Cafes/Bars, Central Seoul

Patbingsu from Haap

Patbingsu from Haap

My favorite dish at Haap is the patbingsu: homemade, sweetened red bean over finelyshaved ice mixed with milk and a bit of citron. It is topped with the softestdollop of potato rice cake I have ever had.
Jongro-gu, Kwanghoon-dong 198-31 Kong Art Space 1F andBasement
I am planning a Seoul Eats Meetup this Saturday at 5pm to have Temple Cuisine and then go to Haap. It will start from my cooking school. We’ll go dutch and dinner and dessert should be about 10,000 won. If you can make it e-mail me at seouleats at gmail dot com

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Singaporean Peanut Shaved Ice

This was sent by one of our tour guests, Dina Fan (Thanks Dina!). She says that this is one of the hottest (I mean coldest) things in Taiwan and Singapore right now. My friend Kratai says it is really popular in Thailand as well. The peanuts are on the bottom and above that is the flavored ice.
Hmmm…I can’t say it looks very appetizing.

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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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The Origin of Patbingsu

With Summer about to be in full force, I am looking for ways to cool myself down. The best way I have found is with something cool and refreshing. My blood is not 2 parts mulnaengmyeon (chilled buckwheat noodle soup) and 2 parts Korean ice cream and patbingsu. The other 6 parts are just my regular diet of rice, soup, soju, beer etc- not necessarily in that order.
These days, I have had a pressing question in my brain: what is the origin of patbingsu? 
Of course, there are variations of this snow ice dessert in other countries, but if you look at the classic patbingsu. You have fruit cocktail, sweetened condensed milk, corn flakes, and ice during summer. Could this been a dessert to have started during ancient times?

According to the Korea Herald, during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897),  ”Seobingo ― the government office in charge of the royal ice box ― would share ice with fellow officials, who would enjoy it finely crushed and mixed with fruit for a granita-like dessert.” 

So, I guess it was something that only the privileged could have. The story places the origin at the famous bakery “Tae Keuk Dang.” This place is famous for their ice cream sandwiches (I’ve had them and they taste like sugary, watered down milk with a hint of vanilla. It’s nice that it’s not overly sweet, but it is nothing that is mind-boggling.) Their patbingsu is better. This one has lots of milk over crunchy ice topped with red beans and fruit cocktail. The best part of their patbingsu is the corn flakes and the sweet and chewy rice cake candy.

There are variations of this dish such as green tea patbingsu (the one at Neal’s Yard is outstanding) and coffeebingsu (Cafe de Coin is awesome), but the old-style patbingsu that has milk, beans, and roasted bean powder is a fake.

That is a modern interpretation of what an old patbingsu would be.

Why? Because people didn’t have the ice back then to make this dish.

I asked a number of older people at a cafe in Jongno this afternoon about this and they started a very excited debate about this dish. The topic of patbingsu was very dear to them. And they all had their opinions of how this dish started. What they agreed on is that the modern version of this dish has its origins after the Korean war and during the US occupation. 

They said that this dish was made from the USA surplus supplies and were first sold at street vendors and later at cafes. It was a way to beat the heat and to offer a sweet to the changing diet of Koreans that began to develop a “sweet tooth.”

Huh, pretty interesting stuff. 
Here are the main ingredients for this dessert. The full recipe and video can be found at Aeri’s Kitchen here. 

Main Ingredients

Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul!
Pictures are taken either with my Panasonic DMC-G2 Camera with 20mm Lens or with my iPhone 4G
Join the Seoul Eats Facebook Group Page to keep to date with the latest events.
Korean Eats

Raspberry Shaved Ice and BBQ Bossam

Man oh man, it has been a busy week. Our company is finishing up our
move to our new fifty person studio in Insadong after a month of
reconstruction. I will post pictures of the place soon.

I am in love with the area, because I am right down the street from
Changdeokgung. After working all day my staff and I had dinner at BBQ
Bossam right down the street. This place specializes in slowly roasted
pork belly. It was so good.

After dinner, I took a walk into the hanok village (Korean traditional
Houses) and I found a wonderful raspberry shaved ice cafe. It is was
very simple: shaved ice, raspberries, and raspberry juice- red beans
on the side. It also came with a piece of corn! The cafe, Margot, was
attached to a Buddhist monastery and they were kind enough to give me
a tour if their facilities.

I wondered a bit longer into alleys near Insadong and I was surprises
to find a new tent restaurant mall. This place had like 20 small snack
vendors in a newly constructed and well lit strip. I will have to go

Down this little alley, I also stumbled upon a smoked meats
restaurant. They were smoking duck, pork belly, and chicken. I will
have to return to this place for dinner.


Margot Cafe
110-280 Seoul Jongro-gu, Wonseo-dong 129-5
02 747 3152

Barbecue Bossam
Jongro-gu, Myodong 147 bonji
02 3675 9031

Done Zone (Smoked Duck, Pork Belly)
Jongro-gu Insadong 263 (Jongak Station (Subway Line 1) Exit 3)

- Posted from my iPhone
Sent from my iPod

Original: Seoul Eats/ Blogger Version

Roast Duck, Garlic Donuts, and patbingsu with a Hummingbird

Last week I had a chance to meet up with Jenny and Steve who were in town to visit family and to find some good Seoul Eats. Jenny is the writer of the blog She takes amazing pictures and I love her food sensibility. Apparently, she’s also a very diligent blogger because she already has the posts up about these restaurants. Hmmmm….so you should visit her blog so you can see a different perspective on the same meal. I decided to take them to a restaurant that I had not been before, but I had heard a lot about from my fellow bloggers in arms: Fatmanseoul and Paul Ajossi. We met up at the Ginko Tree House in Hannam for some stuffed roasted duck. You can read Paul’s review of the restaurant here.

Here is Jenny with her husband Matt.
The duck arrived at the table after being cooked for three hours. The pan was smoking hot and sizzled for a good 20 minutes after arriving.
The skin was perfect. It was as crisp as a Beijing style duck but with a bit more moistness and flavor.
When you opened up the duck, you found it stuffed with red rice, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, and many other delicious things. Korean stuffing is so much better than Stove Top.
Here is the outside sign. The meal was absolutely divine- especially the crisp skin that was on the bottom of the duck. It was so savory and rich and crisp and full of duck-fat-goodness that it was like eating a Dorito for the first time. You know what I mean. The first Dorito you ever eat is the best one because it is unlike any other snack. However, I would go back for this skin whereas I’ve tired of Doritos.
We felt a bit adventurous so we went to Dunkin Donuts and found the Kimchi Croquettes and other strange abominations (vitamin donuts, healthy donuts, etc.) that Dunkin Donuts has been doing.
Garlic Glazed!
Olive Garlic Roll!
Here is the unholy trinity. The kimchi croquette was more bread than croquette and it tasted the best out of the three. That’s not saying much; it was still pretty gross and it didn’t really taste like kimchi. The garlic glazed tasted like sweet garlic bread and it left a nasty aftertaste and the olive garlic roll tasted the same way. I don’t recommend it unless you are planning on playing a trick on someone. I would recommend you get a box of donuts and sneak one of these in there and laugh at the person who picks it.
To finish off the evening, we went for some green tea patbingsu over at Neal’s Yard in Itaewon.
Jenny was a fan of the red bean so got a little extra.
The Hummingbird lives up to her reputation because she finished off most of the patbingsu while Steve and I simply sat back and talked. It was a really fun evening and I would recommend 2 out of the 3. (DON’T DO THE DONUTS!)

Oh, and one more thing…Fatmanseoul did a more extensive review on the donuts. You can read about it here.