Category: Restaurant Reviews

Rye Post

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For a couple of years now Rye Post has been known for its excellent sandwiches. I first wrote about it three years ago when they opened in their original location, then updated when they moved up on to the main street just underneath Dillinger’s. Well the peeps at Rye Post have recently revamped the menu so that they now have a couple of burgers available, which I think is a rather marvellous thing.

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If you read this blog regularly you know how much I adore a good burger, you’ll also know how I long to find a true 10/10 mouthful of meaty Mmmming goodness. Now my burger search has taken me all over town, but I’m still searching for the burger holy grail. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had plenty of good burgers and even a few great ones I’m just still looking for my burger soulmate. I was actually starting to think that perhaps my expectations were too high, that maybe this mystical burger was a figment of my imagination, but after eating in Amsterdam and London my faith was restored, it is possible for my burger cravings to be satisfied, just not in Seoul.

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There are three new double beef burgers on the menu at Rye Post and the first one I tried was The All American (9,500). 2 beef patties topped with melted cheddar and swiss, tomato, romaine lettuce, onion, dill pickles, bacon, garlic aioli, and special sauce on a brioche bun. To me this was the ideal blend of toppings and I was very excited to try it. The patties themselves were quite thin and well done, which I don’t actually mind on a double burger as it keeps the ratios in balance. A nice enough flavour coming from the meat, seasoned, though I wouldn’t have minded a bit more fat in the cut to give it that extra oomph. Props to the bun which is baked in house like all of their other breads. I liked this burger a lot, it ticked all the boxes flavour wise. For me there was just that little bit of something extra missing. A fine burger though, up there with my current favourite, The Gilbert, at Gilbert’s Burger.

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Second up was The Texan (9,500). Again two beef patties, melted cheddar and swiss, beer battered onion rings, bacon, BBQ sauce, and mayo. I am a real sucker for a BBQ bacon cheese burger, especially if you throw on onion rings, so honestly couldn’t resist trying this bad boy too. In essence this should have made my dreams come true but it couldn’t quite match up to the All American in terms of taste, I think I missed the salad and special sauce. I also paid the extra 5,000 won to add a 1/2 portion of fries and a coke. The skinny fries themselves were fine, good but nothing noteworthy. The coke I wish had been the 330ml can and not the 200ml one but that is just me being picky.

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Overall I was very impressed with the Rye Post burgers, they are a good burgers that are well made and fall just under the $10 price tag. The new menu additions have reminded me how much I enjoy their sandwiches and how I need to eat them a little more regularly. The updated menu also has a collection of chicken burgers that sound rather good too. All in all I think this is good news and you won’t be sorry if you go down and give it a try.

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Rye post is located at 72-34 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Walk straight down this road for about 100 meters or so. You will see Rye Post on the left hand side just underneath Dillinger’s. for more information you can call them on 02-792-9991 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from  11:30am  – 9:30pm but they close for a break between 3pm -5pm.

 

 

 

Champagne Brunch at the Conrad – 37 Grill & Bar

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There is only one thing in life that I love more than a champagne brunch, and that is an unlimited champagne brunch. In most of Asia, champagne brunches are pretty ubiquitous and almost every city break we take involves at least one. While Seoul has more than its fair share of upmarket hotel brunching options, complete with a glass of bubbly, the free flow option has still not yet quite caught on, probably because Koreans aren’t as desperate to get their drink on in the day as we are. So when I was invited to come and try the brand spanking new unlimited champagne brunch at the Conrad, well you can bet I said “Hell Yeah!” (more…)

+84

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Over my years in Korea, Vietnamese cuisine has become more and more popular. I first became familiar with the style of food when I travelled to Ho Chi Minh city and Nha Trang a few years ago, then on our second trip to Hoi An, after taking a local food tour it became one of my favourite kinds of food. Last week I was invited by Tuan, a Hanoi local, to come and try his food at his restaurant +84 in Insadong. After taking a look at his menu I couldn’t resist, so I took my two favourite boys along with me to give it a try. (more…)

What A Salad

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I’ve long been a lover of salads, in fact going to the DIY salad bar when back home is one of my favourite things ever, so when I heard that Seoul had finally got one I was pretty darn excited. What A Salad is located on the the road running parallel with the main one in Itaewon. The space is pretty minimalist with a large kitchen running against one wall, and then the seating separated by a lovely living wall on the other. Unfortunately the chairs are those rather uncomfortable high chairs, so its not really the best spot for having a cosy long lunch, but it will suit those who want to grab a quick bite to eat. (more…)

Cut at 45 Park Lane

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As you may well know I just got back from a trip home, and on that visit I spent a few days in my old stomping ground, London. Not only was I desperate to catch up with old friends, I also had a very important lunch engagement at Cut at 45 Park Lane. Now as much as I enjoy the good life, I’m not on Park Lane as often as I would like, so I was thrilled when the restaurant part of the Dorchester Collection invited me to try Wolfgang Puck’s award winning steakhouse, Cut. I’ve been dying to try one of Wolfy’s steaks for forever, in fact it was on my list of must eats when I visited NYC last year, but alas it was a little out of my price range. (more…)

Motor City

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Before I jetted off on my jaunt around Europe, I paid a visit to new pizza joint on the block Motor City. I honestly thought that there was no where else for pizza to go in this city after trying almost every slice of cheese and tomato covered goodness that Seoul had to offer. I thought I had seen it all, turns out I was wrong, I’d yet to try Detroit Style. Quite frankly I had never even heard of the Detroit style slice until Motor City opened its doors, so didn’t really know quite what to expect, but after being turned on to deep dish style by the Chicago slice after years of being a thin crust girl I wasn’t going to miss out on trying this version too. (more…)

House of Wings

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Before I jetted off to Europe for a few weeks vacation, my friend took me to House of Wings for a farewell dinner. The small and minimalist restaurant is located up on the HBC Ogeori. Over the past year the streets up on top of the hill have been starting to get some seriously cool and niche places to eat like Sprout, The Royal Food & Drink, and 100 Food Truck.I have also seen a rooftop bar which I seriously need to investigate upon my return.

