Showing posts from January, 2009

Seoul Eats has been nominated for the Golden Clog Awards

Yay! Thanks for the nomination and I hope you will vote for me. Here is the link to where you can vote. Seoul Eats is up for best Korean Food Blog, 2008. Please vote, I would appreciate it. Dan Oh, here is the link again.

Mark Bittman on kimchi and Korean food

Is the world ready for Korean cuisine? [First in a three-part series: Globalizing Korean food]Korea stakes out its plans to feed global tastes with traditional dishes January 28, 2009 Tuna roll with rosemary sauce. Celebrity food columnist Mark Bittman of The New York Times loves kimchi, mentioning the condiment several times on his food blog. And it’s not just kimchi. In an e-mail interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, Bittman said he has even tried his hand at Korean hot pot, barbecue and side dishes. This is not a recent infatuation. This is a long-standing relationship. As far back as 1996, Bittman wrote about Korean food in lofty terms. Go here to the Joonang Ilbo for the rest.

Quick Pics: Chocolate Pizza and La Feet

Chocolate Pizza from Spannew. It wasn't all that bad. I mean it was like nutela with cheese. The pistachios and cashews were a nice crunchy touch as well. Stuffed Pig's Feet from La Pied in Apgujeong. It was kinda like meatloaf with a condom on it. The dijon butter sauce was good. Raspberry Sorbet at La Pied. Their desserts are awesome. The pork medallions are quite good as well. I'm taking photography classes with Feet Man Seoul's Michael Hurt. Are my pics getting better? A heart for you this Valentine's Day. Anyone need a date? I think if I were to put out a personal ad it would read: SKAM (Single Korean American Male) ISO SF Must like food, long conversations, good music, cooking, traveling, and dogs. 19th Neal's Loft in Itaewon. It's a cute place and they have free wifi.

Surviving Seoul

This was aired on TBS efm on Monday February 2nd on Soul of Asia. There is information on cycling, events, credit cards, and how you can get your pension back. PS. The reason I am posting it on this site is because when I upload this to the TBSefm website, it is not searchable so the information is difficult for others to find. So here is the script. Let’s start with some news from the Seoul Global Center, because you know how I heart them. The Itaewon·Hannam Global Village Center on Feb. 6th will be having a living in Seoul orientation class at 10:30am. There will be lots of good living tips and information there. Plus, you’ll meet other Seoulites. And you can get the fabulous Living in Seoul books at the orientation and they’ll have snacks and coffee. Also the Itaewon.Hannam Global Center will be offering an exciting tour of the city on this Saturday, February 7th. The tour is free of charge and it has a jam packed itinerary full of great activities. It starts with a cooking class to

How many calories does one bottle of soju contain?

Remind me to never drink soju again. One bottle of Soju contains 540 calories per bottle. So to walk off this awful swill you would have to walk 2 hours. Walking two hours with a soju hangover is a task and a half. I had my last cup of soju about 1 year ago (and I was so hung over the next day that I spent my morning dry heaving and hating myself for being so stupid.) And now with the added warning, I find that it is better for me to stick to light beers. 5 beers equal 1 bottle of soju and they won't give me a nasty hangover the next day. But I think it's better to stick to red wines. They always say that reds are good for your help and many doctors even recommend you drink one glass a day. I've found some really nice chianti's and bordeaux in Seoul. Most of them are under 20,000. Dan

Ola! Mario

Here is an article I wrote on Ola! Mario for Arirang Magazine. Enjoy, and Happy New Year! Dan Ola! Mario By Daniel Gray Do me a favor and don’t recommend this restaurant to anyone. The service is sophisticated, the atmosphere is chic, the menu is creative, and the food-the food-is scrumptious. So whatever you do, please, please do not recommend this restaurant. Just don’t do it. I want to keep it all mine. Ola! Mario is located between the Rocky Mountain Tavern and the Cheil Building on the developing end of Itaewon. I must admit. It’s bright red exterior and the name Ola! Mario initially made me write this off as another faux Italian Restaurant on Itaewon’s main drag. Italian cuisine in Itaewon has long been the territory of the Sortino Family. In recent years, many restaurants have tried to piggyback off of their success. Volpia and La Tavola both had respectable runs, but they went out of business and were quickly replaced by Antonio’s and Villa Sortino. So, does Itaewon need anothe

