Showing posts from September, 2009

A Quick Post on Good Eats in Seoul

My favorite new street is over by the Hannam UN Village. It's the street where my friend Johnny has the Naked Grill. If you come out Hangangjin station, you take a bus to Dankuk University and cross the road and go up the hill. I know not convenient to get there, but it's worth the walk. If you look at this post, it has better directions. My friend Ben went to the Naked Grill today for a cheesesteak and he said it was pretty awesome. So what else is up there? There's the Banana Grill for good hamburgers. They're not the best in Seoul, but they are decent. I had the mushroom burger and it had good (but thin) meat in a plush (but too big) bun. I also went up to the Naked Grill for a pancho burger. The Naked Grill makes good tacos, but their burgers need a bit of work. I found the meat a bit gristly, but the pico de gallo was good and the price wasn't too expensive. I recommend their tacos (you'll often find the taco truck parked at the Hard Rock in Itaewon.)


Chuseok Chuseok is the Korean version of Thanksgiving. During this holiday, the family gives thanks to their ancestors by welcoming the spirits into their houses to taste the ethereal flavors of the year's harvest. This may sound superstitious, but the real intention is to commemorate the departed. Because without our ancestors, literally, we wouldn’t exist. This is a family holiday and to be invited to a family's Chuseok celebration is a very special honor. Basically, the family is accepting the guest into their family to not only meet the living relatives that attend, but also the spirits that have passed. During my first year in Korea I was bestowed this special honor by the Kim family in Gyeong Ju. Jikyeong was a student of mine and we became fast friends and she knew that I was new to Korea and I didn't have anyone to celebrate this holiday with. I accepted her invitation, but with one request: I wanted to participate in the preparation of the various dishes. This

What the Foodies are Craving for the month of October

1. Star Burger in Gangnam for their excellent homemade Bacon Cheeseburger. 2. Deux Cremes in Shinsa for their delectable Banana Tart. 3. Butterfinger's in Gangnam for their orgasmic blueberry pancakes. Brian from Kiss my Kimchi CEIA Brazilian Restaurant (soon to be re-opened in Gangnam) for unlimited and top quality Churrascaria style grilled meats served to your table on a spear. Sortino’s Italian Restaurants (lounge/restaurant and Pizzeria/ bar) for a wide choice of excellent Italian food and great wine (the closest experience you can have to eating in Italy). Sideway Wine Bar in Gangnam for wine choice, ambience, decor, and a Frenchman who knows his wines and is willing to give expert advice with a side of humor. Besides, who needs food when you have great wine (granted, they do have a decent selection of dishes if you need it).  Manuel Lara

Vinyl in Hongdae: Cocktails in a Ziplock bag


Instant Review: Julios Mexican in Gangnam

Go out exit 5 gangnam station and make a right at the Jump Milano. Excellent enchiladas and slyders (small hamburgers). The enchiladas have a tart salsa with cheese on top. Tortillas are alright, a bit dense. Slyders come in teriyaki, chili, and or topped with cheese. Good meat and flavorful. I didn't like the cheeseburger slyder-no flavor. Concrete interior with a mock taco truck inside. Lunch specials for 5800. Entrees start at 6800. I want to get the burrito next time. Sent from my iPod

The Mysterious Madame Fork Reviews NOA and Zelen

I might have a stalker situation on my hands because I received this e-mail yesterday and she went to the same restaurants that I went to in the last week. Hmmm...I hope she looks like this: Also, I'm simplifying submissions for Seoul Eats. If there are any restaurant tips, comments, or any food news you would like posted on Seoul Eats, just e-mail me here.  Pictures are a plus. Thanks and look for the new Groove Magazine. The dining section is getting huge and I'm pretty happy about how it turned out. Dan Chew on This by the Madame Fork I am not a food critic, gourmet cook, food expert or a wine connoisseur. I don’t know the exact words for certain ingredients and flavors and all the other tiny details. What I do know, is what I and many of my friends enjoy when it comes to eating out and I have lived in Korea for almost a decade now and always keen to try the changes Korea is making  when it comes to food! So this column is dedicated to the honest(maybe too ho

Korean sandwiches take another turn for the worse

Having waxed somewhat lyrically about sandwiches before, which included an article on this very site about the dreaded 'Korean Toast', I feel compelled to mention my most recent sandwich related discovery (read nightmare). As if romanising 'Flakes' with a 'ㅎ' isn't bad enough, Post, the producer of breakfast cereals in Korea, have decided that they are qualified to offer advice on how to make sandwiches. It is common practice on many products nowadays to offer a serving suggestion, but surely cereal is exempt from this, isn't it? I mean how many ways can you eat cereal, at least how many ways that are a legitimate attempt to eat a filling breakfast? Cornflake and jam tarts, however delicious, are not a legitimate attempt and neither are rice crispy cakes. One morning recently, as I was eating a bowl of cereal, I happened to glance at the back of the box. There was a huge picture of a toasted sandwich that contained peanut butter, bananas and almond cerea

Restaurant Recommendations and tips for Travelers to Seoul

My favorite Naengmyeon (cold noodle restaurant) It's called Ojangdong Heungnam jip. 2266-0735 The map is here,'s best if you take a taxi, and call the restaurant. The driver will take you right there. Jung shik dang for high end Korean contemporary cuisine. 02 517 4654. Amazing food and it's really playful and inventive. Suraon for Royal Court Cuisine. Here is a map, but if you are a new traveler it probably means you can't read Korean so... It's on the opposite side of the Express Bus terminal (Express Bus Terminal Subway Station) over by Marriot Hotel in Seoul. These days, I've been getting quite a few e-mails from people that are heading to Seoul for vacation. These travelers all seem to be quite hungry, so I am going to give you recommendations for new visitors to Seoul. The restaurants on this list are picked for people whose palates are not quite Koreanized. Feel free to add to the list if you'd like. TRAVELER'S TIP:   Rent a

Comic Artist needed to globalize Korean food. Paid Job.

