Showing posts from July, 2011

CLOSED Seoul Eats Video: Le 75 Hongdae Seoul

These days I have had the itch to make videos and play with my camera more. Here is a video of my visit to Le 75 in Hongdae. Here is some more info: The restaurant is on the top floor of the building. Here is the address: 마포구 서교동 331-21 4층 (우) 121-836  The phone number is 02.324.5731 but he says he doesn't have a phone yet so you can call (ladies use it wisely.) his cell 010.4044.7510. I would call ahead to make sure he has reservations. Directions are easiest if you go out Hongdae Station exit 5. Make a U-Turn and make a right. Cross the street and you'll see Le 75 on the top floor. On the first floor is a octopus restaurant (쭈꾸미) and on the 2nd Floor is Dune Restaurant. 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.

REDUX: Makgeolli with Fried Ginseng at Chin Chin

Crispy Fried Ginseng at Chin Chin Makgeolli Bar in Hongdae Sometimes you have to give a restaurant a second chance. Chin Chin in Hongdae had a reputation for having great food, however, I never understood the hype. My first experience at Chin Chin was...meh. The rice wine, makgeolli, was great-but the food wasn't anything spectacular. I ordered a grilled mackerel dish and I remember getting an tiny, almost spoiled fish- it didn't go well with the Makgeolli. The chef, a recent graduate of CIA, was bolting out the door as soon as it was served. I mentioned my problem with the dish and they told me the kitchen had closed. The second time I went, I stuck with just the Makgeolli. My last trip back, I noticed that the excellent makgeolli was still there, but there was a new chef. The food had traditional Korean flavor fused with modern techniques and plating. I was utterly amazed. My favorite dish was the very crispy, tempura ginseng. The battered, pan-seared fish was also

Not Food Related: Hitler has to Desk Warm

The rain is getting me down so I haven't really been in the mood to blog much. I am working on a project now and I ran into this on the web. It totally cracked me up. I hope it will have the same effect on you. 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.

Guest Post: South Korea, Part I: Food is key to national identity…but farmers are left out.

By Anders Riel Muller Take a walk through Seoul, South Korea’s capital of more than 10 million (24.5 million in the Seoul Metropolitan Area) and one cannot help but notice the number of restaurants. In Seoul, eating out is as common as eating at home (if not more) because the food is cheap, plentiful, and most people work late in this highly competitive society. Seoul is the heart of South Korea. It is the seat of the government and major industrial conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, and LG. It is hip, modern, and is quickly becoming one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Korean food has also become a popular ethnic cuisine, especially in the US. In fact, the South Korean government has begun to actively promote Korean food abroad as part of its global marketing campaign to establish Korea’s position as an economic and cultural super power in East Asia. Korean cuisine is a source of national pride because it is distinct from the neighboring countries

Foodie Tour Video!

Here is a video of our food tour made by one of our guests. Thank you Mark, for making this. You did a great job! 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.

My Ode to Sang-Sang Bar

Ssang Ssang Bar (Chocolate Couple Bar) Ssang Ssang Bar, you are the cupid of ice cream. You are dressed in gold and adorn with a red heart  Underneath you have delicious chocolate spiked with two sticks. What am I supposed to do with you Ssang Ssang Bar? Share? Sigh... Ssang Ssang bar... I loathe thee  You are the chocolate bar shared by couples, but you taste so good, I cannot. You show the darkness of my soul as I indulge in both halves- one for each hand, alternating between. Ssang Ssang bar... if you were larger in size, I would consider sharing (but probably not) Maybe if I found a worthy beau, I would share. Ssang Ssang Bar could you introduce me? Ssang Ssang Bar (Chocolate Couple Bar)

