Showing posts from April, 2011

Picture of the Day: Namsan Tower

Namsan Tower Ok, this was taken a few days back, but I think we need a reminder of how beautiful Seoul can be when it is so gloomy today.

A Seoul Culinary Trip Video by Planet Cerrito's Blog

Korean Tourism Organization Seoul Trip from PlanetCerritosBlog on Vimeo . My trip to Seoul in Spring 2011 sponsored by KTO. The winner of the first Blogging Contest was Michael Limbo of Planet Cerrito's Blog . The grand prize was a 4 day 3 night culinary vacation in Seoul where Michael got to go on our famous Night Dining Tour, take a cooking class, and he got meals at some of Korea's top restaurants. Here is his video on his trip. The video really encapsulates Seoul's energy. Great job Michael and thanks for sharing. Dan 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.

Couples Faceoff in our Intermediate BBQ Cooking Class!

My buddy Susanna and her lover, Sugan, are a wonderful couple- except for one thing: they are ultra competitive. So competitive in fact, that when they signed up for our Intermediate BBQ cooking class, I was a bit worried. I didn't know if this class might get a bit too heated (pun intended).  They were perfect students during the lesson part of the class, but when it came time to cook, they were very focused, words were exchanged, and there were a few elbows thrown.  In the end, they made an array of well presented side-dishes and bbq meat dishes. They had asked me who won the competition. I told them it was a tie. They wouldn't take that as an answer, so I was asked to critic honestly.  You'll have to ask Susanna and Sugan what I said. If you are interested in signing up for Korean cooking classes, contact us at or e-mail at ongofood at ongofood dot com Cheers, Dan

Pictures from Seoul Food Week 2011

This week has been crazy busy with working with KINTEX, running tours, and trying to train new guides for our food tours. Whew, a very busy but very fun week. We were lucky enough to work with KOTRA for Seoul Food Week. We have run a number of tours for the participants at the convention and they have really enjoyed it. It has been great to see how different cultures perceive Korean food. Here are some pictures from the Seoul Food Week 2011. Cheers, Dan

Nutbutter and a kick to the taco

My good friend Maggie Whittum of Seoul City Improv is currently preparing for a Improv tour of Canadian Tour Festival and she recently did an improv show in Beijing and she is directing a World Premiere Play "Suicides in Vegas" . She is currently staying with me at my apartment, although I never get to see her because she is always so busy. I have a 3 bedroom apartment that I share with a roommate and Maggie took the small third bedroom that has a couch and giant TV. She sleeps on the floor because the couch is too short for her lanky, Coloradian Body.  The floor bed folds up around her and she has affectionately named her "Taco" Maggie is the only person that I know that works that works more than I do in pursuit of her dream and so...she probably wants to sleep in every once in a while. Since I wait up very early, Maggie has asked me to give her a kick in her Taco to wake her up. That's what the sticker is about below. Anyway,  I think we need to support the

Seafood tteokbokki at Beodulgol in Itaewon's bottom

Seafood Tteokbokki at Beodulgol Rating 3 Stars: Recommended (Great atmosphere, inventive touches on familiar food, understanding service). Last week was another sensational food week. I was able to meet the fabulous food writer Marina O'Loughlin and her husband David and we spent the next few days eating our way through Seoul. Marina, who is a twitterholic (follow her at!/MarinaMetro ), was a wonderful person to dine with and by the time we got to Beodulgol, I had an understanding of what she and her husband liked to eat. They liked the local, the raw, the real cuisine that you can only get if you know the land. Of course, I didn't just go to hole in the wall places, but I think this place was a big hit with them. Beodulgol, is a local hangout that is well known for their seafood. The shellfish outside the restaurant are well taken care of us and it shows in the food they cook. Their most famous dish is Seafood Rice Cake (Haemul tteokbokki). The noo

