Category: Restaurant Reviews

Linus BBQ – HBC

Southern style barbecue has been a big old trend in these parts over the past year or two, though very few places have managed enjoy the success of Linus Kim. The Linus Itaewon location has had queues around the clock since it opened, and the variety of copycats haven’t made a dent in it. Luckily for those of us who like the food but don’t want  to wait in line for the privilege, Linus has just opened up a second location in Haebangchon.

The new place is set over two floors and is located 3/4 of the way up the main road in Haebangchon. On the first floor is the bar with some counter style seating overlooking the scenic beauty that is HBC, while upstairs is the kitchen and the familiar wooden tables and chairs. The paint is still practically wet on this place, as it only opened during Chuseok so we were easily able to grab a table for dinner. Once the word spreads I am sure this will change, however unlike the other location this one will take reservations, saving you from those monumental queues if you plan ahead.

Like its customers stomachs, the Linus menu has grown in size at this new location. All the favourites are still on, as are the lunchtime sandwiches, and the new smoked chickens. Having eaten the pulled pork and brisket about a thousand times I was very excited to try the muster of Linus’ chicken. You can eat it in a variety of ways, but we sprung for the new Smoked Chicken Platter (22,000). This comes with a whole smoked chicken, six sliders, white sauce, tomato salad and taters and gravy. The chicken had a real heady smokey flavour throughout and came away nicely from the bones. The skin wasn’t as crisp as I might have liked it, but it was in no way under cooked either. The meat was tender and juicy and went very well with the new white BBQ sauce. I liked this thick garlicky white sauce a lot. I have to say I was very impressed with the size of this smoked chicken platter. Both TFB and myself can eat a lot but we struggled to finish half of this as we ordered another dish. I think we both would have left full and happy, had we only had this especially as it works out to only 11,000 per person.

One of my favourite items from Linus is the Da Bomb Sandwich (13,900), but  they only serve it at lunch at the Itaewon branch. Due to my schedule I am not often a lady who lunches, so  rarely got to indulge as often as I would have liked. The toasted bun is layered with brisket, cheese, caramelized onions, fried pickles and a sweet BBQ sauce. I love the combination of the tender smokey meat, with the cheese and onions. With the slightly sourness and crunch from the deep fried pickles it just ticks all my flavour boxes. We made this sandwich into set for an extra 2,500 won for our sandwich which included two sides of our choice, I got the creamy slaw and skinny fries. For some reason all the sandwich set upgrades are different prices which I found odd, as surely the sides cost the same no matter the sandwich. Hopefully it is just an oversight on the menu.

Not only does Linus have good food, they have a damn fine drinks menu too. My favourite is the Pina Colada (21,000). This gigantic frozen drink  is suggested for two, but being a bit of a lush I prefer it for one. As you can see it is served in a hollowed out pineapple. The cocktail itself incredibly tasty, creamy, and refreshing and has a good flavour of rum coming through. They also serve it with a cup of pineapple that hasn’t been used in your drink which I find a really nice touch. The rest of the drinks menu is equally stellar, and having had quite a few over the years I can definitely give them my seal of approval.

Overall I am quite pleased with the new locations, and vow to head there more often. Fingers crossed it wont be as busy as the Itaewon branch, but if that does happen you can still make a reservation. The new menu items are great, and they have some affordable sandwiches on offer too, which would make a cheap takeout dinner if you live locally.

Linus is located at 37-5 Yongsan-dong 2 ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6). Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Keep walking straight along this street past Phillies & Casablanca. You will see Linus BBQ a little further up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-790-2930 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am -10:30pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm).

Mozzie

Before my Chuseok jaunt to Thailand & Hong Kong, I was invited to Mozzie try their new in house wines. I have always dreamed of coming out with my own brand of wines possibly called ‘Drunk Girl’ so kudos for the Mozzie team for brewing their own. The Aussie cum Kiwi bar and restaurant located on Hooker Hill in Itaewon has been open for almost two years. To celebrate these momentous two years they have come out with their own two wines, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Pinot Noir both made in Malborough, New Zealand. Now I’m no expert when it comes to wine, I generally prefer vodka but I’m not completely clueless either. Malborough wines are very popular right now, especially in the UK, in fact they are pretty much all my family tend to drink. So being the lush that I am, I was very excited to go and give them a try.

First up was the Sauvignon Blanc, which is 8,000 for a glass or 35,000 for a bottle. This was the one I was most excited about, as I generally prefer white over red and a sauv blanc is usually one of my favourites. The wine was light and very drinkable, not too dry and it had a refreshing hint of citrus. At 13% it certainly packed a punch, after one glass on an empty stomach I was buzzed.  Thankfully we had ordered the Cut the Cheese (22,000), a salad topped with homemade ricotta which took the edge off. The ricotta on this salad was sensational, it was so smooth and velvety, while the dressing on the salad provided a nice tang. It worked really well with the wine, especially while sat on the balcony enjoying the last of the good weather.