I want nobody, nobody but YOU

One of my favorite YouTubers, singindork888, did a nice cover of the Wondergirls' Nobody (in English). Just thought I'd share. ^^ Check it out below. Cheri

Surviving Seoul Part 1: Teaching Tips

Listeners, I’m not sure if you know this, but I haven’t always been an MC in Korea. Like many foreigners that come to Korea, my first job in Korea was working at a hagwon. I came to Korea totally naïve and I just thought to myself, “This is going to be easy; I’ll just think of it as playing with kids.” And like many I thought, “I can speak English, therefore I can teach English.” Boy was I wrong. Jennifer gave us many insights into teaching and I want to expound a bit more on teaching in Korea. Let’s start off with some tips. Tip number 1: You are the teacher in the classroom. You are the boss. You are not a friend. Roles should be distinctly established in the classroom- especially when you are working with younger kids. If you go into a classroom and try to be too friendly or too fun, kids will not take the class seriously. If you are working at a hagwon, your boss has convinced the parents that you will teach their children. Tip number 2: You need to be aware of the parent

Quick Bites and Drinks: Hongdae

Note: No Side has closed Quick Bites and Drinks: Hongdae No Side: Hiroshima Okonomiyaki Chefs should be serious and when they get angry when you are taking pictures of their food, then you know there must be a special reason. The chef trained in Hiroshima to learn his craft and he brought what he has learned to Hongdae. This popular place has shrimp, samgyeopsal, squid, and cheese for toppings. The secret is the use of Japanese style ramen noodles. 02-3143-5963 . CLOSED Penang It’s a Chinese Restaurant in Hongdae that’s all right. The interior is classy and it’s a good place for a date or for a business luncheon. I had the duck dish and it is like a moo shoo pork but with Vietnamese rice paper rolls. The Chinese food is not the typical style you’d find in Korea. I don’t recall seeing Jja jja myeong on the menu. 02-325-3114. BaB Excellent Korean restaurant that is right next to the main park in Hongdae. The side dishes are so good that the restaurant won’t giv

Gostiny Dvor: Russian Food in Seoul.

Russian Gostiny Dvor is a Russian Restaurant that was recommended by my Russian friend Elena. Now she says that this is one of the few authentic Russian Restaurants in Korea. It’s over by Dongdaemun Stadium Station Ex it 7 (Sorry my mistake.) and this area is like little Russia. Most of the stores have Russian signs. There are Russian Groceries nearby too. Russian food is very hearty and the taste ranges from sour to wholesome. I wouldn’t say the stuff that I ate was really spicy. It’s excellent food for winter. We started out with some pelmeni which are little dumplings made with lamb meat. Selyodka pod shuboj is like a layered smoked salmon and lox dish. It has beets on top and then a layer of mayonnaisse, potatoes, I believe onions and then a smoked fish on the bottom. The flavors all together merge into a very pleasant medley of flavors. The subtle potatoes are sweetened with the tart beets and then you get that smokey fish pop. Solyanka is a slightly sour soup with sausage, olive

Fugu Request

Have you heard/seen/eaten fugu? It's the poisonous puffer fish in Japan. My interest in Japan has been completely consumed by curiosity of this fish and I have to say, Anthony Bourdain's Japan special didn't help! After doing some research, I found that a full fugu dinner costs upwards of $100 or so. I'm heading to Tokyo on Saturday and need some recommendations on where to get good fugu, what to order (if not the full multiple-course dinner), and anything else ya'll know about this fantastic fatal beauty. I promise I'll post pics when I return, but for now, you'll have to settle for this: Cute, isn't he? Looks like dinner to me! Let me know if you have any suggestions on fugu restaurants in Tokyo!

