Category: Restaurant Reviews

Scoff Bakehouse

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but for the past three years I have known about the existence of a British bakery, and have never been to visit it. Its located up in the depths of Jogno and not easily located by subway which always kinda put me off, I am a very lazy girl after all. However just recently they opened up a second branch which is still in Jongno, but a more reasonable walk from Gyeongbukgung station. It  is located in the most adorable area by Tongin-dong that is really worth a visit by itself. After hearing about the new location I knew I needed to go give it a try, but it wasn’t until some friends of ours brought some of the fantastic Scoff goodies to a BBQ that I hosted that I was compelled to go at the next opportunity.

Scoff is located in the most gorgeous cute and quaint neighbourhood, I have written about it before as it is home to my favourite croquette place Nalari, and Ellay’s Icecream (which is sadly no longer there as its moved to a different hood). The Bakehouse is set over several floors, with the main bakery on the ground, and then cafe seating up above, the most heavenly aroma wafted down the street as we approached and my mouth was watering before I could even feast my eyes upon the array of baked delights.

The bakehouse itself is very modern with a rustic twist. The whole place is filled with reminders of my very British childhood, from the old wooden art desk draws, to the old teapots and china chickens for keeping eggs in. The owner Jonathan told me that every time his parents come to visit they bring his another car-boot sale treasure to cement him to his heritage, and decorate the cafe. I was very charmed by it all.

The first thing that has to be talked about are the Sausage Rolls (6,000) which are so orgasmic we bought another two straight after devouring the first one. This really is the gold standard of sausage rolls as far as I’m concerned, I’m not even sure if I have had a better one back home. We make them ourselves quite often, but they cannot even compete with these bad boys. The sausage itself is short and stout, kind of chode like in appearance, but wrapped around the well but simply seasoned pork is a duvet of thick and and golden pastry. The layers in it are awesome, some of which cling on to the meat with all their might. I’ve always though good pastry has layers you can peel off and enjoy just by themselves. This was very filling, one was plenty to fill me up, so get one to take home for later, you wont regret it.

Now we have talked about the amazingness that is the sausage roll, we can talk about the cakes. The brownies are very popular and after sampling several I can see why, we loved the simplicity of the Scoff Brownie (4,000), but to me the stand out was the Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownie (5,500). I am not one for foreign objects in my brownie unless it’s more chocolate, or an occasional nut, but the tart combination of the raspberries and the creamy swirl, was heavenly. The gooey fudgey texture of the brownie itself was enhanced by the pop and sweet tingle of fruit, and I almost found myself longing for them.

The Raspberry and Almond Tart (4,500), also must be mentioned, as it is kind of like an unofficial Bakewell Tart. The pastry bottom was perfectly crisp, the spongy middle was soft,moist and punctuated by more of those fabulous raspberries. My own mother made this regularly during my childhood, but I was never all that partial to it until now. Another popular item for Brits I’m sure are the Hot Cross Buns (3,000). The sticky glazed buns were perfectly spiced and sumptuously soft. It might not be Easter but I just couldn’t say no.

Being a cafe, they have an array of drinks for you to enjoy while having your cake and eating it too. I stuck with my usual Ice Vanilla Latte (5,000), while TFB went for their Scoff Lemonade (5,500). This was exceptionally good, nice and sour with a tickle of sweetness at the end. They also have a few fruity variations of it which also sounded delicious. I found the drink prices to be very reasonable and cheaper than most chain stores, especially considering they have a captive audience and could charge a lot more.

Overall I was thrilled with Scoff and am kicking myself for not going sooner. They have an amazing array of baked goodies that can be enjoyed by both Brits and non Brits alike. For those who are looking for delights that cant be found anywhere else in Seoul like sausage rolls, hot cross buns, Chelsea buns, carrot cake, lemon drizzle, scones, and the best brownies ever you need to plan a trip to Nuha-dong immediately if not sooner, this place is not to be missed.

Scoff is located at 90-2 Cheongunhyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3). Come out of exit 2 and walk straight for 3-4 blocks until you reach Tongin Market, Its an adorable place filled with lots of traditional foods and is worth visiting by itself. Walk through then then exit the other side, keep walking straight down the road almost opposite and then take the first left, you will see Scoff just up ahead. For more information you can call them on 070-7761-1739 or check out their Instagram page. Scoff Bakehouse is open Tue-Sunday from 10am-7:30pm but I’d advise you to go earlier in the day to avoid disappointment. 

Fat Girl Vs Pork Cutlet – Eating Challenge

I think anyone who reads this blog knows that I can eat a lot, it is an ability that I have always prided myself on. And after coming in second in Bulldogs’ 50cm hot dog eating contest, I realised that I could eat pretty quickly too. So when I heard about a restaurant in Hongdae that has a giant pork cutlet (돈까스) eating challenge I stored away the information immediately. Appropriately named the king of pork cutlet challenge, it is available at 돈까스대왕전 in Hongdae. The restaurant is a three floor extravaganza specialising in lots of different kinds of pork cutlet, but I was there for one thing and one thing only, the King of Pork Cutlet Challenge!

The Challenge Pork Cutlet costs 15,000, and you have to sit at a table right by the counter so they can keep an eye on you. After placing our order and waiting for about 10 minutes, the waitresses brought over my mammoth plate, yes waitresses, it takes two of them to carry the almighty meal. We were allowed to take a quick snap, then we were given a timer and it was time to start the challenge. On the wall outside the restaurant are photos of all the people who have completed the challenge in the fastest times. The fastest person did it in 5 minutes 14 seconds which after doing it, seems impossible, while at number 30, the slowest board time was 9 minutes 59. I even saw my friend Kevin from La Marmite who did it in 06:32 so props to you my friend. As I looked on the board I only saw three girls and two non Koreans, so I guess I was a treat for them when I sat down. My Korean isn’t as good as it should be, but they told me that if i could do it in under 12 minutes I could have it for free.

Before the challenge started I never had a doubt that I would finish it, until they brought it over, then I was worried. My main concern was getting a good time. The plate contained the biggest pork cutlet I have ever seen in my life, this thing was ginormous (the picture doesn’t do it justice), and that’s before you get to the giant heap of rice, some radish kimchi, corn salad, and mushroom soup. There is also a jug of sauce which is the only bit you don’t have to eat. So how do you think I did? Watch the video at the top of the page to see. The pork cutlet itself was really bloody good, like absolutely delicious, I was actually surprised. My first strategy was to get the doncass under control then hit the salad bits and drink the soup at the end. The rice I knew would kill me so I saved it for last, it was hard going at the end and I felt a little sick at a few point, but my competitive nature spurred me on.

As the last mouthful was swallowed down, the clock read 10 minutes 38, certainly a valiant effort, but not fast enough to get me on the board or so I thought. However as we left the waitress told me I had made it, they took my picture and refunded my 15,000 won investment. I’m not sure if they had a second board of pictures or just fancied having a white blonde girl up there, but a win is a win and i feel rather proud. Hats off to those 5-6 minute people though, would love to see how they did it.

Anyone who likes to eat a lot, should definitely go and give this challenge a try. However even if you aren’t a big eater, the restaurant is well worth a try, TFB went for the much more reasonably sized Cheese Doncass (7,900) and enjoyed it thoroughly. He opted for the spicy sauce, which was sweet and hot without being too overbearing. I didn’t actually get to try his, for obvious reasons, so I’ll have to take his word that it was good, but it disappeared in about the same time as mine so it must have been pretty tasty.

Overall I recommend this place highly, the first half of the giant pork cutlet was really delicious, even if the second half became a chore. There are a few other reasonably priced offerings to choose from too. The next time I have a hankering for a pork cutlet, this is where I will be heading, if only to see if my picture made it on the board!

Doncass Dae Wang Jeon(돈까스대왕전) is located at 405-14 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sangsu Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Turn slightly to the right and walk towards the park, take the fifth turn on your left, which is the first big crossing you  will come to. walk down this street, until you come to the double paved street. you will see just up ahead in the far left corner across the street. for more information you can call them on

The Beastro

One question that I am always asked, and always hate, is, “What is your favourite restaurant in Seoul?” I love to eat everything so I always loathe this question. I could easily come up with a top 10, but a favourite always depends on my mood and what I fancy eating at the time. However one restaurant that never fails to deliver since it opened three years ago is The Beastro. The food, the drinks, and the ambience, it is the perfect place for anything, from a casual lunch with friends or a first date, to a fancy impressive meal with loved ones. I have been at least a dozen times over the years and have always left feeling happy and well fed.