I just got an interesting project. Right now, a government affiliated organization is looking to make a comic illustration book that will demonstrate how to eat Korean food. The style of the comic will like Calvin and Hobbes- so it will explain how to eat Korean food in a whimsical, process-oriented manner. The audience members would be people who have never experienced eating Korean food before. For example, bibimbap. Panel 1: The main character looks at a bowl of bibimbap filled with all sorts vegetables, egg, etc. The main character says, "How do I eat this?" An middle aged female server (an ajumma) in the background looks concerned and confused. Panel 2: The main character says, "I'll eat the toppings first. Sigh...the lettuce doesn't taste good plain." The ajumma looks shocked and rushes over. Panel 3: In a whirlwind fashion, the ajumma mixes everything up, while the main character says, "What are you doing?" Panel 4: The main chara

Photoblog: Zelen Bulgarian Restaurant

Behind the Hamilton Hotel and next to Three Alley.   These two guys are the brothers that run the restaurant. Lentil Soup with Bacon. Oh, my god, delicious, This meatball dish was awesome as well. The meat had body and was perfectly cooked without getting dry. The potatoes were oven roasted and the sauce gave just the right amount of tang. I guess this is the Bulgarian version of Mom's Meatloaf. The Chicken dish was a bit charred so it tasted too smokey and not in a good way. The cheese on top didn't add much. On the other hand, the bread was hearty and crusty- just the way I like it.   The salads are super cute and with nice chunks of feta. It's all about the yogurt. It's homemade and it's luscious. Topped with honey and walnuts, it blows Red Mango out of the water.   Say hi to the chef. Zelen 02 749-0600 English is spoken. Prices range from 8,000 to 25,000 Lunch Specials: 18,000

Chef Profile: Han Bok-ryeo

Han Bok-ryeo (pictures courtesy of Jihwaja) Since Hwang Hye Jung recently did a story on Korea's Intangible Human Cultural Heritage #38 earlier this week, I thought I should give you a bit of background on this woman and pictures. Bok-ryeo Han harkened the renaissance of Korea's Royal Court Cuisine through her work on the famous Korean drama, Daejanggum. It's her food that you see on the show. She is a selfless advocate of the tradition and she is the highest authority on royal court cuisine. Bok-Ryeo Han is the highest living authority on the Royal Court Cuisine Tradition. She was awarded the title of Korea’s Intangible Human Cultural Heritage #38, which means she is the only one who can certify court cuisine chefs and restaurants. Her mother learned from the last royal chef and passed the tradition to her. Sinsello: Royal Hot Pot(pictures courtesy of Jihwaja) MOTTO: “I revived the memory of royal court cuisine so the legacy will not be forgotten You can find he

NOA New Bistro in Haebangchon

Cute exterior, but the balcony is kinda useless because of all the noise from the road. Stylish and Cute interior. They make the bread there. It's hearty with bits of black olive. Here is the apple salad with gorgonzola cheese. I know this will sound odd, but there was a bit too much cheese and it overpowered the dish. The calamari. It has a light batter, but not all that crispy. The jalapeno was a nice touch. The Shank of lamb (25,000) had a burnt taste to it, and way too expensive for such a small piece and without sides. The chefs are nice and they are trying hard. I've heard good things about their brunch. I'll give them another shot soon and let you know how it was. NOA in Haebangchon. It's the new restaurant down the road from Indigo. NOA, which stands for "nose of artist" has 2 chefs- one of whom has worked at the Italian restaurant Buon Sera. The interior is charming. The food...well... they are new so we should give them time to get th

Intangible treasures, Tangible tastes by Hwang Hye Jung

  With mixed feel ings I entered Loblaws, my favo rite Toronto supermarket, for the last time before I left for Korea . Dusk cast a golden glow on the autumn maple leaves outside the giant glass windows. Revisiting familiar aisles like a pensive old friend, I bid loving farewell to long-time favorite items, ranging from grade A maple syrup to Canadian back bacon. Suddenly, my reverie was broken as I hit upon the aisle of sauces: President’s Choice, one of the biggest up-market food manufacturers in Canada , has officially launched their Bulgogi Sauce, one of the very first Korean Cuisine products produced by a mainstream company in North America . Standing slightly stunned, a wave of conflicting emotions hit this die-hard Koreophile. Yes, it’s good news that Korean food is starting to get the attention it deserves in mainstream Canada ; however----I’M SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE JUST CITING BULGOGI AND KIMCHI WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT KOREAN FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, with all due respec

A video of my buddy Rachel Yang

Edward Kwon's Eddy's Cafe

A family enjoying the food. Posh Interior Most of the staff and waitstaff can speak English and Korean. Side Salad with the entree. It had a sherry vinegarette. 2,000 won with the entree. Roasted Chicken with Cherry and Raisin compote, argula and bread. W14,000. Close up. Excellent coffee with rich crema. 4,000 won. The fruit dessert had chunks of peach, pear and kiwi (they should have been cut smaller in a vanilla cream custard and topped with whipped cream, pistachios and mint leaves. It was delectable and well worth the 9,000 won. Eddy's Cafe Edward Kwon is Korea's new celebrity chef and he's got the skills and the look to make it big. His cafe concept, which seems reminiscent of Wolfgang Puck, has opened at the Shinsegae department store at the Express Bus Terminal. I was told by the manager, It's the first of many, many." Here you can get big salads with toppings such as "roasted cherries, hazelnuts, and cheddar beignet (W8,500)" or &