I can’t believe it’s 2016 already. I first came to Korea at the end of 2008 and if you told me then I’d still be here in 2016, well I would have thought you crazy. But just like TFB, Korea got under my skin and into my heart and it’s the place I call home. 2015 was not only a hell of a year for me, but for the Seoul foodie scene as well. By the start of the year Itaewon had already been well and truly discovered by young hip Koreans, but the momentum didn’t stop there and new restaurants opened almost daily to feed the hordes of people looking to find a little something different. Being a fast paced city, Seoul trends come and go in the blink of an eye, and it seemed as though every month we were eating something different. Below are the years hottest foodie trends.
January – We started the year off in a pretty classy way by eating an abundance of one of life’s finest foods, lobster. Though the craze first started back in the summer of 2014 Lobster Bar moved to a bigger, shinier, new location and half a dozen copycat restaurants opened their doors.
February – In February we continued with the fishy theme when Little Baja opened up their Cali style taqueria, and proved the Mexican trend was far from over. Though none of that compares to the phenomenon that IKEA caused when they opened their first store in the country. 2 hours lines on the freeway just to get into to parking lot, and another hour at least to get your hands on some discount Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce.
March – In March the home style Italian craze was reignited when Brera moved to bigger premises in Beotigogae and Sicilian restaurant Ciuri Ciuri and their homemade cannolis were the talk of the town, no longer were we forced to eat bowls of cream spaghetti in a bid to get our Italian fix.
April – In April American BBQ reached fever pitch when Manimal opened its doors. The only thing to be seen eating was slow smoked meats and proper American sides. A war was waged and the Linus Vs Manimal battle began, at least among the city’s foodies. Whose meat was in your mouth?
May – In May Korean liquor finally got with the times and Citron Soju was born. Unsurprisingly the nation went wild and bottles of the sweet and fruity soju were harder to find than bags of honey butter chips. Luckily for us no one is quicker to copycat products than Korea, and the other soju companies quickly followed suit with their own arrays of flavoured soju.
June – Just in time for the sweltering hot and humid weather, a plethora of artisan gelato and ice cream shops opened their doors in June, and every weekend queues of happy punters formed at the likes of Ellay’s and Il Gelato.
July – In July burgers were thrown back into the limelight when Brooklyn Burger opened their 24 hr 50’s style diner in Sinsa, while Vatos founder Sid Kim, established his gourmet burger joint Sid Burger.
August – In the heart of the summer, where you were drinking was of much more importance than where you were eating. The cocktail scene was alive and jumping with the likes of Brick Yard and 12 stairs opening their doors and proving that mixology was here to stay.
September – September was the month that pastry finally made its way to Seoul. Da Korner started the trend with their South American empanadas and The Little Pie soon followed suit with their western style meat pies. This is one trend I hope is here to stay.
October – In October the only place to eat was in luxury food court Power Plant in Gwanghwamun. Food courts have never seemed so glamorous with stores like Paulies, Manimal, and Gilbert Burger offering up their mouth watering delights.
November – When the weather turned cold, the only thing people were craving was comfort food. And down under Kiwi-Aussie restaurant Mozzie opened its doors just in time to cash in on the trend with their hearty home cooked style fare.
December – December ended on high note, when McCoy’s in HBC became everyone’s new favourite restaurant. With its fabulous food and low prices, the charming bistro wormed its way into our hearts. Expect to see big things from this restaurant in 2016.
So there you have it the hottest things to be seen eating in 2015. Are there any I missed? And what on earth will we be eating in 2016? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.