Coffee from Chan Bros and a Pretzel from Wing

Cappuccino from Chan Bros When it rains I get nostalgic for home and near my home there are places that help me fill that void. Growing up, I loved having coffee at Brew Ha Ha! coffee house in Delaware. I used to work as a barista there and I would waste gallons of milk trying to do latte art and make sweet microbubbles. I got pretty good and even got some awards (and many tips$$).  The guys over at Chan Bros Coffee does a good job with it and I would say that they make the best wet foam cappuccino in Seoul. Oh, and they can pull a good shot of espresso. Down the street from Chan Bros is Wing Bakery and they make good pretzels. I mean maybe a tad expensive at 2,400 won for one, but...meh...they are a specialty item here. The pretzels are big and they taste authentic- especially when you put some yellow mustard on it (mustard not included). Cheers, Dan Soft Pretzel from Wing Bakery Pretzel with Yellow Mustard from Wing Bakery

Singaporean Shaved Ice

Singaporean Shaved Ice is another picture of Singaporean Shaved ice. It looks a l ot more appetizing than the last one.   It looks really refreshing. I want one. 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.

Lunch at OK2 Kitchen

OK2 Kitchen I think you all know my love of Susumu and OK2 Kitchen. If not you can see all my posts on the restaurant here: . Lunch was wonderful as usual. Dan Chamwei Gazpacho Duck Pastrami Pasta with Fresh Mozzerella Salted Caramel Pudding and Ginseng Flan and Granita

Review: Edward Kwon's Lab XXIV

Chef Edward Kwon at Lab XXIV Edward Kwon Edward Kwon's Lab XXIV This is my unedited review for Edward Kwon's Lab XXIV. You can see the version on Seoul Selection's Magazine here:   There is also a great interview with the chef Lab XXIV: A Conundrum Resolves By Daniel Gray Lab XXIV sounds like a molecular bistro that every Ferran Adria wannabe starts with their molecular cuisine starter kits filled with agar-agar, calcium lactate, and soy lecithin. I know, lots of scrumptious sounding stuff. It seemed as if the Chef, Mr. Edward Kwon, was seeking to reinvent himself especially after his hushed-over expulsion(?) from his previous endeavor, Spice.  Luckily, the menu was more contemporary European, rather than molecular as words such as foie gras, veloute, feuille, and jus jumped up at us. The atmosphere of Lab xxiv is sleek like a Mercedes with polished glass and h

Beautiful Pottery at Kwangjuyo

Mini Onggi from Kwangjuyo Black Plates and Bowls from Kwangjuyo About two weeks ago, LTB (Les Toques Blanc) was invited by Kwangjuyo to visit their pottery factory in Icheon. It was a great trip despite the pouring rain and we got to see the entire operation from clay to pot. Almost everything there is all homemade and done by artisans who have been doing their craft for many years and it shows in the work they produce. After touring the pottery factory we also got to see their Hwajo Soju and Makgeolli production factory. Really amazing stuff and I'll write more about it after I post the pictures. I would like to thank Lucia Cho and Kwangjuyo for the very educational trip. Kwangjuyo

Seoul Eats Meetup: Balwoo Gongyang Kong and Patbingsu at Haap

Time: Saturday, July 23 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm Start: O'ngo Culinary School Cost: Dutch Pay- about 10,000 won I am planning a Seoul Eats Meetup this Saturday at 5pm to have Temple Cuisine and then go to Haap. We'll first go to Balwoo Gongyang Kong to have a Temple Cuisine Dinner and then we'll go to my favorite patbingsu place for dessert. Who knows after, we might head out for a drink.  It will start from my cooking school. Go here for directions: We'll go dutch. Dinner and dessert should be about 10,000 won. If you can make it e-mail me at seouleats at gmail dot com or RSVP here. Find out more about the restaurants we are going to here: Haap: Balwoo Gongyang Kong: Come take a cooking class or take a Culinary Tour in Seoul! Pictures are taken either wi

Patbingsu from Haap

Patbingsu from Haap Haap My favorite dish at Haap is the patbingsu: homemade, sweetened red bean over finely shaved ice mixed with milk and a bit of citron. It is topped with the softest dollop of potato rice cake I have ever had. Haap 070-4209-0819 I am planning a Seoul Eats Meetup this Saturday at 5pm to have Temple Cuisine and then go to Haap.  It will start from my cooking school.  We'll go dutch and dinner and dessert should be about 10,000 won. If you can make it e-mail me at  seouleats at gmail dot com

Photoart: Cutting Kimchi at Home Looks like Murder!