Obamarama! Videos and coverage

Visit for Breaking News , World News , and News about the Economy Dr. Joseph Lowery Delivers the Inauguration Benediction for Barack Obama

Experiences in North Korea, RAS Lecture

I'll be going to this tonight with Sara and some other people. You should join us. I got to talk to Simon yesterday and he has lots of insightful information on North Korea. Dan You can find events like this at , which is run by the fabulous Anne. The Royal Asiatic Society holds regular lectures on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at the Somerset Palace near Isa-dong. Exceptionally, because of the two holidays in January, this lecture is on the 3rd Tuesday and is the only RAS Lecture in January. DATE: Tuesday 20 January TIME: 7:30PM VENUE: Somesert Palace, 2nd Floor Residents Lounge COST: Free for RAS members /Non-members are asked to contribute W5,000. About the Topic: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a place that any and all can locate on a map, name the leader of and know a good amount of information about (some true, some false) but yet despite being located in the heart of the world’s most economically dynamic region and sur

Funny Batman Interrogation Scene

Thank you expatjane.  This is the most hilarious thing I've seen all week. Dan

Eating in the Philippines

So, my boyfriend, Jay, was supposed to come and visit me in Korea. But, even though he's a permanent resident of the U.S., they wouldn't let him into Korea because his passport says "Pilipinas Pasaporte." Thus, I found myself in the Philippines for the last couple weeks!! Thought I would share some food pics with you all just in case you are thinking of journeying off to some sunny white beaches yourselves! If you want to know the whole story, check out my blog. Let's just say everything happens for a reason. Some of the delicious foods I tried in the PI: Lechon manok (delicious roasted chicken basically basted in its own juices): Every part of a chicken you would ever want to eat (neck, intestines, hearts, livers): Balut (duck egg with partially formed baby duck inside) and bananas: A typical meal at the beach: fire-roasted fish, pork belly similar to sam gyeop sal, plenty of coke, and Tanduay rum (80%--pretty much rubbing alcohol) and a banana leaf served a

Black Sheep Restaurant Review

This restaurant has closed Black Sheep By Daniel Gray For a university area, Hongdae has the most eclectic range of restaurants. Most university students are poor so they are quite undiscerning about flavor. They are usually more concerned about the amount of food and if there is alcohol to accompany it. Well, Hongdae students are an eclectic bunch and the variety of restaurants around their university reflects this. If you go down to Sogang University, you’ll find beer bars, dirty barbecue shik-tangs, and some commercial bars and eateries. Near Ewha, you’ll find lots of artsy eateries and cafes that obviously spent more on décor than on developing the menu. Hongdae is the arts mecca in Korea and it has a wide range of differing flavors that cater to their creative palate. The owner of the famous Aa Design Museum and café decided to open up an organic cuisine restaurant right up the street. He decided to stick to the formula that made the café such a mainstay. He would offer hea

Get Annabelle to Eat Live Octopus Live on the Radio!

If you haven’t heard yet, Sam and Annabelle from Drivetime are having a special contest. They would like to have Annabelle to eat live octopus on the radio. She is vehemently opposed to this idea which makes this contest, oh, so more enticing. So to do this we need to have 100 people to vote “yes, to live octopus” on their message board. Go to the tbsefm website here. Hit the button to Drivetime and then hit "board" Write, "Yes for Octopus!" If you like Kimchi, you should vote, "Yes, for Octopus!" If you like Obama, you should vote, "Yes, for Octopus!" If you breathe oxygen, you should vote, "Yes, for Octopus!" Vote Yes! For Octopus!

Surviving Seoul: Review of the week

These are some living tips that will help you survive Seoul. They were announced on Soul of Asia on TBSeFM 101.3 this week by Sara Kim. Here are the tips. Did you know that if you have a sore throat you can just gargle with a half glass of hot water and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper? The cayenne pepper will kill all the bacteria in your throat that’s causing the pain. This will also work with pickle brine, lemon juice, or Tabasco sauce. Now if you would like more traditional medical advice then I think you should call the medical referral service at 010 4769 8212 or e-mail them at There are English Speaking operators available that can refer you to general practitioners as well as specialists in dermatology; dentistry, PODIATRY, gynecology…basically whatever medical need you have. If you are going to a hospital or to a clinic it might help to have your health insurance card. Your school should give you a health insurance card that says NHIC on it. If you do

Quick Pics: EV Boyz and mugwort donuts

The EV BOYZ in the TBS eFM studio! The EV BOYZ hold up the fantabulous host: Sara Kim. Sara Kim and a Little Traveler. What we didn't eat for lunch. Dukkbokki and chiggae have a very short lifespan. If they get cold, then you don't want to eat them. Conveyor Belt Sushi. Chocolate Pizza from Spanaco or something like that. It was chocolate with cheese and pecans and pistachios. It was alright. I can't say it's something I'd eat again, but...I wouldn't scoff at the idea of another slice. Close up. Cheese and Chocolate can work- it just needs to be good chocolate and good cheese. Cow cups. These remind me of my favorite cafe in Portland, Oregon. I think it was called, "Cow jumps over the moon." Coldstone's Mint chocolate chip is not my favorite. I think Baskin Robbins does a better one. I know that Cold Stone has much better icecream, but I think Mint Chocolate Chip needs to be a little less sophisicated. An Apple Bear and a Sour Cream Donut from Kris

Brunch recommendations in Seoul

UPDATE: Toque no longer does brunch You may ask, "where are the best brunch places in Seoul. It’s all the rage and you’ll find places in Apgujeong and Itaewon and over by Samcheong dong. In America, brunch was kinda popular but mainly for those hung over from all nighter. Koreans love Brunch. I mean pancakes can cost like 14,000 won and eggs, bacon, toast and coffee can easily come to 12,000. Is it ridiculous? Maybe, so I think it would be good to pick out the gems from the duds. My favorite places for brunch are in Itaewon. I’m just going to start from the start of the street as if you are coming from Banpo Bridge, and work my way down. Suji’s has great classic style pancakes and eggs. Richard Copycats has greasy heart attack inducing breakfasts like gravy and biscuits and omlettes just oozing grease. Let me tell you, this place is great if you’re need something to sop up all the alcohol in your gut. I will warn you though, sometimes service is a tad...awful. Hopefully t

Swell Season Ticket Giveaway

Hey TBSeFM Listeners! As a special treat have a very special announcement. Soul of Asia has obtained two tickets for the Swell Season concert from the lovely Claire Leadbitter who helps manage the band. We are going to give these tickets away as a set. The concert is on Saturday, January 17th. In order to win, you have to post a message on the Soul of Asia message board saying why you think you should win these two tickets. The best letter will be chosen by the band on Thursday, January 15 so you have plenty of time to get your pens working to write the best message stating why you should win these two tickets. Be creative, be bold, tell us a story, just write a message and post it on our message board. We’ll be reading them all week and we’ll choose on our winner on Thursday, January 15th. So go to and go to the Soul of Asia message board and leave us a message on why you should win these 2 tickets. You can enter as many times as you wish and be sure to post an

Script for January 13, 2009 Lawyers and your legal rights

Surviving Seoul Part 1: Your Rights Everyone, it is getting dangerously cold out so be sure to make sure you are safe. Most of the houses are warmed through the ondol floor heating system, so it’s very important that you let your water faucet drip a little so your pipes don’t freeze. If they do freeze you could look at a couple million in expenses and most landlords will foot you with the bill. And if you have one of those thermal fan heaters, please be sure to turn them off when you leave the house and be very careful where you have them located. Do not have lots of loose paper around and also be sure that you are not too close to the heater when you go to sleep. And those heaters take up a lot of power, so be sure not to plug it into a power plug that is overloaded. It could cause a spark. Today, I wanted to start by going into a bit about labor laws. Korea has a lot of laws on the books, and I feel it’s important to know your rights. Now if you ask your employer about the rules, th

Motorcycling in Seoul

Daniel  says listen to Danya Gunnell talk about motorcycling in seoul on the radio http://tbsefm. hit the "on air" button. Dan

Quick Pics: Jalapeno Ranch Burger, donuts, and a Horsey Golf Club

Richard Copycat's Jalapeno Ranch Burger in Itaewon. It's a tad pricy at 11,900, so I had very high expectations. It's pretty, especially with the hashbrowns. I would say that this was a nice man-sized burger. It was greasy like it should be and the meat was alright. The jalapenos added a bit of heat while the ranch cooled it down. It was nice. I wouldn't say the best, but I'd have it again. Here's a close up. Here is an omelet from the Copycat. Big. Greasy. Not too tasty. If you are hung over, then this will work to settle your alcohol bombed gut. It's not good for much else. Breakfast burrito. Again. It's greasy. I think that Richard Copycat's is an alright diner. The food has that greaseball American flair going for it. The problem is that the service is still awful. Management really needs to work on this. This time the food didn't take as long to get, but they seem to nitpick about everything and they have this cautious attitude. For example,

How to buy meat in Korea.