The Beastro has recently switched things up and employed a new head chef Steven Kwon, who has put his own spin on things, and come up with a new summer menu. Don’t worry executive head chef and owner Matthew Chung is still in the mix, and thankfully so is their amazing fried chicken. So when they reached out to me to come and try the revamped menu, well I could hardly resist. To make a change we ate on the second floor of the three storey restaurant, I’m usually up on their rooftop conservatory, which is the ideal place to soak up some vitamin D and enjoy the summer weather.

The new menu has a real meaty vibe going on, with the chef admitting he wanted to put the beast back in The Beastro, and as much as I wanted to get the world’s best fried chicken, I refrained and decided instead to partake in some of the new items. My beloved adores salmon, so I indulged him and allowed him to get the Salmon Board (18,000), two versions of smoked salmon, one of which was much more heavily smoked than the other, so much so that it was practically cooked. Also on the board were some pickles, guacamole, and the most delightful truffle scrambled egg. I’d order this for the egg alone! There were lots of nice textures and it was kind of like a fishy version of a charcuterie board. It went very nicely with the cocktails.

The cocktail menu has also had a makeover over the past few weeks, a new one(to me at least) is the Cock & Bull Special (14,000) a heady mix of bourbon, cognac, cointreau, and benedictine. This boozy treat certainly had a kick to it, but the sweet notes made it very drinkable. I also got a Moscow Mule (12,000) because they are my absolute favourite and that cocktail practically runs through my veins at this point.

For our main courses we really were were torn with so many fabulous options to choose from. In the end I opted for the Smokey grilled BBQ Pork Chop (25,000), which was served with creamed cabbage, house bacon, mustard and pickled cucumbers.  I was really excited about this, I adore pork chops and I am thrilled that it has become a more popular cut of meat. This pork chop is smoked, meaning it isn’t as juicy as some ways of it being cooked, however the fat kept it from being even slightly dry. The creamed cabbage with bacon was a real treat, it feel as though it was a proper Irish dinner to me, especially as it was sat in a puddle of jus like gravy.

TFB ordered the Roasted Leg of Lamb (24,000) which came with the most amazing scalloped potatoes, caramelised onions, mint pistachio greolata, swiss chard, and aged balsamic jus. The lamb was absolutely melt in the mouth, it was so soft and juicy and kind of everything to me. Also on the menu are roast chicken and steak, so it’s kind of like an unofficial list of roast dinners, all the sides are different and it’s not a proper British roast, but it’s close enough to give you your Sunday roast fix.

We were actually doing a bit of celebrating during this dinner as my darling TFB, has just finished his masters. He has been working so hard and barely left the house in weeks, so it was a great chance for us to kick back and relax and enjoy some quality time. Knowing this the fabulous owner Catherine sent over a bottle of Cava (45,000) for us to enjoy. I felt like such a baller.

Our delightful dinner ended with something sweet. The dessert menu has completely changed since our last visit, so we had to try the new ones. I mean we didn’t really need them as we were rather full, but no one turns down free dessert. My favourite of the two was the ultra light and refreshing watermelon sorbet (8,000) this was heavenly and I can only imagine it will be even better in the hot and sweaty humid weather we will soon be having. We actually finished this with a drop of the champagne and it elevated it even more. The Smores Chocolate Brownie (8,000) was also very appealing, though personally I would have preferred a gooey and fudgier brownie, as I think it would better recreate the smores feeling they were going for.

Overall we were very impressed as usual with our fabulous dinner at The Beastro. They consistently change up the menu, so there is always something new for regulars, while holding on to their classic dishes, so you can still have your favourite. For a tasty yet well priced dinner it really cant be beat. if you still haven’t been, it is time to go.

The Beastro is located at  358-32 Seogyo Dong 2F, Mapo Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sangsu station (line 6). Come out of exit 1 and turn back on yourself. Keep walking straight for about 5 minutes until you reach the Hongdae Park. Walk up the stairs till you reach the road that runs parallel and you should see The Beastro on the 2nd floor above M.A.C (Make-up and great food!!!). For more information call 02-334-2500 or check out their facebook page.