Cutting Kimchi at Home Looks like Murder

Photoart: The Past Looking towards the Future

The Past Looking at the Present: Rolleiflex and iPhone Rolleiflex and iPhone

Quick Bites: The Spicy Edition in Seoul Magazine

Quick Bites: The Spicy Edition Seoul... digested? A selection of fiery dishes that will lead you into the depths of Mordor Written by Daniel Gray A Bowl of Spicy Noodles at Suanla Beodulgol Yeeyagi: Spicy seafood tteokbokki in Itaewon Sometimes you need a big, hulking vat of chewy rice cakes, fresh shellfish, octopus and fishcakes doused in spicy sauce. My favorite place to get it is at Beodulgol Yeeyagi in Itaewon. The kitschy walls covered in notes, the hip staff with a flair for good music, and the awesomely, spicy food will leave your lips aflame. The spicy baby octopus is darn good as well. You’ll need the white, soft noodles to cool down your gums when eating here. Be sure to bring some milk or some antacids. Spice Meter (4 out of 5 Chilies) T. (02) 797-0167 Getting there: Itaewon Station, Line 6, Exit 4. Make a U-turn, then turn right. At the first street at Chef Meili’s make a right and walk to the bottom of the hill. You’ll see a tent outside.   Rea

Pumpkin Juk and Knife cut noodles by the Seoul Arts Center

Anchor Knife Cut Noodles Rain. Please go. You are totally bringing me down.  Luckily, Korea has lots of food to fight the urge to curl up in a turtle position and hide under a bed. One of those dishes is calguksu. It is a rustic wheat noodle soup that can be in a fish, shellfish, beef, or chicken broth. The other thing is pumpkin juk. Last week I was attending the Richard Gere Photo Exhibition at the Seoul Arts Center.  Afterwards I went over the Anchol Calguksu for some pumpkin juk. My mother had some knife-cut noodles. The place is in a renovated house and it looks like it has been there for some time (which is a good sign). The place is supposed to be named Encore, but Koreans pronounce it Anchol. The noodles are good here- slick and thick. The broth is made with clams and they have good homemade kimchi. The best thing they have is their rich, thick, pumpkin juk. You can definitely tell that it is made from real pumpkins because a bit of the pulp is in the

Just a Bowl of Sundubu

Sundubu It is a stone bowl of molten sun on a rainy day.

Cafe Review: Cafe West 'n East

Cafe W.e. west 'n east Every once in a while a new concept starts in Korea that is very fresh and new. It is so unique that soon everyone tries to copy it. For example, Vinyl over by Hongdae has been doing cocktails in a bag for years and now you can find copycats in many other parts of Seoul. Reggae Chicken in Hongdae has been around for ages and then Frypan did a concept that was very similar (however, Frypan became a huge franchise- one that I think will implode on themselves soon).  And there are also the western places such as Sultan Kebab that spawned many different copycats. Oh...,my point. Most of the times these places fail because they are just copies and they don't have a plan or a concept behind the restaurant. Cafe W.e. "West 'n East" seems to have a strong concept behind them and they seem to have a solid game plan for growth.  Their concept is a modern Korean dessert cafe and they put their spin on Korean desserts such as hotteo

