We have an Espresso Vanilla Stout from Busan's Galmegi Brewery on tap at Brew 3.14. We will have jello shots and awesome pizzas to bring in the new year. #brew314 #seouleats #beer
Here is a very masculine ginseng root used in a beef ad in Korea. It's pretty obvious it is male. #korea #ginseng #seouleats #medicine
Wow. The new IKEA is impressive and it is a hit despite what all the naysayers were saying. The Korean people have flocked there. Ok opening night there was barely any room to walk around.
The layout is impressive and the entire store is huge. I can't believe how big it is. The room layouts portray what can be done with limited space and they showcase the Swedish designers.
I didn't have a chance to eat there because the lines were too long but I will in the future.
What I love most about IKEA is that it gives you ideas about what can be done with space. It is an exercise in imagination.
Since I missed Christmas, I decided to recreate a Christmas dinner as a sandwich. It is sliced roasted chicken on a whole wheat ciabatta topped with mayo, stuffing, raspberry sauce and fresh ground black pepper. It was epic. If you have leftovers from your holiday meal, I would suggest you make yourself one.
This is a survey sent out to the members of the foodie communities in Korea. From November 2014-December 15 we asked people to nominate what they thought were the best restaurants in each category. For those that are voting, please pick places you have been to. You can only vote once per email address. The voting will end January 15, 2015 and then results will be published. The results will be published on various websites including Seoul Eats.com and on the Seoul Eats Facebook Group and others. Questions about the survey can be directed to Daniel Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org Feel free to share the survey with others. I can send you the embed code for the form if you would like to add it to your own website. The restaurants are based in Seoul, unless stated on the side. Many of the nominees are from the Seoul Eats Group Website (which has over 7000 members). A special thanks to the admins on the groups and members that suggested restaurants such as Gemma Wardle, Chris Kwon Lewis, Ben and Rae, Bobby Kim, Hayne Kim, and others. This Best of Korea list is the opinion of the voters. If your favorite restaurant is not on the list, you can can nominate it for the next time.
Amado Art gallery
Address: Yongsan-gu Hannam-dong 683-31
As a married man I have actually tried to make our home a home. Being a homeowner makes me feel settled. For the first 8 years in Korea and the 5 years as a youth, I always felt like a transient. I lived in furnished apartments and only had enough that would fit in a few bags. Things I brought before only had to last a year so I never really bought anything nice. It just had to be functional.
I am really impressed with the homeware trends in Korea. For example we had our furniture custom made and it cost less than what I would have gotten at a store (I think that IKEA should watch out).
Some of the new things we have bought (not my choice, but my wife) is one of the new homeware trends: Room Tents. It's a tent for the house.
Other things I have noticed are these cool picture hangers (see above) that are put into the wall paper. There are 5 needles so it is more than strong enough for a picture. Plus you don't have big holes in your wall. Pretty cool stuff.
Ok, will update this more later.
was lucky enough to have been invited to Mi Casa for a Spanish Food with International Wine pairing. Mi Casa, which is located on restaurant street, behind Hamilton Hotel is known for their wine and tapas.
At their wine event they were introducing their new chef, Manuel de los Reyes who came to Korea from Barcelona.
The atmosphere at Mi Casa is sumptuous and high tech. The interior has a European, "candlestick" feel but with a really cool, digital wine pouring system so you can sample a small pours of many different wines or a full glass of a wine of your chose. The wines are kept conditioned in their special wine refrigerators so every glass is delicious.
The wines of the evening were all excellently selected. The ones that stood out were the complex 2010 Bodegas Langa Pi 3.1415, the buttery 2012 Pazo Barrantes Albariño, and the robustly plummy 2008 Pagos del Rey Condado de Oriza Reserva but all the wines were excellent. The wines were all paired with great food that kept the evening going with lots of authentic flavors.
I enjoyed the pineapple and jamon pinchos served with the Vilarnou Brute Rosè. This would have been a great pairing with a number of white or rose wines.
