American Thanksgiving in Seoul: 2010

Picture from Funtime Guide
Published in the November Issue of Seoul Magazine. Reprinted by permission. 

By Daniel Gray

Whatever it takes, people make Thanksgiving happen. During my last Thanksgiving, I heard numerous stories of turkeys being cooked in small convection ovens and even in rice cookers.

I also heard of groups of families and friends that braved long lines and the cold to eat turkey, pumpkin, pie, at hotels and in restaurants.

Luckily, American Thanksgiving has become more popular in the last few years. Western grocery stores, Costcos, and many hotels are getting ready for this foreign holiday. Here’s a round up of how you can celebrate American Thanksgiving this year.

Cook Your Own Turkey

The Haddon House in Hannamdong always has all the essentials for thanksgiving. Turkeys are 10,000 won a kilogram with sizes ranging from 3-5 kilos. They also have pumpkin pie mix (9,000 won), cranberry sauce (6,000 won), and stuffing- all that you need.

Costco had 7.7 kg turkeys last year for 80,000 won. You can also the fixings there in bulk.

Take your Turkey Home

Your best bet is the Dragon Hill Lodge, which has Turkey with mashed potatoes, gravy, beans almondine, dinner rolls, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. This feast comes in a giant gift box for only $99.95 US Dollars (112,567 won) and it feeds 10-12 people. You can pick up from Gates 17 (across from Ichon Station) and Gate 3 (down from Noksopyeong Station Exit 2). You can also order turkeys a la carte for $49.95. Call 02-6903-6716.

The Military is no longer doing this service in 2011.

Last year, E-marts in Seoul had take-out turkey dinners. Also, Delibonbons at the Coex InterContinental Hotel (Samseong Station) have take-out turkey dinners with the fixings. Last year’s prices were 160,000 + tax for 6kg Turkeys and 180 + tax for 8 kgs. 02-3430-8660. Grand Hilton Seoul (Hongje Station)’s Alpine Deli will have Thanksgiving Turkeys with fixings starting November 19th to December 31st for 165,000- 195,000 won + tax. 02-2287-8274.

Have your Turkey at a Restaurant

Never a bad bet, but sometimes it can get quite crowded. Be sure to make reservations and get there on time for your seating. If you miss it, you might have a very long wait.

Chef Meili’s in Itaewon will be celebrating Thanksgiving from Thursday November 25th to Sunday November 28th. It is a prefixed course with cream soup, turkey with all the trimmings, stuffing, veggies, and pumpkin pie. He can accompany large groups. The cost will be 36,500 won per person. Be sure to make reservations. 02-794-7024.

Gecko’s Terrace in Itaewon (behind the Hamilton Hotel) will be doing their regular Thanksgiving dinner. Prices have not yet been decided. 02-749-9425.

The Grand Hilton Seoul in Seodaemun-gu (Hongje Subway Station) will have an authentic Thanksgiving spreads at their Buffet Restaurant and Atrium Café on November 25th starting at 6pm for 70,000 won per person with 1 glass of champagne and red wine. 02-2287-8271.

Suji’s Restaurant in Itaewon will have Thanksgiving buffet specials on November 25th. Their menu departs a bit from the norm with cornbread sausage stuffing and seafood chowder. The first seating is from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and their second seating is from 8pm to 11pm.

Also during Thanksgiving weekend, Suji’s will have a prefixed turkey dinner for 28,000 won per person. Be sure to make a reservation. Take-out options are also available. 02-797-3698.

Finally, my cooking school, O'ngo Culinary School in Insadong, is going to have a potluck Thanksgiving Dinner at our cooking studio on Saturday November 27th at 3pm. We'll have several turkeys with all the fixings and they'll be preparing homemade pies, mashed potatoes, stuffing, macaroni salad, and many other homemade food. It's BYOB and all you can eat. Dinner will from 3pm to 7pm. Come early if you would like to come help cook. It's 30,000 a person, but you can contribute a homemade dish (a cooked dish only. Snacks and drinks will not be accepted for a discount) and save 10,000 won. Contact me at 02-3446-1607 to make reservations. Party is limited to 60 people.

On Saturday, November 26th, 2011 we will be having another Thanksgiving day party. Go here for more details:

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