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Blog, Cafes/Bars, Central Seoul, Food Story

Come Out and Join Me at Brew 3.14π Specials for Seoul Eats Readers

Dear Seoul Eats Readers,

Ever since I was young I have wanted to own a restaurant of my own where I could host guests, chat with them about life, the world, and the comical. I used to do this in the past in my various apartments but since the size of most Korean apartments are quite small, I decided to save up and start a beer bistro in Korea. I decided to put a query out on facebook and my friend Patrick said that he wanted to start a bistro as well so we partnered up and then started. We originally wanted to do a British Pub concept and serve meat pies and black stout stews. Testing these out for a while, it didn’t quite work and our Korean guests said they were too…greasy. So we changed the concept and went for calzones. These did ok, but then we decided to offer pizzas and calzones because who doesn’t love pizzas. This is a starter restaurant for me. It is a hobby and my passion. I am very proud of our team, our food, and our drinks. It’s a cozy little bar over by Insadong near my other company and my home. I would like to invite old friends, new friends, readers of Seoul Eats, and travellers to my bar. Also, if you mention you saw this post on Seoul Eats Blog. The password is: Rebel Decatur (that’s my porn star name…you know you take the name of your first pet and the name of the first road you lived on) and we’ll give you 10% off your bill.

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Blog, Cafes/Bars, Central Seoul

Opening a Restaurant in Korea Part 2: The Neighbors

So…the doors have opened and we have had customers visit Brew 3.14π. Strangely though you never know what is going to happen until you open the doors. Construction takes a while and you can’t really do anything until you start. Luckily, we had a good team of people to come and do the construction. It is also quite fun and our group all participated in putting the place together. There were little mistakes that we had to fix and all, but I really liked the idea of getting my hands dirty and building something.

Everyday we were working, all the neighbors would stop in and look. Most of the times they just glanced and walked away. Others would poke their heads in and ask what we were doing. The landlord was a frequent visitor because she was very curious about what was happening to her building. I don’t think she expected to get tenants like us because her little first floor shop was now something very different than what she expected. I think she thought we were building a little cafe but instead we were building a craft beer pub that focuses on pizzas. I mean there wasn’t much she could do because we signed the lease for two years and paid our rent. Our landlord is a bit scary I have to say, but I hope we will win her over.

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Blog, Central Seoul, Food News

Daily Delights in Dongdaemu

Daily Delights
Shopping day in Dongdaemun

Breakfast: Waffles and Coffee at Beans Bin
If you are going to climb the epic shopping mountain of Dondaemun, them you have to get a hearty breakfast with lots of coffee. Beans Bin coffee in the shopping complex of Doota is a great first spot. They have freshly made waffles with many different toppings. Get your sugar and caffeine fix here.

Beans Bin Coffee
Location: Doota 3rd Floor
Cost: 12,000

Lunch: Mongolian Buuz and Khuushuur at Darkhan
The Dongdaemun area is the central point for many different ethnicities such as Mongolian, Uzbekistan and Russian. Darkhan offers authentic Mongolian fare such as steamed meat dumplings called buuz and fried meat stuffed pastries called khuushuur. Their lamb platter with rice and vegetables are good as well. If you are brave try their hot (sour) yogurt tea.

Darkhan
Cost: 7,000
Seoul, Jung-gu, Gwanghuidong 1-ga 188-5
02-2278-4633

Dinner: Marinated Pork Trotters at Pyeong-ando Jip
Pyeong-ando Jip is famous for their marinated pig’s feet and during the dinner rush you’ll often see a line out the door even in winter. The owner, now grandmother, Lee Gyeong-soon is a no nonsense woman that is all about efficiency and order. You can get platters of sliced pigs feet with kimchi and leaves for wrapping and bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes)

Pyeongangdo-jip
Cost: 15,000 a person
Jung-gu, Jangchungdong 1-ga, 62-16
02-2279-9759

Dessert: Medovnik from Ala Do
This is a decadent crumb cake that has layers of icing and honey. It is delicious with a cup of hot tea. They have many other Uzbek delights as well such as chocolate cakes and lamb pastries.

Ala Do
Cost: 5,000
Jung-gu Gwanghui-dong 1-ga 154-1
02-2277-9211

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Bakery, Blog, Cafes, Central Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Review: Napoleon Bakery

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Bakery Napoleon has a long history of making fine breads in Korea. Although many of the breads cater to the Korean palate (such as green tea, rice cake, cheese, bread) they have world class skills for desserts and their croissants. I have to say that their croissants are the closest you’ll get to a partisan croissant in Korea. I love a good croissant in the morning with coffee and I am disappointed with many of the franchise croissants that have a sugary glaze on a burnt top (yes, Paris Croissant and Paris Baguette that dig was made at you.) They have a coup of misses in my book such as their famous red bean paste bread that the chocolate bread which just like a hotdog bun they put red bean or chocolate pudding in. But apparently, people flock here for those stuffed breads so my opinion must not count. Their coffee is not very good either and I decided not to get brunch or pasta or salad at a bakery. With that said, their croissants, cakes and tarts are worth the journey and that green tea rice cake cheese bread was actually pretty darn good. The cheese bread had a soft and chewy interior and crunchy cheese bits on top and the green tea and red bean was a good balance of flavor.

Napoleon Bakery
3 Stars
Seongbuk-gu Seongbukdong 1ga 35-1
Ph#027427421
Open from 8am-10pm (but they usually sell out far before closing time)

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Central Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Samcheongdong: Heaven on Top

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In search of a good luncheon spot I meandered over to the stylish Samcheongdong area. My agenda was to find: a good date spot that had a good lunch selection and had good coffee so my girlfriend and I could eat and then go back to work reenergized. Heaven on Top almost fits the criteria. The cafe/restaurant is well-lit, modern, and upscale with its marble tables. It has British-flare with their fine selection of teas and fine porcelain tea pots and cups. The restaurant offers brunch food, sandwiches, salads and desserts. The breads and desserts are made in house and the carrot cake is one of the best ones I have had with its rich, thick and sweet cream cheese icing to go along with the spiced layers of cake. For the food menu, their ricotta cheese blueberry cheesecake is more like a stuffed turnover. The pancake is very plush filled with a good amount of cheese and blueberries. To accompany the pancake were 2 slices of bacon, some scrambled egg and a yogurt topped with granola. Also, if you come in before 1pm on weekdays you also get a coffee included. For only 13,500 for all this is a good deal- especially in the Samcheongdong area. We also ordered their grilled cheese sandwich which came on a light-yet-thick foccaccia bread with an herbed mayonnaise, rucola lettuce and roasted tomato. There were two cheeses on the sandwich: one, a melted emmental and the other (sadly) a yellow, processed cheese slice. Well, I guess for 8,500 won, it was ok. My one other problem with this place is the speed of service. It took almost 35 minutes to get the food, so I couldn’t leisurely enjoy the experience. Hopefully this will improve. Overall, I think Heaven on Top is a great dining choice. The food is creative and well prepared.

Heaven on Top
1 star (out of 4)
Jongno-gu Samcheong-dong 35-251
Ph#: 02-722-2510
Hours: 11am-11pm
Price: 6,000-20,000 a person

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