'm from Canada, so that's not really saying much.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've heard here in Northern Vietnam, it's a hill tribe delicacy to eat the intestine of the pig with the dung still in it. I won't be trying that any time soon, but it's an interesting twist on sausage.

this made me both laugh and cry at the same time

in seoraksan they have this great restaurant that specializes in soon dubu. I don't know if seoraksan is famous for soon dubu or not, but this restaurant is well known and serves the best soon dubu I have ever had. Too bad I was 13 when I went there so I have no clue what it was called. It was a traditional style restaurant with floor tables and wooden & paper sliding doors. Afterwards we went to a fish market and had fresh squid sashimi that had just been caught. We just ate it plain and it was so yummy.

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nakji and Sheena,

Thanks very much for those. I'm going to have to get back to Korea next year, I think. I have great Korean meals abroad, but I know everything tastes so much better over there.

I remember in Pusan near the cable car up the mountain they had a seafood stew, with a particular dish with a divot in the middle that they would pack with the spices before. Do you know what the dish is called? I may try and get my nephew to bring one back (it's hopeless trying to explain things to him).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...