Yay! people read my blog! Here is a question I recently got from a reader and my answer is below. If anyone has any other questions, feel free to send them to me. Dan Lynn I've been reading your blogs and articles for the past 6 months. They were helpful for my first trip to Seoul. I mostly used your site for restaurants and culture research. But now I'm going back to Seoul at the end of January and want to spend my days cooking. (After all, it is freezing now and wandering about isn't going to be as fun as it was in the fall.) I couldn't find any butchers on my last trip. Can you suggest a couple places? I'm staying just south of the river in kang-nam-gu and only get around by subway. Thank you! Me It's best to find a local butcher. You'll find them around in each neighborhood, but it really depends on the kind of meat that you would want and the cut. You would go to the chicken guy to get chicken. Most of the fish you can get fairly fresh at a market or yo

Lunar New Year Event

Hey everyone, one of my friends started up a magazine and he is hosting an event on Lunar New Year. It's going to be on Sunday the 25th and I am planning on going. You know how I feel about the food at Ola! Mario. If not, go here So, who would like to join me? I'm going to preorder my tickets. Let me know know if you are going to be there too. Here is the facebook group event listing. m/home.php#/event.php?eid= 43103772569&ref=share Dan Hi 10 Magazine Group! If you are stuck in Korea this Lunar New Year, we've got a treat for you! 10 Magazine and Glenlivet are sponsoring a Lunar New Year's Eve party at Ola Mario restaurant in Itaewon. Unlimited Glenlivet Single-malt Scotch and Glenlivet cocktails along with appetizers served all night long, DJs and an incredible atmosphere - all for only W40,000 - normally! But for 10 Magazine Group Members who sign up this week tickets are available for just W30,000!!

Quick Tips: What is food trash?

Let’s start with some trash talk. These are items that are not and let me reiterate, NOT, acceptable as food wastes. You can throw these away in your regular trash bags that you buy from the store. Ok, here we go. Hard nut shells such as chestnut, walnuts, peanuts, acorns, coconut, pineapple, or cherry or grape stems. These are also not acceptable: Onion peels, roots of green onions, garlic peels, corn husks, large seeds or pits of peaches, apricots, persimmons and other fruits with pits or seeds. Just remember this, if an animal can eat it, then it is considered food waste. If not then it goes in the regular trash bag. The trash in the regular bags are usually burned, so it is very important to get rid of all the recyclable items. Oh, and bones from meat and feathers from poultry (now I don’t know who would defeather their own poultry, but just in case) are NOT food waste. Neither are clam shells, abalone, crab or lobster. Oh and if you happen to gut and clean your own blowfish (which

Quick Tips: How to pay your gas or electric bill and how to withdraw woney (money)

If you have a gas bill or an electric bill, you can pay it through a couple of different ways. Many convenience stores will let you make the payments there. Which convenience stores allow you to pay your bill will be listed on your bill. You can also do a bank transfer at the bank. Just send your payment to the correct bank and account number listed. The final way is to take your paper bill and head to your nearest bank and there are special machines that you feed your bill through and pay by debit. It can be a bit confusing so get the security guard to help. Just hold up the bill and say, Help me or (say it in Korean) or you can simply say How, (Ottakgye) and move both hands up and open palmed. Tilt your head to the side and lift your left foot. As we all know, this is the universal sign for I’m confused, help me. He’ll be sure to help your through this process. Just review a little about money or woney in Korea. If you happen to encounter an ATM that is all in Korea here are some tip

Quick Pics

Carol is really a Teddy Bear, but Maggie doesn't care. Beef Salad from Black Sheep in Hongdae. Vegetarian Shepard's Pie from Indigo in Haebangchon. Cream Puff with Peach. Cake Soldiers Pretty Lily Decapitates a X-mas Snowman