Non-Korean Eats

Memphis King’s 4-Hour Smoked BBQ Ribs: CLOSED


Memphis BBQ’s 4-Hour Smoked Ribs in Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

Recently, I was invited by Danner to enjoy some authentic, Memphis-style BBQ Ribs at his restaurant in Bangbae: MKB: Memphis King Barbecue. The idea of eating real memphis barbecue was invitation enough and I headed over there with a few friends for a meal. The atmosphere is nothing special, but it is bright and clean.

We were greeted by the owner, Danner and he told us a bit about the restaurant. He said that he and his parents started the place back in July and their goal was to bring Memphis-style Pork Ribs to Koreans.

These ribs are imported from Memphis Tennessee after they are smoked for 4 hours and coated in a rich bbq sauce. The ribs are humongous, meaty, and the meat was fall off the bone tender. A full rack of ribs with crispy shoestring fries and slaw is only 25,000 won! Seriously, they are enough for 3 people and with beer, it is a wonderful night out.

They also have a great coke float. The rest of the menu is ok, but I recommend you stick with the ribs. Their specialty BBQ sauce is excellent.

It’s located out of Bangbae Station (Green Line, Line 2) out exit 3. Go down the alley and make a left at KB Bank and a right at Acro Tower. If you get lost, give Danner a call at 02-797-0127.

서울시 서초구 방배 1동 924-9
[email protected]

A Full Rack of Ribs with Beer! at Memphis King Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

MEAT! at Memphis King Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

MEAT MEAT MEAT! in Memphis King Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

Coke Float in Memphis King Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

Interior Shot Memphis King in Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

Exterior Shot Memphis King in Bangbae, Seoul, Korea

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Central Seoul, Non-Korean Eats, The Best of Seoul

Chez Simon: French Cuisine done right

Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Back before Samcheongdong became the date hotspot, the street was famous for restaurants. These days the trend seems to be on turn and burn establishments and too, too many cafes. My favorite bouillabaisse went defunct and became another cafe. Just when I thought all was lost, I happened to find Chez Simon. For years they have been turning out great homemade cuisine in a 20 seat, reservation-only restaurant.

Chez Simon’s menu changes regularly depending on local ingredients that are available. The secret to the restaurant’s success is the ability of the chef to transform these ingredients into works of art. Each plate is adorned with mini fireworks of flavor. The crispy ravioli first course was served over tomato and bean sauce, accented with oregano. The potato foam soup was frothy like a perfect cappuccino. The pasta was cooked al dente and the anchovy, mushroom sauce was just right. My steak was cooked medium rare- the outside crispy and the center cool-almost raw.

The creme bulee was how creme bulee should be. The specks of vanilla bean in the suspended cream mixture crackled with the caramel bulee. A perfect creme bulee stands out- this one does and will.

Our chef-slash-waiter was a charming guy that worked speedily to cook our food, dress the plates, and serve everything piping hot. I don’t know how this one guy would have been able to handle everything if there were more than 3 tables, but he didn’t miss a beat with us.

Chez Simon
Address: Seoul, Jongro-gu Samcheong-dong 63-10
Phone: 02-730-1045 Reservations recommended.
Directions: Go out Anguk Station exit 1 and make the first right and walk about 10 minutes until you get to Samcheongdong. Walk on the elevated walkway and you’ll see it up on a hill.

Crisp Ravioli with a tomato bean sauce at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Frothy Potato Leek Soup at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Bread and Butter at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Pasta at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Steak at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Creme Brulee at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Creme Brulee at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Coffee at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Lunch Menu at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Dinner Menu at Chez Simon in Samcheongdong, Seoul

Central Seoul, Korean Eats, The Best of Seoul

Review: Black Fowl is Fair: Black Chicken Ginseng Soup

This article was originally published by Seoul Magazine in the August 2010 issue. It is being reprinted here with permission. Please read my monthly columns in Seoul Magazine. The magazine can be found in many establishments around the city and at their bookstore in Samcheongdong. You can also read their online magazine at

Black Chicken Samgyetang at Kuryeo Samgyetang Seoul, Korea

   The idea of eating black foods seems like a paradox. Maybe it’s because we have all learned that burnt steaks, chicken, and grilled cheese don’t taste very good. Or maybe it’s because we all see ourselves as beings of white light and black foods might muddy that image. Whatever the reason, the concept of “black foods” is not instantly associated with deliciousness.