Thanks Nature Cafe – Sheep Cafe

Seoul has some really amazing and quirky things going on, and none quite so vividly different as the Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe. The coffee shop capital of the world, started off with the pedestrian cat and dog cafes but soon moved on to include other farm yard themed caffeine dispensaries. Being a Somerset girl I’m accustomed to spending time with barn yard animals, I was in the Young Farmers after all. Despite its farm yard theme, the Thanks Nature Cafe is actually located right in the middle of Hongdae, which is as far away from a sheep’s natural habitat as you can get. The cafe is really big, with a huge outside space, and tonnes of room inside. The pair of sheep Sam & Anna were absolutely adorable, roaming around in their lovely large pen. so if you aren’t quite so interested in the sheep, you can head inside.

The cafe offers all the drinks you would imagine (coffee, tea, juice, ade, frozen concoctions), plus waffles and bingsu. Despite the cafes unique selling point of having their own livestock, the prices on the menu are actually very reasonable and pretty similar to most of the other evil chain cafes in the area. As I visited late in the afternoon, I wasn’t really in the mood for a coffee so decided to get a Chocolate Frapuccino (6,000). This was really big and very refreshing, it was clearly made with a powdery mix, but the frappuccino was very thick and topped with the yummiest marshmallow creme and chocolate syrup.

It being a ridiculously hot and sunny day I also decided to cool down the Korean way with a Pyrex jug of bingsu. There really aren’t enough desserts in the world that are served in Pyrex jugs as far as I’m concerned. There are 7 different kinds of bingsu on the menu and I settled on the Cookies & Cream version (7,000). The bingsu comes in two sizes and I went for the medium one, the large was (9,000) but I found mine to be more than enough to satisfy my mammoth appetite. I adored how the bingsu almost looked like a sheep face, and this was actually one of the best ones I have had in a long time. Sweet enough without being too much so, it was very refreshing and I liked the texture from the crushed oreos. The waffles all looked pretty great too, if I go again I will certainly try one next time.

Once you have ordered your drinks or desserts (though no minimum spend is required) you can then go and play with the sheep until your heart is content. The cafe was quite quiet when I was there so I really didn’t have to wait long for my turn to take pictures or play. They were a little shy at first but soon perked up once I neared the food bucket, the staff will give you a small handful of feed so you can feed them yourself and once you have done that it is much easier to get picture. Be forewarned getting a sheep selfie is not so easy, but it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. If you are in Hongdae and grabbing a coffee anyway why not go see some sheep.

Thanks Nature Cafe is located at 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hongdae Station (line 2) and come out of exit 9. Walk straight then take a left at the main road. Keep walking straight towards the university, you will see the stairs to get to Thanks Nature Cafe, at the end of the arcade of shops. For more information you can call them on 02-335-7470, or check out their facebook page.

Left Coast Burgers

Left Coast Burgers needs no introduction, I mean you are probably asking why why the hell I am writing about it. However they recently moved to a new location, and as I like to keep you all abreast of all burger related information in Itaewon, I grabbed all of my favourite gal pals and headed off to give it a try. The new location up behind the Hamilton is a wee bit  smaller than the last one. In fact the location is not the only thing that has shrank in size, the new burgers look like they have been on a diet too. Thankfully this change is reflected in the new prices which are much lower than they used to be. They now offer most of the burgers in singles or doubles, the adorable owner Angela informed me the old size are more like the new double burgers, so you will definitely want to double up if you have an appetite as large as mine.

After perusing the new simpler menu I decided to go for the double Cheeseburger (7,900), and because I am greedy I got the Fried Chicken Burger (6,900) too. The Double Cheeseburger came  with 2 beef burgers topped with cheese and roasted garlic mayo. If I’m being honest this one was too simple for me, as much as I was living for the garlic mayo, I wish i had gone for the LCB instead which came with grilled onions, tomato and special sauce. I had a bite of my friends and it was delicious, if you like a simple burger though I’m sure you will be pleased with the cheeseburger, especially at its new budget friendly price. The chicken burger left me wanting more too, when I read that it was topped with swiss, bacon, and ranch sauce I was practically salivating, but in reality it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations, for want of a better word it just seemed a little sad in terms of flavour and texture, hopefully this will be worked on as I adore a good chicken burger and good one is hard to find in Itaewon.

The best burger of the day was definitely the double John Wayne (10,900) which was ordered by my beloved TFB and comes topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings, and BBQ sauce. I’m a sucker for any burger that is topped with bacon and BBQ sauce, especially when you add onion rings into the mix too. Left Coast was always famous for their epic and imaginative burgers so hopefully more of these will make their way back on to the menu. TFB actually got this bad boy to go, probably because he knew I would end up eating it if he didn’t make a fast getaway. We got a side of fries and it came in this super cute takeout box.

