Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Seoul food, part 3

Our hunt for dinner ended up in a drinking house near Myong-dong. It was the only place packed full of men and we thought it had to be good. We saw 5 or 6 food pictures outside the place and little did we know that was all the place served. Nonetheless we were happy with our draft beer and we decided to give the food a try.

As the waiter didn't speak a word of English the only way to communicate was pointing. What my husband thought was beef turned out to be conch. It was actually pretty tasty even though it required a bit of chewing. The kimchi salad with cucumber, gosari, whitebait, and other assorted julienned vegetables was an interesting mix but a little too spicy. Not bad at all consider we didn't know what we were ordering.

We knew we were ordering some soupy type dish, perhaps with tofu but it was actually sliced fish cakes. The soup was extremely tasty with a peppery base. The fish cakes were very similar to Japanese or Chinese fish balls - we liked the dish so much we ordered a second helping.

The only dish we were sure about while we pointed was the fried pork chop, as it looked pretty nice on the picture. The real thing was a little dry but not bad.

Another success: sliced frankfurters on hot plate. We went for s second helping once again. I can see why the men drinking next to us kept ordering more and more of the stuff!

Our last surprise turned out to be seafood soup. Loved that red Korean soup base. I wish it would come with beef or something as we were a little afraid to eat fish and shellfish at a tiny drinking house. Instead we polished off all the tofu and radish with the fiercely hot soup. Yum!
The bill for 5 with beer came to US$100. A bit pricey (especially when we are so used to China prices) but it was an interesting experience.


I practically followed the trail of people walking up to this 2nd floor restaurant. I thought it had to be good with all that traffic and once again the people were right. The small menu had 9 items and ordering was easy with pictures.

I like the way that you get soup and kimchi as starters automatically, even in a semi fast food joint like this one. The soup was soooo salty I was a little worried about overdosing on MSG. The kimchi radish was so good though, very refreshing and crunchy.

As all other diners had dumplings on their tables I had to try some naturally. They were nothing specially unfortunately. The veg and glass noodle filling was too bland.

I got the cold noodles by mistake as the pictures were too small and I couldn't really see. It turned out to be excellent fortunately! Besides they got the condiment right: white vinegar and mustard made all the difference.

I was not hungry after my cold noodles but when I saw the noodle dish everyone else was having I decided to try some. The dish was also cold but not soupy. I loved all the freshly chopped vegetables and the chili sauce - a perfect dish for the summer.

Another picture of the noodles once it's been mixed up. I can eat this dish everyday.

Everything came to US$10. A bargain!


I found this hot pot restaurant packed full of lunch crowd so I went back at 2pm. The strategy paid off as I was able to sit comfortably at a normal table. There were traditional Korean tables but I wasn't dressed for it.

Anyway the menu with pictures was straight forward: there were 4 or 5 hot pots with different combinations of frankfurter, sprouts, baked beans (I know it's weird), vegetables, tofu, macaroni, and beef. I went for the one with everything and I liked the look of it. Red hot, big and smoking. I didn't think much of the kimchi, especially the lower left corner one with seaweed. It was a little too fishy for me.

I ordered noodles to go with the pot, like everyone else. I was a little disappointed to find out they were just regular noodles and not the spicy and firmer Shin Ramyun. I could also use the extra spicy soup base. Still I was really happy with everything - I loved all those Korean soup bases.

The meal came to US$7. I wish I get to go back sometime.

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