Our Food Tour GuestsTuesday, June 21, 2011
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Since we’ve been through this before, Dustin and I knew that after meeting our child for the first time it would be nearly impossible to concentrate on anything. Yesterday I just kept replaying our time with Malia in my head. I looked at our photos about 1000 times. Luckily, we had made plans ahead of time for last night. So, after some shopping in the afternoon we went to find our guide for the food tour we had prearranged. We went through a company called O’ngo Food Communications (www.ongofood.com). Our guide’s name was Marcus. We began the tour at 5 and got back to our hotel around 10. It was absolutely phenomenal. We learned more about Korean food culture and just Korean culture in general last night than we could have ever imagined possible. If you ever go to Seoul, you need to go on this tour. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Marcus took us to restaurants that would otherwise be unaccessible to us because of the language barrier. When he turned down an “alley” (maybe 5 feet wide?) to lead us to our first stop I felt a little skeptical. I couldn’t imagine that a quality restaurant could exist in such an obscure location. We were treated to premium rice wine there, along with the best kimchee I’ve ever eaten. That came with fresh, blanched tofu and a side of seasame-ginger dipping sauce. It was outstanding. We went to two Korean BBQ places after that, and stopped at several street vendors along the way. I think the highlight for us both was when he took us through a very, very busy street market that was lined with food vendors. These vendors don’t open until the evening, and often stay open into the wee hours of the morning. It was unbelievable. There was so much food and so many people and so much…life. It was just vibrating with energy.
We can’t thank Marcus enough for this highly educational (and very delicious!) food tour. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day in Seoul.
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At the end of our tour we handed Dustin’s iPhone to some locals and they snapped our obligatory group shot. Sidenote: the number of iPhones we have seen here has been astounding. And the accessories for said phones are fantastic. I may have purchased such an accessory for my own phone. Stay tuned. You will not be disappointed.
This is a photo of one of the hundreds of vendors in the street market. The arrow? Is pointing at a pig’s face…ready for consumption. On the far left? Are the hooves.
Dustin and I are quite possibly the Worst Picture Takers in the world. This is a photo of the food at our first stop. Unfortunately we had already eaten a majority of it. You can see one lone piece of kimchee leftover, along with one hunk of tofu. We should have our tourist cards revoked.
Here is a photo from the first BBQ restaurant we went to. In the cooler are plates full of fresh greens of all types. We wrapped our BBQ’d meat in these greens and added all sorts of delicious condiments. Yum and yum.