For our second course, we delved into the Pinot Noir which is also 8,000 for a glass or 35,000 for a bottle. Whenever the words Pinot Noir, are uttered, I cant help but think about the song sang by Titus Andromedon from Kimmy Schmidt, so had to include the video below. Pinot Noir is TFB’s favourite wine, so I knew he would adore this. The almost translucent red had plenty of girth to it while still being quite smooth. Again it was very drinkable and I could see how it would be very easy to finish a bottle.  Alongside the Pinot, we ate the Canberra Carpaccio (22,000), slices of beef tenderloin topped with spinach, truffle oil, Parmesan and nuts. This was a great companion dish for the wine, as the heady scent of the truffles added a real richness. The salad was a very filling dish, without being too heavy. Sat outside on the balcony I felt very European in the evening sun, we were also afforded an excellent view of the local scenery.

Overall I thought the new Mozzie wines to be delightful, and very reasonably priced. In fact if you get them to go, it is only 24,000 for the sauvignon blanc and 32,000 for the pinot noir. They also have an amazing Wino Wednesday promotion where the wine is half price for both a glass and a bottle if you order a main dish. If you prefer to do your drinking in the comfort of your own home, where you can pass out without fear of judgement you can get the bottles delivered via shuttle, along with the rest of their menu. If you have yet to use shuttle, please click here for 4000 won off on your first order.

Mozzie is located at 126-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take the subway to Itaewon station(line 6), and come out of exit 3. Walk straight until the next intersection and take a right. Cross the road and take the first left (by Mr Kebab). Mozzie is up on your left maybe 50m up that road, opposite the infamous Old Town. For more information you can call them on +82 10-9417-9554 or check out their facebook page. Mozzie is open every day from 5pm-12am.

Chuseok Restaurant Guide

Happy Holidays one and all. If you hadn’t noticed it is is Chuseok, and we have been gifted something even better than a luxurious Spam box set, 9 days of vacation! Like most of the country I am leaving the city once again to go travelling, but I couldn’t leave those of you not vacationing high and dry so wanted to put together this quick restaurant guide to let you know whats open and when.

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California Kitchen & Pub has a Chuseok special serving up some incredible home made pastrami. You can get it in an incredible Reuben Sandwich, a Pastrami Burger, or Pastrami Chili Fries. They also have all their regular Cali style Mexican dishes and craft beers. They are open for lunch and dinner from 11:30am-11:30pm.

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NY Burger & Bagel serves up some damn fine burgers and is open throughout the holidays everyday from 12pm-9pm. They have branches in Itaewon and in Gangnam. My favourite is Wasabiiii but there are a lot of other great burgers on the menu.

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WinK is the place to eat and drink near Kyodae in Gangnam. The menu offers burgers, pub grub and brunch and is open throughout the holidays from 11am-11:30pm. Don’t miss out on trying the burgers, or their boozy brunch options.

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Brera is without a doubt my favourite affordable Italian in Seoul. They have incredible freshly made pasta, gnocchi, and pizzas, as well as an all day breakfast and brunch menu. They are open throughout the holidays from 11am-11pm.

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Summer Lane Cafe – Summer Lane is my new favourite spot for brunch and thankfully it is only closed tomorrow (Oct 2nd). On Tuesday & Wednesday they are open from 8:30-3:30, and 8:30am – 8:00 pm the rest of the week. The Aussie brunch items and are not to be missed, especially the Eggs Benedict and croissant french toast.

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Plant is probably Seoul’s best vegan cafe and bakery and thankfully it is open throughout the holidays except on Wednesday (October 4th) from 11am-9pm. They have an incredible menu filled with healthy and delicious cruelty free delights. Taco Tuesday is particularly good, as are the burgers.

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Lobster Bar is renowned for their lobster and lobster sandwiches, but they also have a whole host of fishy treats on the menu and some great beers. They are open everyday of the holidays except Wednesday (October 4th) from 12pm-9pm.

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Shuttle Delivery is open throughout the whole entire holidays, so if you are in desperate need of sustenance but don’t quite have the energy to leave the house they will bring you what you need. Many of the restaurants will be closed at some point but not at the same time, so you will always be able to get something delivered.

Summer Lane Cafe

Brunch is by far and away my favourite meal of the week. However these days the options for a good brunch in my neighbourhood are seriously dwindling. Either they have closed down, or have epic queues. Thankfully I have an amazing new brunch place to share with you, just in time for the weekend. I unfortunately cannot take credit for his one, that honour belongs to fellow blogger Toronto Seoulcialite, who was luckily enough to stumble across it last week. The fact that this place is literally around the corner from my house makes it even better, it is so close I could even roll up in my pyjamas.

Summer Lane is located in the old Revolucion location. The spot has been completely redone and and is now a very light and airy white affair, with adorable blue accents. This is a complete change from the dark and dingy industrial style space it was before. While the cafe is quite small with seating for about a dozen or so, the menu is completely fabulous and is filled with lots of brunch and breakfast treats with an Aussie twist.