Overall its good to see that Left Coast is back in business after a brief hiatus. The menu has a few new items including salads and soft serve ice cream, and has put on their delicious breakfast burrito full time. While I’m still hoping some of the old burgers like the Juicy Lucy will make a comeback, the new prices are really great and I’m sure will make a lot of people happy in these economically depressing times. I am also thrilled that they have made a big effort to make their takeout customers a little happier by providing adorable take out boxes via Shuttle. If you are as lazy as I am, you can order without leaving your bed by clicking here.

Left Coast is located at 23 Itaewon-ro, 19gil Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight and take the fourth alleyway on the right (its the last one) walk straight up that road past Shenanigan’s, and Brick Yard etc. You should see Left Coast just up ahead on the left hand side opposite the carpark. For more information you can call them on 02-790-3459 or check out their facebook page. Left Coast is open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch & dinner.

Buttermilk Biscuit Co

Last night I headed over to Apgujeong to meet up with some old friends. After consulting my trusty list of places I want to eat at we settled upon new kid on the block Buttermilk Biscuit Co. Being a Brit I can’t say I’m really a huge fan of ‘biscuits’. Where I come from they are called scones, and we eat them with clotted cream and jam not fried chicken. However since I’ve been in Korea my tastes have become more exotic, so I threw caution to the wind and went off to give ‘American food’ a try.

The diner like restaurant is located in the rather posh neighbourhood of Apgujeong. It is just a short walk from exit 4, on a little street I’ve never had cause to walk down before. The place is quite spacious in appearance but only has seating for about 12 as the large open plan kitchen takes up a fair amount of the space. Unsurprisingly biscuits are the star attraction of the menu. You can either buy them separately or eat them with a variety of different sauces and toppings.  We were slightly torn over what to try but thankfully settled on three options thanks to their picture menu.

First up was the Southerner (9,500). A buttermilk biscuit topped with sauteed onions, fried chicken, bacon, eggs, cheese and country gravy. This is pretty much what I always imagined a  proper ‘merican’ southern breakfast to be. A mini mountain of fried food was presented, and I was surprised at how ungreasy it was. I’ve never been much of a fan of American gravy (I certainly wouldn’t put it on my roast beef that’s for damn sure), but I was actually quite partial to this one. It wasn’t overly salty and I appreciated having the thick sauce to eat alongside the biscuit. I’m no biscuit expert but this one seemed pretty decent, moist in the middle with a crisp exterior. The fried chicken was solid too, nice and crunchy on the outside while still being juicy in the middle. Not bad at all.

Second up was the Steak & Cheese Hash (14,000).  A mix of seasoned steak, onions, peppers, cheddar, potatoes, and spicy mayo.  From the picture I was expecting a large hash brown, however what showed up was a big old pile of tater tots. The cheese and steak topped tots went down well, I mean cheese and potato is always a good combo, throw in some nice pieces of steak and a spicy sauce and it is pretty much a party. One of the more expensive items on the menu, due to the steak but we enjoyed them a lot.

Lastly we had the Nashville Hot (9,000). A Cheddar biscuit with sweet compote, jalapeno, spicy fried chicken, and ranch coleslaw. This one was probably my favourite. It has all my favourite things, carbs, fried chicken, coleslaw, and sweet and spicy sauces. Hell to the yeah, this baby is so worth being fat for.

Overall I really enjoyed this place, I’m always looking for something new and this is definitely different. The food was actually pretty great, even to us non Americans. Myself and my Korean friends all really enjoyed it and we left pleasantly full. I also thought the prices were pretty reasonable for the most part too, it is so nice to find a meal around or under the 10,000 mark these days. I’ll certainly be heading back next time I’m in Apgujeong.

Buttermilk Biscuit Co is located at 566-14, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong Station (line 3) and come out of exit 4. Take the right immediately after the exit and then take the first left. Walk five blocks then turn right at the 7-11. Buttermilk Biscuit Co is a little way down this street on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 025153964 or check out their facebook page. They are closed only on Tuesdays, open at 11:30am -7:00pm  and take a break from 3pm – 4pm.

Trench Town

I’m not going to lie, I know little to nothing about Caribbean food, despite it being a reasonably popular cuisine in Britain. However when I heard a new Caribbean restaurant had opened up in Itaewon I was damn eager to give it a try. Trench Town is located on ‘Furniture Road’, or ‘Taco Bell Street’ as I like to call it. It’s located in an old furniture shop a little down the way from Itaewon Station. As it’s a little set back from the main road you could easily miss it, but hopefully the beach-hut-like fringe and neon sign will alert you to its presence.

Once inside the restaurant is pretty roomy, with a fun beach side themed bar taking prominence in the entry way. This reminded me of how much I needed a drink so we soon got to ordering. Rum cocktails make up the menu, and boy oh boy are they darn tasty. After two visits I have had pretty much tried all of the drinks on the menu and they are all pretty awesome. The Hurricane (13,000) is probably my favourite, not only is it a fruity blend of Plantation rum, lime, orange juice and passion fruit syrup, but it also comes topped with the most adorable little broken umbrella on the top. However I also have a lot of love for the Dark and Stormy (10,000) and the Mai Tai (12,000). They have a killer rum section for sure, I’ve not seen anywhere else that has a supply to rival it. if you are really into rum you can buy it by the bottle too.

As it is still in soft opening phase the menu is quite small. They serve a couple of individual plates which cost between 15,000 – 22,000 and some larger sharing platters which are more. Being a larger group we decided to get one each of the platters for two. First up were the Jerk Ribs (38,000) which come with a big mound of coconut rice and beans, coleslaw, and a side of gravy. I enjoyed these a lot, they were tender and smokey, while the meat on the ribs came away easily from the bone without falling off. The Jerk sauce was good too, not enough to burn, but enough heat to make your lips tingle.

The second platter we ordered was the Trench Town Platter (34,000). This one came with jerk chicken, curry goat, more rice, and the three sides of your choice. We opted for the dumplings, fries, and coleslaw with this one. Jerk chicken is probably the most famous Jamaican dish. If you’ve had and liked the Jamaican sandwich at Rye Post you’ll be in for a treat, as the owners are the same. The chicken was tender and flavourful without being too spicy, as I have not had it before I don’t really have anything to compare it too but we liked it, though not quite as much as the ribs. Also on this platter is the Goat Curry, again this was my first time trying it and I was reasonably impressed. The curry was flavourful without being too hot, and the goat meat was tender. There were a few too many bones in it for my liking, though I’d imagine goat is not one of the easiest ingredients to get hold of so the supply is probably limited. The star side for me were the dumplings, they remind me of a chicken ball without the chicken. I kind of wish they had something inside but they were moreish none the less.

Last up was the Reggae Platter (32,000) which came with tiger shrimps, lamb chops and the choice of three sides. The lamb chops were my favourite on this one by far. They were glazed with an incredibly tamarind glaze which was addictively good. The meat was so soft and juicy while the fat was perfectly cooked. They are probably some of the best lamb chops I have ever eaten in Korea, I was gnawing on those bones like I hadn’t eaten in weeks. You can actually get these as a side order too, so be sure to add them on if you end up going for one of the other platters. The shrimps were nice enough too, though not as remarkable as some of the other dishes. On this platter we tried the plantains and sweet potato fries too, which I also enjoyed, they would make it into the top three side dishes along with the dumplings, though you know I am a sucker for anything deep fried.

Overall I was really impressed with his place, it is not always easy to find places where the cocktails are as good as the food, but this ticked all my boxes. The prices are a touch steep if there are just two of you eating, but if you are a big group then it works out quite nicely.  We all left happy, and if you are looking to try something new this weekend then Trench Town should hit the spot.

Trench Town is located at 105 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.  To get there take a train to Itaewon Station and come out of exit 4. Turn back on yourself and walk down the ‘Taco Bell Street’. Keep walking down this street past all of the furniture shops. You will see Trench Town on the right hand side, just before you get to the fork in the road. For more information you can call them on 027949992 or checkout their facebook page. They are open Tue-Sunday from 5:30pm-10:30pm, although they are planning to open for lunch in the near future.

10 Must Eats in Sabah, Borneo

As you may have seen from my instagram feed, we have been relaxing and enjoying a fabulous vacation on the beautiful island of Borneo. Borneo is famed for its luscious rain-forests, wildlife, and monkeys, but it also has some incredible food. While our time was short and we didn’t get to try as many dishes as we would have liked, we were lucky to have more than enough to make a top ten.

