Sunday, July 29, 2007

Seoul food, part 2

I knew of Kraze Burgers because of its branch in Shanghai but we had yet to try it. We were determined to try the real thing when we saw one near our hotel. I was surprised to see it's actually a sit-down place as supposed to a fast food joint.

We were happy to see very berry smoothie on the list (US$3.5), perfect for a hot summer afternoon. I definitely prefer all fruit and ice smoothie to the ones with yogurt or milk and unfortunately this one was the latter.

Our chili cheese fries (US$2.5). Could use more cheese for sure.

We both had the regular burger (US$4.9) with an egg on top (I think each fixing costs an extra US$0.5). The burger was better than fast food but not quite diner standard yet. Even though it was freshly put together the quality and size of it made it marginally acceptable for that price. We thought it's cheeky that the dish does not include fries on the side.


I was still hungry when we walked out of Kraze Burgers - go figure. When we saw a Steff Hotdog across the road I decided that it had to be tried and digested.

I tried the Steff dog (US$2.9) and I was disappointed at its size. It was long and thin with mustard, ketchup, chopped onions, and what I thought to be dried garlic flakes on top. I brushed all the flakes off and ate the whole thing in 3 goes. It was a highly unsatisfying experience to be honest. The wiener tasted like tinned cocktail wieners: plain and plastic-ky. Maybe my expectations were too high to begin with; I was fantasizing a huge frankfurter with all the toppings. In my dream.


Needless to say we were hungry again after a couple of hours and the many tea houses in Seoul came to rescue. Besides my husband had to have a go at his Crackberry...sorry Blackberry. We found one on 2nd floor overlooking the busy Insa-dong (Dong: a section of a city in South Korea, approximately the size of 5 city blocks, used in place names quite often).

The teas all have some kind of health value according to the menu. My jujube and honey tea was supposed to increase circulation I think. We couldn't believe the size of that cup when it arrived - almost like a soup bowl - and when I looked around people were using their spoons to drink theirs. Cool. I tried mine and quickly realised that it was the sweetest think I had ever tasted in my life. I manged to finish half of it at the end...sugar overload!

My husband tried a quince tea, it was just as sweet, he said it was sickly. The cup on the right is the normal-size teacup often seen in Japanese restaurants.

There were 4 or 5 different cakes on the menu and I had not a clue whatsoever. I tried my luck with some glutinous rice cakes, expecting something similar to a mochi. They looked totally different than what I had in mind but they were damn good! The lightly flavoured top and bottom sponge was so soft and fresh but yet it had enough integrity to hold on to the sticky chewy glutenous filling in the middle. The texture was most interesting in a pleasant way. They came in 4 different flavours: lemon, green tea, orange and we couldn't quite work out what the brown one was...could be chestnut. Nonetheless we liked them a lot.

Our teas and cakes came to about US$15 I think. Not bad for a long relaxing break, and the service was friendly and excellent.

No comments: