Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yelper in Seoul Reviews Garosugil Restaurants

People ask me all the time where do I find restaurants to review? Often, like you, I listen to friends and other foodies. When that fails, I go search through the blogs. One blog in particular that I have been a fan of is "A Yelper in Seoul." It is written by the Rodney Hammond and I like his very honest...well...blunt assessment of restaurants. I tend to write only about the restaurants I like. If it is bad, I just don't think that it deserves any of my time. Rodney feels otherwise and he accesses every place he visits in a very decisive manner. Rodney will be writing columns from time to time to share with you what he feels is the best and worst eats in Seoul.

Cheers,

Dan


A Yelper in Seoul.
Written and Photographed by Rodney Hammond http://jhammers.blog.com/ Reprinted with permission



What is Yelp? It is one of the most widely used Social Networking sites in the USA & also present in Canada, UK, Germany, France & Holland, The Aim of Yelp is to connect people with great local businesses & thru my reviews since arriving in Soul last August I have tried to do the same, I use a similar review system to Yelp

1 star = I think NOT
2 star = I have experienced better
3 star = ok
4 star = I AM a fan
5 star = As good as it gets.

I have added half stars to highlight what I think are the best in each category.

I first column for Seoul Eats will be a quick assessment of Garosugil.

Garosugil is one of my favorite places to go. It is a a great little neighborhood just steps away from Sinsa Station.


An Avenue with an almost Parisian feel & with plenty of little trendy Boutiques, Coffee shops, Bars & Great places to eat. These are Three of the places I have so far found that I recommend you to visit, but we will certainly be going back to explore more of the side streets & alleyways in Garosugil. To get to Garosugil, you should go out Sinsa Station (Subway Line 3) Exit 8 and walk about 3 blocks and then make a left.


Motherhands Delicious house & Green Tea pork BBQ, Garasu gil, Sinsa Dong ; Seoul 543-1256
4.5 Stars

If you start your wandering around trendy Garasu-Gil from Sinsa Station & your hunger pangs are fully developed,  then head almost to the far end of the street & take the last side street on the right. Walk about 150m down on your left you will find an Ajumma run Diamond!!

Walking inside we found a restaurant full of happy families out for Sunday dinner, No chairs this is strictly a squat on the ground restaurant.

We ordered Green Tea Pork BBQ, Spicy Pork Stew & these were served with the best homemade banchan (side-dishes) I have eaten in Korea.

The banchan were replaced multiple times in a very prompt manner, no need to ask for seconds!! I’m not a tofu fan but this tofu was crispy on the outside, soft in the center, & extremely flavorful.
The Spicy Pork Stew was tasty, a mix of crunchy & succulent pork & a tangy Piquant spicy BBQ Sauce. Plenty of fat on the pork to give a sizzle in the skillet & it leaves a porky taste that melts in your mouth.

The Gem of the evening, the Prize, The absolute highlights was the Green Tea Pork BBQ, simply put the best Pork BBQ i have eaten in Korea, from the quality of the meat, the taste, and the great combination of Pork, Pumpkin & Kimchi!!

Superb…… A must go to place for anyone in Sinsadong!!

The Service at Motherhands is friendly & super prompt, prices are more than reasonable & the Usual Soju & Beer are available.

Directions.

Sinsa Station Line 3. Take Exit 8.Walk about 100m & take 3rd street on your left. This is Garasu-Gil.Cross over to the far side & walk about 300m down the Avenue, take the 6th Street on the right. Motherhands is about 75m on the left.

Taco;Garosugil;Seoul 545-1705 4 Stars


Returning home after hiking Mt Bukhamsan & driving thru Sinsa-Dong we thought last minute lets head over to Garosugil & eat lunch. Parking though is not the easiest adventure in that neck of the woods, but eventually on a twisty turny side street we found a slot & then started walking towards the main drag when we spotted Taco! God Bless Mexican food.

Taco is a small Narrow Restaurant with 8-10 tables. The kitchen is in full view, which I like, & both Korean & Mexican Beer is sold.

I love Mexican food & my benchmark for any establishment is Taco Al Pastor: a soft Taco full of Pork & Onions & Cilantro With Jalapenos.



These Taco were Fantastic, just right, perfect size with the absolutely spot on filling, Served together with Hot Sauce………………………Bingo!!

My Wife ordered Chicken Enchiladas, not normally my favorite Mexican dish but also spot on, nice piquant sauce, Sadly no fresh Guacamole & Even more sadly no Margarita!
Very good, very inexpensive Mexican food In a basic Tacqueria Vibe joint!
We will return!

Directions.

Sinsa Station Line 3. Take Exit 8.Walk about 100m & take 3rd street on your left. This is Garasu-Gil.Walk about 50m down the Avenue, take the 2nd Street on the Left, Turn right at the 1st street . Taco is about 25m on the Right.

Han Chou, Garosugil; Sinsa-Dong; Seoul 511-1794
2.5 stars

Han Chou is a long time institution in Gangnam, We have passed it a number of times on our way to Motherhands Delicious Hands & Green tea Pork BBQ which is on the same side street & wanted to eat there each time but it was always full up with a long Queue to wait………….

Every time we have gone past Han Chou to other area restaurants it has been full up & Friday night was no exception, but luckily we did get a table for a couple straight away.
I loved the atmosphere, a really noisy, happy bustle vibe, similar to the best kind of hole in the Wall Los Angeles Mexican Restaurants.

Lots of happy people eating mainly Chicken dishes. Han Chou is most famous for Fried Chicken, Chicken Anus, Chicken Stomach type dishes.

We ordered Chicken with Spicy Sesame sauce.
Now i really wanted to love Han Chou, but this dish was just awful. Sadly low quality Chicken parts, over cooked & a sickly taste rather than flavorful sauce.

This dish saved the meal, Fried large Green Peppers stuffed with Pork. Really good flavor combinations & not overly greasy. The meal was served with Draft Beer & total was KRW 40,000. So not cheap!!Well Really it was a tad disappointing, but still i love the atmosphere & i think we need to go back with someone who better understands the menu, I have to think that such a consistently packed Restaurants with seemingly mainly locals must be onto something good.

Directions.

Sinsa Station Line 3. Take Exit 8.Walk about 100m & take 3rd street on your left. This is Garasu-Gil.Cross over to the far side & walk about 300m down the Avenue, take the 6th Street on the right. Han Chou is about 50m on the left.

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Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G
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