1. Satay – Satay is probably one of Malaysia’s most famous dishes, and for very good reason, it’s bloody delicious! You can find good satay pretty much everywhere but we were lucky enough to have our resort’s head chef prepare some us specially. The delicious little sticks of meat, usually chicken or beef, are cooked with handful of spices and lemongrass and then barbecued to give them their unique flavour. They are then served with a scrummy dipping sauce usually made with coconut and peanuts among other things.

2. Butter Tiger Prawns – Tiger prawns are a specialty in Sabah, because they are found locally. They also grow to a humungous size, thanks to the great conditions of the Mengkabong river.  We tried them two ways, wet and dry. While the wet sauce was absolutely divine, it did make them very hard to eat if you didn’t want to spit out the shells. I have no idea what the etiquette of eating them is, but I preferred to get my hands messy and de-shell them before eating them.

3. Sota – At both of our fantastic hotels, they offered Sota for breakfast which was a delicious local noodle dish. A selection of different noodles were available then we added the different vegetables and meats. If you are fan of noodle soups then you are sure to want to give this Indonesian classic one a try.

4. Nasi Goreng- This fried rice dish is again one the most popular dishes to eat and you should come across it in many varieties, usually served with crackers and topped with a fried egg. This can be eaten anywhere from street food stalls to high end restaurants.

5. Tuaran Mee – Tuaran Mee is Sabah’s signature noodle dish, so you can’t leave the area without giving this fried noodle dish a try. We were lucky enough to be able to make them during our cooking class it is made from egg noodles, shrimp or chicken, and stir fried vegetables. Again we found this pretty much everywhere we went and never turned down an opportunity to eat it.

6. Soft Shell Crabs – Soft shell crabs are always one of my favourite things to eat although they aren’t so popular in England where I am from. So when I found out that they are one of the specialties at the Welcome Seafood restaurants in Kota Kinabalu, I was very eager to give them a try. There were delightfully small and I think we all know how I feel about deep fried anything. A huge pile came with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and were the perfect snack while we supped a few afternoon beers.

7. Bajaus Coffee and Teacakes – This is not widely available but if you get the chance to take a tour down the Mengkabong river to visit the Bajaus ‘sea gypsy’ village then you do not want to miss out on trying their delicious sweet rich coffee and little fried pancakes. We also had a sweet young coconut to refresh us. Click here to see a full video of our amazing experience along the river.

8. Tuhau Fried Chicken – If there is one dish that is found in abundance in Borneo, it’s fried chicken. Man I thought South Korea loved its chicken shops but that was before I came to KK, there is one on practically every street corner. There are many different varieties, but we were lucky enough to find a local Tuhau version. Not too dissimilar to the Korean one as the chicken is cut into small pieces, bones included, battered and deep fried. It seemed extra dry and and extra crispy, we ate ours with a side of sambal which was the the perfect spicy dipping sauce.

9. D’Place – If you want to try a whole host of local Sabah food then the buffet at D’Place is not to be missed. They have an incredible range of meat dishes, curries, sides, salads, sauces and desserts all of which make great use of the local produce. Some of the dishes we tried wrapped red barrio rice, wild mango chicken, fried basung fish, sago, and stir fried Borneo fern leaves with garlic. The food was full of flavour and unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. We were even lucky enough to catch the dance show which happens each evening. The menu changes daily, but you wont be disappointed, especially as it only cost around $10 per person.

10. Butod – One of the most famous local specialties are the little wiggly wormy sago grubs. We had heard about these babies throughout our trip and finally got to face our fears when we visited D’Place who actually have a tank filled with them. After seeing them up close and personal I had to wimp out. Sorry guys, but they were still alive and I just couldn’t.  Most people eat them raw but they also offered as a pizza topping, but even that wasn’t enough to persuade me to give them a try.

Nekkid Wings

Passing through Itaewon a few weeks ago I came across a mural of a naked man, so of course I used the opportunity to take some hilarious selfies. Also in the picture was what looked like a brown splodge, and it finally clicked a few days later that this was the home of Nekkid Wings. The newest addition to Itaewon’s restaurant scene is the cool and fun restaurant specialising in, you guessed it, chicken wings.

