Last week I was invited to come and try the newest kid to hit the Itaewon block, Belgrade Bar and Grill. The cuisine is Serbian/Croatian, food I’ve never had the pleasure of consuming before. Since I’m not one to turn down an offer of trying something new, off I went to give it a go it would be churlish not to.
Pork pies are a fabulous yet traditional British lunch or picnic snack. Renowned for their great taste and non-pretentious nature, they are a meal fit for a king or a pauper. I made these using a hot water crust pastry which is actually much simpler than it sounds, and really cuts down on the amount of butter you need, though it does require some lard in its stead. Lard is terribly easy to make, it’s just rendered pork fat. If you have a friendly local butcher he will probably give you some for free. Or you can save your rendered fat from whenever you cook bacon or pulled pork like I do. The filling is traditionally made with bacon, pork shoulder, and pork belly, but I went for a much simpler pork mince filling. The real ones also have a layer of gelatin around the inside of the pastry, but I again skipped this step, mostly because you have to wait about 12 hours for it to set and patience has never been my virtue. These beauties are just as good hot or cold and especially nice with a bit of brown sauce or piccalilli if you have it.
Ask any British person which supermarket sells the best food and the answer will be unanimously Marks & Spencer. Their luxury goods have endless bounds of deliciousness and you always feel a bit special every time you do your shopping there. Living in Seoul is sometimes especially hard for Brits as our cute and quirky cuisine doesn’t really seem to catch on in other countries like American food does, making things like Prawn cocktail crisps, Branston pickle, and Marmite impossibly hard to find. Whenever I travel outside of Korea I always make a beeline for M&S, as they have huge stores in Hong Kong and in Shanghai. They even have semi large ones in Singapore & Kuala Lumpur but I never dreamed we would have M&S food here in Seoul. But we do, we do have food and it’s about time that we got our grubby little mitts on it.
Yona Yona Burger is one of the many new restaurants to open up on the top of the hill in Itaewon. It seems to be in a shared location with the oddly named Modest Pub, which I feel is the most ridiculous name for a pub ever! Why on earth would a pub strive to be modest? So bizarre, but anyhow WINK!
Eating good healthy foods is something I have become very passionate about since I lost a substantial amount of weight last year. It’s not something I do 24-7, as I still enjoy fried foods far too much for that to ever happen, but I try to eat as wholesomely as possible for at least two meals a day which seems to balance out those times I get carried away and eat a whole pizza, cheesecake, or bucket of chicken. Since turning 30 I have certainly become more thoughtful about trying to give my body the nutrients it needs in able to function properly. As I have mentioned before I try to follow a raw till 4 diet or make meals using 1 ingredient healthy foods at least until dinner time, unless of course I’m hungover then all bets are off.
A good sushi joint can be hard to find in this wee city, and finding a good one that doesn’t cost a fortune is even harder still. But new kid on the block Sushi Itaewon is certainly a good contender. Situated on the corner of an alleyway just off from McDonalds it’s located in Itaewon’s latest trend spot for new restaurants to come and peddle their wares.
On Tuesday I gathered all the courage I could muster and headed off to the new IKEA store in Gwangmyeong. It’s been absolutely years since I last ventured to IKEA and I had forgotten how big they are. When you add in the craziness of Korean shoppers you have got one hell of party on your hands. I went on a Tuesday afternoon and the place was still pretty busy so who knows how it would be on a weekend. Though I am assured that the craziness has been dialed down somewhat since it first opened and there were tailbacks for miles.
I do love a good taco, and when I heard all about Little Baja opening I was straight round there to give them a try. The place has only been open for a week, but thanks to Seoul’s gossipy foodie network it’s already experiencing queues and sell outs.
I have been wanting to make one of these fantastic crepe cakes for pretty much over a year now, but just haven’t ever quite got around to it. But with the timely coincidence of a friends birthday and pancake day, it was finally time to whip out that crepe pan. This cake is nothing short of a show stopper, with all those layers it looks absolutely magnificent and I was getting compliments about it the whole night long. The cake is actually rather easy in the skill department to make, as long as you can make a crepe you are golden, it’s just insanely time consuming to make, at around 2 hours. I think I actually under estimated that part, but you can always make the custard filling and the crepes the day before and just assemble on the day if you are short on time. But trust me, this cake is totally worth the time and effort.
Pimm’s is without a doubt the quintessential British summer drink. No picnic, or sunny day in a beer garden is complete without a jug or five of this fabulously fruity concoction. However this fab favourite of mine is impossible to find in Korea, probably due to the insane amount it would cost to import. Luckily Bulldogs opened its doors last year and salvation was finally here, but it also got me thinking how easy it would be to make myself. With just 3 ingredients from your amply stocked liquor cabinet, Pimm’s can be yours all year long. Luckily I had a bottle tucked away under the sink (aka my liquor cabinet) that I’d bought on my last trip home and I did a taste comparison, the original is a wee bit sweeter but overall it’s not bad at all, and will certainly fool all of your friends if you don’t let them in on the secret!
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