Showing posts from May, 2015

The "I Die, You Die" Business Mentality in Korea

In Korea, you really have to be a first mover. If not, you'll never get off the ground. Being in Korea for 10 years, I have been owned or partnered in a number of businesses. Some have worked and some have not. The one thing I do know is that if you want to survive you have to look like you are doing terrible that you should be humble and that you are just getting by. This will keep you under the radar.  The problem with this is that my background is marketing and that I was born with the American Entrepeneural spirit (I know that sounds cheesy). My upbringing dictated that you should always look successful despite all the challenges and pitfalls.  If you look successful then people will copy. Sometimes a straight up copy or a gaudier, upgraded copy with cut corners. They will tackle price points to the point they will make no money. They will do all this to steal walk-by customers. It seems there is no honor or community in the business industry here. Every business wants to be an

Eating Apple Pie and Red Velvet Cake with Chopsticks

The other day, my company was invited out to the Dragon Hill Lodge to see the facilities. The meetings went well and another cool thing was we were able to introduce real American Apple Pie and Red Velvet Cake to our staff.  The apple pie from the base has a thick crust and there are lots of sweet apples in a cinnamony-sugar syrup. It just tastes like America. The red velvet cake there is absolutely delicious as well. The cake is spongy with lots of semi-sweet cream cheese.  Now what we didn't expect was that our staff was going to cut it all up and eat it with chopsticks. It actually worked pretty well and it took up less time and resources (no plates needed). Next time I'm going to bring some ice cream. Let's see if they can eat that with chopsticks.  Dan

West Side Seoul Food Tour: Hipsters and Good Eats

There is fire on the Hipster Seoul Tour This is Iron Man Hipster on the Hipster Seoul Tour This is an OG Korean Hipster Lots of Fun on the Hipster Seoul Tour As Seoul has become a more popular destination for tourists, the real Seoulites have had to move to adjust to rising rents and food prices. In the hip district of Mullae-dong, artists and machinists have taken residence to transform the area to a cool art village with urban art pieces, art studios, restaurants and cafes right next to machinists transforming steel into industrial works. It will show you the cool, undiscovered area of Seoul as we dine at famous restaurants and eateries. This is a 3 hour tour. Food and drinks are included.  Highlights  *See a hipster art village  *Try Great Korean Food: Korean Pancake, Fried Chicken, Barbecue and dessert  *Learn about Korean Culture through stories and fun drinking games Tour info Tours cost 80 USD a person (minimum 3) and starts from Mullae Station (Gree

The 5 Best Gourmet Kimbap Joints in Korea

The 5 Best Gourmet Kimbap Joints in Seoul Kimbap is for Koreans like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are for Americans, fish n chips for the British, Crepes for the French or marmite and margarine sandwiches for Australians. It is a nostalgic everyday snack food that many Koreans associate with school picnics and festivals. It is a simple dish. It is just rice seasoned with some roasted sesame oil placed on a sheet of seaweed stuffed with various vegetables and meat like yellow egg, orange carrots, white cucumbers, green spinach, pink ham, brown burdock, and yellow turnip. They are then wrapped carefully, yet firmly, brushed with some more sesame oil (to prevent the seaweed from ripping) and then sliced into rainbow disks that tastes best when eaten from the fingertips. Variations of kimbap are boundless. It can be stuffed with tuna fish, kimchi, beef bulgogi, shrimp, crab, cheese, and even crispy, tiny anchovies. I have even seen dessert kimbap and "nude" kimbap

Letters to Seoul Eats: Is it Ok to Eat Alone in Korea?

Dear Daniel, I would really like to ask you on your personal views for the Korean solo eating culture. I am planning a solo trip to Korea soon and I would like to check if eating alone is much shunned upon in Korea. I have been there a couple of times with friends and I have never seen someone eating alone. Of course, Ive also sussed out some 'alone' eating places like 이찌멘, 제일제면소, 이야기하나 (ㅎㅎㅎ), but was just thinking if it'll be viewed as weird if I were to just go into a restaurant alone and have grilled meat. Or noryangjin and have stew alone. How about cafes too? Would really appreciate some tips from you on eating alone in 한국. Thank you! :) Regards, Janel.K Dear Janel, Thanks for the letter. In the past eating alone was generally looked down upon but these days it is becoming more common as more Koreans embrace the "singleton" lifestyle. More restaurants are allowing single diners and it is not so uncommon. Especially in "

Sunday at Nouveau Coffee and Dessert

It was a good day. I went to Hongdae to say good-bye to some friends as they left to go home overseas. I had some time to kill so I found a cafe on Hondae's main street. I decided to go to Cafe Nouveau. I ordered a espresso (4,500 won), got a cherry mille-feuille (6,500 won) and read a comic (free :). A perfect day I have to say. The coffee was rich and dark and the cherry mille-feuille had lots of fresh cherries; fresh, lush cream; flaky pastry and rich, dark coffee. The dessert was perfect for one person. I would have loved it to have been bigger, but its not really Korean style. Plus cherries are quite expensive here so I was really surprised they put so many cherries on the cake. Cafe Nouveau Phone +82 70-7743-3265 Click here to open map on your phone . Address: Mapo-gu Seogyodong 330-21 마포구 서교동 330-21 / 1층 Nouveau 커피 & 디져트 전문점 Seoul, Korea Phone +82 70-7743-3265

Best of the Seoul Eats Instagram: Adventures in Shopping, Korean Avengers and Fire

Seoul Eats Instagram Hi all, I guess in these days of Social Networking there are so many avenues to share and reach people. In the past, it used to be all about the internet and the blogs. I enjoyed that period and I still enjoy blogging. I don't do it as much because it seems to be more of a forum for long form composition. And...these days I don't have as much time. Preparing to be a dad, running a startup, and being a husband is taking up quite a bit of my time. So...these days I have noticed that the Instagram platform is where I have been focusing a bit more on short form writing and on pictures. Here are some of my favorite posts in the last few weeks. If you are looking for daily Seoul Eats updates, please follow me at Thanks, Dan My wife says a business trip is a lucky chance. A chance to shop for luxury stuff at the duty-free stores. She promises me she is saving me money. Yeah, right. This is a 170 dollar scrub brus