For those that didn't have a chance to pick up a copy of April's Seoul Magazine. Here are some of the food places I wrote about. I recommend you pick up a copy because you'll get lots of great events and the maps will show you where all of the restaurants I mention are. Let's support the good restaurants in Korea, because I am tired of them closing because people don't know they exist!
Quick Bites: Seoul Digested
Published in the April Seoul Selection Magazine. Reprinted with Permission
By Daniel Gray
The Frypan: University Project Turned Franchise
Hongdae University is known as the school for aspiring artists. The scene is eclectic and energetic and many of the restaurants and eateries reflect this idea. The Frypan restaurant was started as a school project by a group of university students. Their signature dish is boneless chicken breast that is breaded and fried served over a bed of freshly fried potato chips. It is like a battleship of chicken strips and chips. It comes with an “original” mayonaisse/ garlic sauce or a spicy chicken sauce. Oh, and their turnip pickles have a curry accent. I give these art students an A+ for their restaurant. (Side Note: I think this franchise’s inspiration came from the longtime, chicken restaurant: Reggae Chicken, also located in Hongdae.)
Locations throughout Korea. There is one In Itaewon if you go out exit 2 and walk straight.
The Most Awesome Braised Pork and Octopus Dish Ever
In the sauce lies the essence of a dish and a good sauce will embed itself into my mind and become a fixation of my fascination. It is the marriage of all the elements of the dish to form a lustrous, focused image. The spicy pork dish at Hannam Bukeotguk is a flavor bomb. The eggplant, potatoes, pork and octopus fuse with the garlicky, red pepper sauce to make a dish that deserves bowl after bowl of rice to sop up. Their pan-fried snacks (jeon) are excellent as well and perfect with their omija-essence makgeolli.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-2am
Sat 10am-10pm. Closed Sunday
Getting there: Hannam Station, Jungang Central Line, Exit 1. Head east along the main road, then take the first left. Turn right at the next big intersection. Hannam Bukeotguk will be on your left.
Silky Noodles in a Crisp, Ice Broth
Pyeong Yang Myeon-ok is one the most famous places in the entire country for naengmyeong: buckwheat noodles in a chilled turnip and beef broth. It is so famous that they built a parking-garage elevator to combat traffic congestion. The noodles are lively and they swim in the light, fermented turnip and beef broth. This Seoul landmark also has North Korean style meat platters like obokjaengban and jaeok, and their fist-sized dumplings can’t be missed.
Seoul Junggu Jangchungdong 1ga 26-14 Zip 100-391
Directions: Go out Donguk University Station (Subway Line 3) Exit 6 and walk straight. It is a grey factory looking building on the left.
Authentic Moroccan Sandwiches from Chef Wahid
These days I have been seeing the rise of foreign entrepreneurs setting up shop in the Haebangchon/Gyeonidan area. There are several restaurants, bars, an art gallery, and a music shop owned and run by expats. One of my favorites is Casablanca that serves true Moroccan-style sandwiches. My favorite is the lamb: savory ground lamb in tomatoey sauce with lentils, chickpeas, satisfying potatoes, a cool yogurt sauce and crunchy pickles and cabbage. Vegetarian options available.
Directions: Go out Noksapyeong Station Exit 2 and walk straight. When you get to the traffic light, veer left and walk along the road with the kimchi pots for about 10 minutes.