Breakfast and Lunch: cheongukjang and omurice

O'mori Cheonggukjeong This was breakfast at O'mori Kimchi Chiggae and yes, there was tofu and whole beans in the cheongukjang.  The anonymous jerk face that left this comment: "  Do you even know what you are talking about?  I have no idea what cheonggukjeong (청국정) is. 청국장 however....  The beans usually aren't whole and it is usually a paste with chunks of beans...  The soup is also traditonally made with vegetables and very rarely contains 두부."  is wrong. You know,  people might have a different recipe after all. Omurice One of my favorite foods is Omurice- Fried rice topped with a thin sheet of fried egg. It's great topped with ketchup. It's even better with some side dishes such as cucumber kimchi. Not Your Mother’s Kitchen: Quick Kimchi

The competition is fierce over at  and I am really happy to see the number of people posting to win a culinary vacation in Korea.  One contestant Leigh Cooper even made a video on how to make quick kimchi. The video is great and I love her energy. Check it out below. Also, be sure to enter to win a culinary vacation to Korea. It's a 4 day 3 night trip that includes airfare, culinary tours, cooking classes, and meals at fine restaurants! To win, all you have to do is blog about Korean food. Cheers, Dan 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.

1 Decent and 1 unusual (blueberry!) Pizza at Pizza di Pane

Pizza di Pane Rating: 1 star out of 4 (good for the money, nice service, nice atmosphere) The street perpendicular to my cooking school is slowly becoming hip. There is a chocolate cafe aptly named the "Chocolate Cafe" across from the Rice Cake Museum. The Chocolate Cafe makes...chocolate that is brown and shiny- sorta like the chocolate bunnies you would get during easter. There is also bakery that makes mediocre bread and a cafe that Ok, it's not a culinary gem yet, but it's in the state of development. There is a Nescafe that has opened on the corner and a Family Mart as well. On the main street are some decent Korean restaurants such as Jongro BBQ Bossam, and several Korean raw fish restaurants. Adjacent to the main streets are where the food shines. Here you get authentic pork (garmaeggisal) restaurants and there is also a very famous knife-cut noodle shop as well. The other new addition to this street is a pizza shop named Pizza di Pane.

Star Rating System for Restaurants on Seoul Eats

A long time ago when I used to write for Eloquence Magazine I used to do a star rating system for restaurants.   I got away from the system because the star rankings were too controversial. I mean can a small mom and pop shop compete against a modern restaurant with a star chef manning the kitchen? Yes, they can. There are great Korean restaurants that stick with tradition and even though their atmosphere might not be all frilly and fancy, the food more than makes up for it. Likewise, there are many beautiful restaurants in Korea that serves subpar food. The focus for the star rating system will be on the food. Service in Korea is not like service in other countries and this is a cultural difference so it should be a lower priority. If the service is blatantly rude, I will mention it. Cleanliness is also an important factor in the rating system as well- I don't want to recommend a place that might get someone sick. Atmosphere will be described and it will have a medium leve

A School Lunch on Top of Namsan Mountain

School Lunch on Namsan Mountain Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul! Join the Seoul Eats Facebook Group Page to keep to date with the latest events.

Macarons across the Street from a Tiny Korean Restaurant

Macarons from Remins I love exploring little side streets. There you'll often find traditional Korean restaurants and locally owned cafes that focus more on craft than big crowds. One of my favorite areas to visit is Bukcheon and Gahoe-dong. I think of it as the less touristy Insadong. This area is well known for the many hanok guest houses  . The area has a lot of charm with the boutiques, restaurants, and antique shops. Oh, and many of the locations have been featured in Korean dramas. One of my favorite cafes in the area is Reminis  is a great place to get a slice of homemade chocolate cake  with a cup of coffee. The last time I went with a friend, we decided to get a few macarons. These were ok. Homemade and flavorful, they were ok. We ordered the blueberry, earl grey, and lemon macarons. The earl grey was the most interesting. I mean these are nowhere as good as Paulette Macarons in San Fran, but you can't eat macaroons across from a tiny little Korean restaurant wi