The restaurant is located in the myriad of alleyways just by Linus’ BBQ. The restaurant is in quite a large space and it was packed on the weekend night we visited. It’s best to go with friends as all the wings are served on huge platter like boards. The menu offers wings by themselves but we opted to go for the Double Platter (28,000) which comes with 20 wings, 2 sides, 2 celery and carrot sticks and 2 dips. Being a large group we also got the Party Platter (56,000) which is 40 wings, 4 sides, 3 celery and carrot sticks and 3 dips. These two happily fed seven of us.

There are a whopping 11 different flavours of sauce on the menu and I am sure they are set to add more. One thing I also appreciated was that you can choose a different flavour per 5 wings that you order, so even if you are going for a simple 10 you still get to try two different kinds. The wings themselves have a crispy exterior and have juicy white meat inside.We tried virtually every flavour on the menu and the firm favourites of the large group were the buffalo and the BBQ but that is to be expected. More out there flavours we liked were the Amazinger, a kind of Yangnyum type, and the Mandarin which was my personal favourite. Honestly the only one we didn’t care for was the Korean style ,probably because of the doenjang, which kind of ruined the flavour for me.

The wing platters come with sides, and we of course tried them all. The big onion ring was my favourite, it’s not made from a giant onion but lots of small chopped up onions, breaded and deep fried. It was delish. The shoe string fries were also decent but nothing memorable, the hand cooked crisps were my least favourite. There are also two dips available, a ranch and blue cheese. The ranch was from a bottle and tasted a little sickly and artificial, but the blue cheese on the other hand was made in house and much better, hopefully they will sort out the ranch in time because I consider it to be a very important part of the wing experience.

There are a variety of craft beers on the menu which vary between 6,000 – 8,000 and they also have a signature cocktails on the menu called Nekkid Sour(7,500). I of course gave it a try and was delightfully surprised. The rosemary, gin, and earl grey concoction was a refreshing blend of sweet and sour, not to dissimilar to a long island ice tea.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Nekkid Wings and I shall certainly go again. It’s something new and different and is perfect for large groups. We all left full and happy and that is good enough for me.

Nekkid Wings is located at 174-11, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 2) and come out of exit three. Walk straight and then cross left over to Itaewon at the crossing. Go down the alleyway ahead on the left and walk straight. For more information you can call them on 010-5891-7411 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday except Monday from 11:30am – 11:30pm, with a break from 3pm-4pm on weekdays. 

청도 – Chinese Lamb Skewers

There is nothing quite like the words, “all you can eat,” to get my juices flowing. I hate when my shallow pockets prevent me from eating just as much as I want, so that magical phrase is music to my ears.  Unsurprisingly, when one of my very best foodie friends suggested we go and check out an all you can eat lamb skewer place, I was there like a shot.

The restaurant is located just next to Sookmyung Women’s University and is nestled in amongst a dozen or so other shops or restaurants. Clearly I need to pay more attention when I am walking around because I have probably passed this place half a dozen or so times before. The Chinese neighbourhood over in Daerim is probably considered the Chinese lamb skewer capital of the city but if you live in the middle or east of the city this is much easier to get to. The best part of this is that the all you can eat lamb skewer option costs a mere 13,900. Alright indeed.

It’s not just lamb that you get as part of the deal, I was pleasantly surprised to find it included pork, chicken, and shrimp. The skewers are cooked with the assistance of an electrical a contraption right at your table then you are given a pile of delicious Chinese spices to dip them into. They are very moreish indeed, and we couldn’t cook them fast enough in the beginning. The sides with the skewers are very simple peanuts, kimchi style radish, and the Chinese pickles. I would have loved it if they had included the tofu ribbons too but I can live without them. I didn’t notice until the end, but they also have an extra menu of side dishes which you can purchase separately, there were a couple of dishes like fried eggplant that I will certainly try next time.

You get a 2 hour limit and in less than that time we made it through 5 rounds, much to the chagrin of the surly waitress. Lamb skewers are one of my favourite dishes to eat, the tender chunks of fatty meat work so well with the mix of spices. With a a couple of Cass beers (4,000) they are the perfect food to share with friends. Overall I was very happy with this place, the variety you get for the price is pretty unbelievable and we all had an epic night. I plan to return very soon with TFB, who was very sad to miss out on attending.

청도 is located at 90-10 Garwol-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sookmyung Women’s University Station (line 4) and come out of exit 7. Walk straight and you will see 청도 just ahead on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-702-7033.