    An enigma in the food world is Black Chicken or called O-golgye in Korea. This rare bread of chicken has black flesh and black bones. This rare strain of chicken is very difficult to breed- I learned that one farmer in Jirisan (a mountain in the southern region in Korea) is only able to raise 50 a year.

Finding restaurants that serve this dish is also rare. After a long search, I went to Kuryeo Samgyetang over by City Hall. Here they prepare the chicken like poule au pot: the black chicken is stuffed with sticky rice, a clove of garlic, ginko nuts, and jujube (Korean date). The chicken is then stewed until the flesh is melt-off-the-bone tender and the broth rich. Just before serving, the chicken is topped with green onions.

    Served in a circular ceramic bowl, at first glance, the cross-legged black chicken in the whitish broth looks like a paintbrush drawn ying-yang sign. In the broth floats a circular purple jujube, a stalk of ginseng, and some green chopped onion. It’s very mindful.

    After admiring this dish, you might be wondering how you are supposed to eat it. There are no rules. You can start by taking your chopsticks and spoon to eat the black flesh and grey/white broth.

Black Chicken Samgyetang at Kuryeo Samgyetang Seoul, Korea

    The classic, advanced way to eat O-golgye is to use your chopsticks to split the chicken in half and pull out all the black bones in the chicken. Afterwards, you can take the rice and all the stuffing and stir it together to make rich rice porridge.

    Korean people don’t think of O-golgye as a meal, but as medicine. While talking with Professor Jia Choi of Ewha University, I learned that people of a certain body type: the Soo-umin (lanky, tall and thin) benefit greatly from eating this dish. She also mentioned that one of her friends always has at least 5 black chickens in her freezer and whenever she feels like is going to be ill, she cooks one. After eating it, she says she feels reborn.

    Now I don’t know what sort of body type I have, but eating this chicken has become my new obsession. I had this dish on Wednesday night and afterwards I went out drinking until 6am the next morning. I followed this outing with long days at the office and late nights (until 3am) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I don’t know if it was the chicken, but normally, I turn in around 11pm. I didn’t suffer from hangovers and I felt energized the whole time. I am going to have to return soon to see if this was a fluke or the real deal.

Kuryeo Samgyetang
Seoul, Jeong-gu, Seosomundong 55-3.
Directions: Go our City Hall Station Subway Station (Line 2) Exit 10 and walk 2 blocks. It’ll be on the right.

Whole Fried Chicken at Kuryeo Samgyetang Seoul, Korea
Activities/ Events


a fundraising event by New York City photographer Bremelin Romero
Once underprivileged children are given the basic needs of education, health care and love, they believe that there are no limits to their potential.
“Los Niños de Cristo” orphanage funded by Mr. Charles Decker foundation since 2005 was created to help destitute children in La Romana, Dominican Republic. This safe haven for children provides all the basic needs. It also helps children discover the infinite possibilities in life by reaching their full potential. However,after the catastrophic events in Haiti,the orphanage welcomed several children from neighboring Haiti. The needs have mounted. The children need support,financial support.

Together,NewYork Photographer Bremelin Romero and Harpist Kihwa Lee have joined their talents and have scheduled a fundraiserevent.

Come to Tea for Two to pledge your support to the children from “Los Niños de Cristo” orphanage.

Fundraiser Event
Date : Sep. 18, 2010 Time: 2pm – 8pm
Silent Auction:
Photographs by Bremelin Romero (viewing/bidding time 2pm-6pm)

Silent Auction announcement: 7:30pm Raffles: 3pm, 6pm Live Music: 4pm, 7pm

Tea for Two will be unveiling new menu items at the event at a reasonable price. All proceeds will also be donated to The Charles Decker Foundation. Venue: The Loft @ Tea For Two, Kwanchul-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Donation Fee: 10,000 won

Directions: Tea For Two is 5 minutes from Jonggak Station, Exit 10. Go straight then turn righ on Julmun Gori (젊음의 거리). On Julmun Gori you will see street vendors in the middle of it. Take the left side of it. On the 3rd alley at the corner of Mister Donut turn left. Tea for two is the second building on your right. Loft@ Tea for two is on the 4th floor.

Contact: [email protected] or call/text: 010-2062-2120