Dinner at Congdu Restaurant

Hi Folks, Between tours and work, my schedule hasn't left me a lot of time for blogging. Don't worry, I have still been taking pictures. Here is the dinner course that I had at Congdu Restaurant. It was a great dinner made even better by sharing it with friends. Once I can get to my computer, I will write a description of what I had. Congdu 50 Jongno-gu, Saemunan-gil Seoul National History Museum #02-722-7002 Open from 11:30-2pm and 5:30pm to 10pm Cost: 20,000 lunch and 35-100,000 a person for dinner. Getting There: Go out Gwanghwamun Station (line 5) Exit 7 and walk straight for 5 minutes. Cheers, Dan Carrot Puree, Spring Salad Beef Tartar with caviar marinated with 5, 10, and 15 year old soy sauce Seaweed Chicken Consumme with Rice Cake Fried Tofu with Soybean Sauce and fresh kimchi Braised Snapper with orange soybean sauce

Korea Taste Blogging Contest! Win a Culinary Vacation to Korea

Korean Food Blogging Contest from Simon and Martina Stawski on Vimeo . Hi everyone! KoreaTaste’s Spring 2011 Korean Food Blogging Contest is underway. The good people at KTO have asked me to help let everyone know about the contest and get people participating. Simon of Eatyourkimchi and I worked on the fall contest and it was pretty successful. We had 150 bloggers join and they contributed over 400 posts. I got to meet the top prize winner, Mr. Michael Limbo of Planet Cerritos  Blog and it was great to show him the great eats of Korea. Above is the last year's video that Simon made for the contest. (Sorry, we didn't have time to update it) The 2nd and 3rd prizes are different, but the rules are the same. Like last time, to win, a good portion of determining the winning entry is based on the votes, so these are some buttons and banners you can put on your site to get your readers to vote for your entry. Below each image you’ll see the code for the image. Just copy it

Breakfast: Stinky Soybean Stew

Stinky Tofu Stew Breakfast yesterday was Cheonggukjeong Stew. I know I said that it is skinky, but that is how Koreans describe it themselves. The beans that are used in the stew are only fermented for a short time so it don't have a lot of time to mature. As the beans mature, they lose that strong scent and become more of a paste. Cheonggukjeong is made with beans that are still quite ripe- think of them as a fruit that is super ripe yet almost on the verge of spoiling. The beans are whole and the soup is rich and thick. The entire meal is like a bowl of navy bean stew with ham- just a little spicier. You should give it a try. Dan

Quick Bites: The Fry Pan, N. Korean Naengmyeon, and Moroccan Sandwiches

For those that didn't have a chance to pick up a copy of April's Seoul Magazine. Here are some of the food places I wrote about. I recommend you pick up a copy because you'll get lots of great events and the maps will show you where all of the restaurants I mention are. Let's support the good restaurants in Korea, because I am tired of them closing because people don't know they exist! Dan Quick Bites: Seoul Digested Published in the April Seoul Selection Magazin e. Reprinted with Permission By Daniel Gray The Frypan: University Project Turned Franchise Hongdae University is known as the school for aspiring artists. The scene is eclectic and energetic and many of the restaurants and eateries reflect this idea. The Frypan restaurant was started as a school project by a group of university students. Their signature dish is boneless chicken breast that is breaded and fried served over a bed of freshly fried potato chips. It is like a battleship of chicken st

Yelper in Seoul Reviews Garosugil Restaurants

People ask me all the time where do I find restaurants to review? Often, like you, I listen to friends and other foodies. When that fails, I go search through the blogs. One blog in particular that I have been a fan of is "A Yelper in Seoul." It is written by the Rodney Hammond and I like his very honest...well...blunt assessment of restaurants. I tend to write only about the restaurants I like. If it is bad, I just don't think that it deserves any of my time. Rodney feels otherwise and he accesses every place he visits in a very decisive manner. Rodney will be writing columns from time to time to share with you what he feels is the best and worst eats in Seoul. Cheers, Dan A Yelper in Seoul. Written and Photographed by Rodney Hammond  Reprinted with permission What is Yelp? It is one of the most widely used Social Networking sites in the USA & also present in Canada, UK, Germany, France & Holland, The Aim of Yelp is to conne