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Cafes, Northwest Seoul

Blueberry Lassi Pancakes at Caffè Centro

Over by Daeheung station exit 2 I found a cute little cafe serving good Dutch coffees, hand drips and pretty awesome pancakes. This place is the regular hangout of my friend Perry and I can see why. The baristas carefully coax the flavor our of their craft beans and they have a great selection of pancakes. The blueberry lassi pancake was sizable and had a light yogurt lassi topping and plenty of blueberries. For only 8500 won it is reasonably priced and tasty.

Caffè Centro
마포구 신수동 22-9
Mapo-gu Sinsu-dong 22-0
02-711-6066

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Korean Eats, Northwest Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Seo-u Shabu Shabu 서우샤브샤브

Shabu Shabu is great when it is done right. First there should be good broth. It should be clearish, light in flavor but with body. There should be ample amounts of veggies and a healthy portion of meat or seafood.

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To do it all well takes effort and dedication. Restaurants tend to skimp on different aspects of it in order to present the idea of Shabu Shabu but it usually lacks in flavor.

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Luckily this is not the case at Seo-u Shabu Shabu. The ingredients are fresh and ample. You get a heap of vegetables and a good kimchi dumpling to add to their fresh tasting broth. The broth has body but it is not over-powering- it takes on the characteristics of the ingredients and gets better over time. For one serving of beef Shabu Shabu (18,000 won) you get a lot of meat. With the seafood Shabu Shabu (25,000 won) you’ll get shrimp, giant mussle, clam, shrimp and baby octopus.

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The sauces are good as well. You’ll get a light soy and a vinegared chili sauce. Oh, the meal starts with a small tuna steak salad which was memorable as well.

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You’ll get some green noodles after you finish all the meat and veggies and to finish your meal you’ll get congee (this rice porridge was the only thing that didn’t really stand out.)

For dessert there was tart raspberry drink as a digestive.

Overall, a great meal. I will be heading there again.

Seo-u Shabu Shabu
서울시 송파구 방이동 180-3번지 올림픽타워빌 2충
Dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul Bangi-dong 180-3 Olympic Tower Ville 2Fl
02-414-7074

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Northwest Seoul

Charleys Philly Steaks in Hapjeong

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Sometimes you just want to have something greasy and full of meat. A Philly Cheese Steak fits that description and they just opened up a Charleys Philly Steaks at Mercanopolis at Hapjeong station. Cedric, the manager invited me and I brought some Seoul Eats people out to it to check out the food.

The interior is flashy and cool an it has big signs letting you know that this place is famous for steak sandwiches. Here you can get the classic, a bacon an cheese or chicken steak sandwich. You can also get a side of fries topped with cheese or cheese and bacon or cheese bacon and ranch dressing (ummm ranch dressing).

I got the classic and the bacon cheese fries. The steak was grilled and topped with melted cheese. I like my steak chopped up a bit more but they don’t do it that way. The cheese was ok and it had some mayo, lettuce and tomato (if I had known about this, I would have asked for them to take them off). Overall the sandwich was large and filling. It was greasy and just what I was looking for. The cheese bacon fries were good as well. They topped it with cheese whiz-like sauce and bacon bits. They were fine as well. I mean it is nothing gourmet but its not that type of place. It is fast casual. To wash it down I had a lemonade which was refreshing.

My friend had a chicken steak and it was a tad disappointing. I mean it has a bit dry but that’s what he gets for ordering a chicken steak (is that really a thing?).

The chicken salad was not very good. I think it needs chicken chunks and not shredded dry chicken. But again, a salad shouldn’t be ordered at a steak restaurant (what was I thinking).

Overall, this is a good place for those looking for a Philly steak sandwich in a fast casual environment. The lemonade is a nice touch as well.

Cedric, thank you for inviting me.

Dan

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Cafes/Bars, Northwest Seoul

Bachelor Vegetable Stand’s Cafe in Hongdae

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I like Korean Dramas but sometimes I OD on them. The last one I watched was Bachelor Vegetable Stand and it left a bad taste in my mouth (handsome, ambitious guy ends up with the stuck up girl that was the doppelgänger daughter to the CEO of a major corporation. Well at least the fake mother of the doppelgänger daughter who killed the ambitious handsome guy’s grandmother had a miscarriage and later goes crazy thinking she didn’t have a miscarriage…) ???

Anyway, the drama started off well and I went to the vegetable stand that is now a cafe and it is awesome. The place is well maintained and it seems to embody the ideas that the main character had in the drama: hard work and high quality.

The space is well lit and the outside patio looks like a green house. They have a basic cafe menu, but the coffee is good and they have an organic selection of teas. I had the peppermint chocolate and it came out in a Mason Jar with the lid as a thing for my tea bag.

Everything seemed well thought out and I am happy to see the management hasn’t sold out the show to make money off of drama fans (Hear that coffee prince! Your coffee is terrible!)

I recommend you make a stop over there.

Dan

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Northwest Seoul, Restaurant Reviews

Shabu Shabu at Shabu 63

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Shabu Shabu is a good meal to have with friends and on cold days. I had a meeting over at the 63 building and decided to have lunch there with a friend. At the 63 building there are numerous Japanese places and cafes but no Korean places. Anyway, Shabu 63 seemed to be a good choice.

The place is modern looking. A bit upscale and they have those black ceramic induction burners for the soup. We ordered the lunch special (16500 a person). It came with an array of side dishes, veggies, meat and later noodles and mandu.

Meh. I mean the food was fine, but nothing gourmet. The broth was flavorless (a ladle wasn’t given to try it). The side dishes were ok as well. The meat was of decent quality. the service was a bit horrendous. We didn’t have proper tongs and scissors to start cooking the food. Refills on side dishes took a while. We had to refill our own water (however, this is not a self-service place). What they need to do is to put one of those damn buttons on the tables so servers know where and what to do.

What I am trying to say is that it isn’t the best Shabu Shabu place in Seoul. But for a place that is in an upscale atmosphere this is an ok place.

Now can someone recommend for me a really good Shabu Shabu place?

Dan

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