If you’ve been paying attention to Seoul’s foodie scene you would have noticed that churros are yesterday news and the whole nation has been going crazy for croquettes. The Korean croquettes are more or less a savoury doughnut which is then filled and rolled in panko crumbs. The interest in these babies has skyrocketed of late, just check out this queue at Busan Station!
I’ve always been quite the fan of Korean croquettes every since TFB introduced me to them many years ago, one of his favourite snacks was the curry croquette from good old Paris Baguette. Nothing fancy, but a tasty little snack for around a dollar. But the croquette game has been seriously upped over the past year and we are getting some slightly fancier options these days. A few weeks ago when I was in Seochon visiting Ellay’s Ice cream shop, I came across Nalari, and after pressing my face against the window couldn’t resist getting to half a dozen to try.
The shop is small but constantly busy, so we were very lucky we didn’t have to wait too long as I was informed the queue can be catastrophic on weekends. There is a fabulous variety of croquettes on offer, but you will need to be able to read Korean to figure out the flavours, luckily we can, but for those of you who don’t there is shrimp, mozzarella, sweet potato, vegetable, curry, potato and more.
I was torn between which one was my favourite, the Shrimp (2,000) was so tasty without being fishy at all, it was almost a little sweet too. And the outer layer was perfection itself, every so crispy and crumbly while the dough was soft and chewy.
My second favourite was the mozzarella (2,000), which needs to be heated in the microwave to make the cheese lovely and gooey if you don’t plan to eat it straight away. It was like a giant mozzarella stick but even better because it had the fabulous chewy outside, I could have eaten 5, sadly for my taste buds I had only ordered one.
In the end I think we had almost one of each but the shrimp and mozzarella were the firm favourites and I still can’t stop thinking about them weeks later. So cheap yet so tasty, it’s worth going to visit this quaint little street for the croquettes alone, thought there are so many other great cafes and restaurants like Ellay’s ice cream in the area too. It’s like Jongno’s answer to HBC.
Nalari is located at 55-3 Nusang-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gwangbukgung (line 3) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight for about 400 meters until you reach the market on the left hand side. Walk through the market then keep going straight. Nalari is on the left. For more information you can call them on 02-741-1001.