3,000 won Vegan Breakfast at Balwoo Kong

Juk at Balwoo Gongyang Kong I think I might be turning vegetarian. I mean I have been eating vegetarian most of my week and at home I tend to eat just rice and kimchi. It has made me feel good, healthy, and energetic. Now, I wish I could wake up early and get breakfast, but most mornings I tend to procrastinate by searching for stuff on the internet. This week though, I have made it point to wake up early, exercise, and then have breakfast. There is just one little problem: I don't usually have food at home to cook. My solution has been to go over to Balwoo Gongyang Kong and have breakfast there. They open at 7:30am and the morning juk (porridge) is healthy and only 3,000 won. It's like cereal but with vegetables. It's the breakfast of Buddhist Champions.  Balwoo 02.2031.2081 Website: 110-170 서울시 종로구 견지동 71번지 템플스테ㅣ 5층 71 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-170 Directions: Near Anguk and Jonggak Stations, across from the big Jog

Oktoberfest 2011 at Grand Hilton Seoul

Ashley Cheeseman, one of my fellow members of LTB Korea  sent me this message to remind me message about the awesome Oktoberfest that he hosts every year at the Grand Hilton. Right now you can get in on an Early Bird Special for only 100,000 won (normally 130,000 won).  Now in keeping with true Oktoberfest tradition, it will be held in September to harken in October (that's why it's called Oktoberfest :). Do me a favor and tell Ashley, you found out from Seoul Eats, so he'll buy me a beer. Dan (photo from no name at Flickr) Dear Oktoberfest Guest, We hope you enjoyed last years event and are happy to announce that on Sep 23rd and 24th,  2011 the Grand Hilton Oktoberfest will again be opening it ' s beer festival doors. This year for the first time we are offering to you our valued repeat customer our Oktoberfest Earlybird Special, Period: July 18 th ~ Aug 12 th , 2011 Package Information: Oktoberfest Entrance Ticket (Value 120,000) Oktoberfest Gi

Green Pea Sun

Green Pea Sun from Balwoo Gongyang This is a course at Balwoo Gongyang: It is chilled green pea soup with tofu and crisp potato noodles and cucumber.

Singaporean Peanut Shaved Ice

This was sent by one of our tour guests, Dina Fan (Thanks Dina!). She says that this is one of the hottest (I mean coldest) things in Taiwan and Singapore right now. My friend Kratai says it is really popular in Thailand as well. The peanuts are on the bottom and above that is the flavored ice. Hmmm...I can't say it looks very appetizing. 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.

Summer Special Cooking Class: Soy Sauce Pickles and Kimchi Fried Rice only 35,000 won

This Saturday, we're going do a special cooking Class. We're going to make Kimchi Fried Rice and our famous Soy Sauce pickles. We're pricing it lower because we're going to have people work in groups to make the dishes and to make it more of a social atmosphere. The cost for this session is only 35,000 won per person. ($30 USD). If you are interested in signing up, please contact us at or fill out our reservation form here:​age_id=19 Our address is O'ngo Food Communications Jongno-gu, Nagwon-dong 55-1 3rd Floor, Seoul, Korea O: 02-3446-1607 C: 010-6706-7769 Directions: From Anguk Station (Line 3, Orange) Go out Anguk Station Exit 4 and walk straight for 5 minutes. Right after you see a sign for Young Music, make a left. O’ngo is in the building across from Crown Hotel on the 3rd Floor. It's on the third floor of the pink building across from Crown Hotel. A map can be found here: http://w

Private Dinner Parties and Catering with Esclusivo

My Italian Brother, Seba (Chef Sebastiano Giagregorio formerly of Antonio Restaurant) has recently opened up a private dining and luxury catering business in Apgujeong called Esclusivo. It is a beautiful space with wonderful private dining rooms. It's not a restaurant, but a place for private dinners with friends or a private party for VIP guests. For those that would like to do events in your own home, Chef Giagregorio can send everything to your house with waiters to make your dinner party a success. Black and White Sesame Seed Salmon When the space opened, I was lucky enough to have been invited to taste the food.  meatball in pesto sauce The concept for the party was fingerfood and I got to try a variety of magnificent foods served. One of my favorites was their meatball in pesto sauce and their black and white sesame encrusted salmon. There were also many Italian classics such as penne pasta, caprese salads, etc.  Chef Seba's house cured hams, sala