The Jeju pork pancetta cooked for 17 hours was fork tender and I loved the onion jam and veggies it was served with. It paired well with the 2013 Bodegas Castano GSM.
The scallops, or called the Vieras al Jerez was my favorite course for the scallops were seared to perfection so it had a slight crust. The scallop was juicy and fresh tasting and topped with a flavorful cured meat and under was some salmon roe that added a lovely, briny pop. This was served with the 2010 Bodegas Langa Pi 3.1415 which was well balanced yet with sophisticated black cherry notes. It's a wine I could have had a full bottle of without problem.
The slow cooked beef cheeks, Carrilleros al Pisto were interesting and you could tell they had been slowly cooked for many hours. The cigar-like 2011 Bodegas Bilbianas Vina Pomal Crianza paired well with this dish.
I also liked the el musica which was a Spanish nuts, dried fruit and cheese. After so many courses, it was nice to have a light snack with a satisfying crunch.
Mi Casa has a knowlegable and attentive staff as well so you will be well taken care of. Out of all the places in Itaewon it has one of the best wine selections. The addition of a Spanish Chef assures that the meal experience will be authentic. Did I mention the futuristic individualized wine pourers? They are fun to play with. In all Mi Casa would be a great upscale place to have wine with tapas or a dinner in Itaewon.
Address: South Korea Seoul Yongsan-gu Itaewondong 118-82
Daniel Gray was invited to Mi Casa as part of their wine and food promotion. Photos are partly mine. Others were supplied by Mi Casa. .
A trend these days is to serve crappy Korean beer like Cass and giant fried squid lollipops and penis-looking, curved and fried fish cakes. This is at a place called O-ddang beer right outside of Jongno 3ga exit 6. The fried chicken was legit and the place was pretty busy. Beer tasted a bit skunked (they need to clean the lines) and you leave smelling like the frying oil.
I just visited Libertine Bar and Restaurant in Itaewon. I had been meaning to visit there for ages but work and married life got in the way. (Wifey, that's not what I meant. I have been meaning to bring you here, girl.)
I decided to pick it for our restaurant's (Brew 3.14) Christmas dinner because I wanted to thank them all for their hard work.
The restaurant has a modern French Bistro feel that is opulent because of the high ceilings, good lighting, and lots of space. I was quite impressed because space comes at a premium in Korea, especially in high rent areas like Itaewon.
We started with a bottle of the Pascual Toro Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (49,000). It was a nice mellow Cabernet with nice cherry and plum accents. To start we had the spinach and artichoke dip. Good stuff with lots of flavorful cheese in a thick bechemel. I was surprised with the amount of artichoke in it. The pita that it came with was fresh and thick. I wish I had more of it to finish the dip and sure enough when it finished, the server asked if we wanted more.
I ordered the Cuban sandwich (17,000 won) which was just like I had in Miami- just on better bread. The pulled pork on it was salty and contrasted the smokey ham. It was a Cuban, so no complaints.
My friends had huevos ranchero breakfast meal that had a lot of fresh ripe avocado and chili that tasted like a southwestern chili with a decent shake of cumin. The egg was yolky and created a great sauce with the chili and crisp tortillas.
The shrimp Caesar salad (16,000 won) had a good dressing, lots of cheese, nice bacon, a good amount of cracked pepper but no croutons.
I have to say that the star of the day was the breakfast hamburger. Good bun, melted cheese, onions and tomatoes and amazing bacon. I don't know why but the bacon was so flavorful. Later I found out they make it and it made the burger amazing. The meat is juicy, crumbly but held together, and flavorful with the right salt and pepper and I am sure other secret spices. It was a great burger and I am very critical about my burgers. I have to say one of the best ones I have had this year.
We finished with a lemon meringue tart which was uber sweet with a nice meringue crunch.
This was a great meal and a place I will be heading to again.
Libertine Restaurant and Bar
Address: South Korea Seoul Yongsan-gu Itaewondong Bogwangno 113
Google Maps 37°31'58.5"N 126°59'40.1"E