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The restaurant is owned by John, a chef whom I had been introduced to a few weeks ago at Ryan’s Rooftoop Pop Up event. As he cooked us each dish he explained to me the principles that he strives to abide by, choice of ingredients based on sustainability, professionalism, and simplicity. He also uses only domestic fresh ingredients in his food and organic wherever possible. This is a style of cooking that I have always appreciated and it’s refreshing to find a chef with such great core vales.

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The first thing we tried were the Pomme Frittes (4,000). I adore chips, in fact I consider them to be one of the major food groups, so I was very excited when these got brought out, in fact I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight. It has been a long time since I’ve seen potato looking that good in Korea. I’d always thought that the potatoes weren’t up to scratch, but clearly that isn’t the case, these babies were incredible. Crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, hand cut potato goodness. Served with homemade aioli, the only thing I could say is that I want to order 100 portions, but at only 4,000 a go it’s super affordable to do so!

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Next up was the Calamari (8,000). Served with John’s spicy sauce. I consider myself a rather strange human being as I really don’t like squid, even the thought of it kind of makes me a gag a little, but I love calamari. To be honest if you battered and deep fried a smelly old sock I would probably eat it. Anyhow the calamari we tried and it was in-freaking-credible. Crispy outside, not in the least bit chewy or rubbery, the sauce complimented it perfectly and it had a nice wedge of lemon on the side. If you want to make it a set you can add a glass of wine for an extra 4,000 too.

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Now let’s get to the important part, the wings. Currently there are three flavours, Buffalo, Seoul, and No City (no sauce) but John told me he plans to a few more city sauces over the next few months. All the wings are priced at 7 for 6,000. Factoring in the fact that these are fresh local chicken wings and not the cheap ass frozen ones that come from China they are actually exceedingly good value. First up was the buffalo, John cooked the wings and then shook them up the old fashioned way inside a jar. The sauce was vinegary, yet had a nice mild kick, perfect for buffalo. Served with creamy ranch and celery sticks, this is exactly how you want your wings to be.

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Our second set were the Seoul wings, which were covered in a slightly sweet and sticky honey sauce with just a touch of garlic and a tiny hint of spice. I’m a sweet sauce lover and these were perfection for me, I enjoyed the buffalo but the sweet version would just make it easier to devour more. The wing itself was crispy and the white meat was juicy and came clean away from the bone. You can tell by looking at them that these aren’t frozen and you can taste it too.

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Also on the menu there are some crispy spicy shrimps and chicahornas – deep fried chicken skin, perfect beer food. And if you sit overlooking the kitchen it is a great spot to chill out in this heat and watch the world go by. As the kitchen is a one man operation, all of the drinks are self-service, which adds to the homey, chilled out vibe. I love what John is doing and I really hopes he continues with his no additives and sustainability policy. This is a perfect restaurant for the HBC area and I hope that it gets lots of support from the community.

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House of Wings is located at 67, Sowol-ro 20 gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul . The easiest way to get there is to jump the number 2 local green bus just across the street from Noksapyeong station (Line 6) exit 2.  Then ride the bus through HBC all the way to the top of the Haebangchon Ogeori. Walk down the road by Tous Les Jours and you will see it on your left a couple hundred metres along. For more information you can call them on 070-8872-9123 or check out their facebook page.

 

Made – Brunch

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Unless you live under a rock you have more than likely heard about the new Pokemon game, where you go on your own quest to catch as many of the little critters as possible. Well my life is also like that, though instead of looking for pretend animated characters, I’m looking for brunch spots. For some reason brunch seems to need to fill far more criteria than a simple lunch ever would. For starters they have to have a western style menu filled with egg and carb heavy options, secondly, strong and reviving cocktails, and thirdly, outside seating. It is rare to come across in place in Seoul that manages to satisfy all three,  but thankfully Made just about does. Whenever I am in Sinsa, it is the only place I like to go to. Its location in between Apgujeong and Garosugil makes it the perfect place to stop and take a rest and watch the world go by. The large open doors give you the feeling of being outside while still being very close to the air conditioning. The best part is that they serve brunch all day everyday, with an extra special bunch menu on weekends. (more…)

Social Table

On a very rainy evening a few weeks ago I was invited to dinner by a very good friend. She suggested Social Table, and since it was very close to my house I thought it would be worth a try. Social Table like a  lot of great places to eat, is located in Gyeongridan in the hidden alleyway where the police station is. If you still haven’t been down this street then I suggest you check it out, it is filled with all kinds of quirky cafes, restaurants and dessert shops.  I had walked past this place on more than a few occasions but sheer laziness stopped me climbing up to the second floor to find out more.

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L’Empreinte Bistro

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Sometimes nothing beats a good French bistro and when I heard through the grape vine that there was a new one that had opened in a new hot little area called Yeonnam-dong, just by Hongdae it seemed like the ideal spot to go for lunch and a wander. From the outside the second floor restaurant doesn’t look all that special but once inside it is light and airy and has a very french country chic feel about it. All the furniture is vintage and imported from France. We were very lucky to be seated at the 120 year old table, and I couldn’t help but think of all the people who had enjoyed meals at it over the years. (more…)