After eyeing up the menu, there was one item that sounded pretty much like my idea of brunch heaven, the Bacon Waffle Egg Benedict (15,000). The cheddar waffle was piled high with cajun hollandaise, avocado, poached egg and bacon.This was pretty much all of my favourite brunch ingredients in one dish, in fact it was even more dreamy than it sounded. The egg when split oozed into a of river gold despite the fact that it had been sat on the plate for about 5 minutes while I took 100,000 pictures. The hollandaise was perfection, I didn’t really get much from the cajun spices, but it was zingy and buttery and exactly how a good hollandaise should taste. One of Korea’s best for sure. The bacon also deserves a mention, it was damn good, and the waffle light and fluffy without being too cheesy. Overall a very well executed dish, there is also a version with salmon too, which I am sure will please my fish loving friends.

There were so many delicious sounding dishes on the menu, that I was really torn about which to choose. However we finally opted for the Croissant French Toast (12,000). A Croissant topped with maple bacon, seeds and bananas. A good french toast is always nice and buttery, so using the croissant in place of the bread was a stroke of genius. As good as the french toast was, the flambeed bananas were even better, they were sweet and tasty bites of heaven. I love a dish that combines sweet and salty flavours, so having the bacon on top really completed it for me, and the beautiful flowers adorning it were the cherry on top of the cake.

While I generally enjoy a cocktail with my brunch, it was early on a weekday when we visited, so the few shreds of social dignity I have left dictated that I should not be drinking at such an hour. Instead I was allured by the Aussie Vanilla Latte (6,500). An ice vanilla latte is always my coffee of choice, so when i found this one was topped with a scoop of ice cream, I was as giddy as a school girl. Also on the menu are a variety of other coffees, homemade ades, and a few beers. Sadly there are currently no cocktails, which is the only thing stopping this place from being my favourite brunch place in the entire world. However after chatting with the owners they said they will consider adding some to the menu, so fingers crossed!!!

 

Summer Lane is located at 43 Haenamu-ro 26-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass then go through and exit using the left hand stairs. Follow the road around past Paris Baguette and the Well Being Mart until you reach Cheese-alot / Maloneys Pub. Take the alleyway going up the hill, then turn right. Summer Lane will be just up ahead on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-792-8114 or check out their Instagram. They are open from 8:30am – 8:00 pm everyday except Mondays when they are closed. *During Chuseok the opening hours are as follows. 10/2 closed, 10/3 8:30-3, 10/4 8:30-3, 10/5 – 10/9 8:30-8, and 10/10 closed.

Dominic

Dominic has always been a restaurant I go back to again and again. Located at the Hangangjin end of Itaewon. It is a cool yet welcoming space that always offers great food and a lovely ambience. Last weekend I was invited to a thank you lunch there along with a very good friend of mine. Since my last visit the menu has been switched up a little to include lots of new dishes while still retaining some of their old classic ones. If the day ends in Y, I like to enjoy lunch with a cocktail or two. So I started with a mimosa (15,000), which was quickly followed by a Sangria (15,000), both the white and the red sangria were utterly delicious and spiked with rum, triple sec and cinnamon honey.

Our lunch began with the Dominic Capresa Salad (15,000) a mix of baby mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and fresh olives. We enjoyed this with the most wonderful aged balsamic vinegar that the owner Rosen had just brought back from a trip to Italy. I love this salad and it is always one of my first choices on the menu wherever I may be in the world. It was served in a really cute metal pan too. Along with our salad we also ate one of their fantastic steaks. The Steak (58,000) at Dominic has always been incredibly good, and this occasion was no exception. It is not often I eat streak, so this NY strip, wet aged for 5-7 days, and cooked to medium rare in a hot cast iron skillet with a side of veggies, was a real treat. It is probably one of my favourite items on their menu, especially when paired with their creamy spinach topped brioche which we didn’t indulge in this time.

We followed the steak with the Pork Belly Citrus (22,000). A hunk of pork bell which was cooked sous vide then deep fried, and served with smashed potato, bacon jam, baby greens and a citrus dressing. Like all good pork belly dishes, the meat was soft and had that melt in the mouth consistency you tend to get from sous vide cooking, while still having a crispness on the outside thanks to the deep frying. The accompanying bacon jam was especially tasty, and worked well with the pork, as did the slightly tangy dressing. All in all a delicious dish and great new addition to the menu.

Despite the fact that we had already eaten more than our fair share, we finished the carb-lovers way with a plate of pasta. This is the Olive Bacon Anchovy Spaghettini (18,000) which is studded with three kinds of olives, button mushrooms, bacon and anchovy. This was an absolute delight, and exactly what I needed, not the cream drowned monstrosities that usually get passed for pasta in this country. The pasta was cooked to me the perfect al dente, but my Italian friend said it was a touch overdone, but he’s an extremely hard man to please. Either way it was the perfect way to end the meal.

Overall it was so lovely to have a chance to visit one of my favourite restaurants again. Seoul’s food landscape is forever changing, and this is one place we know we can always come to and enjoy a fabulous meal. Dominic has a daily happy hour from 3pm – 6pm, and a whole host of promotions throughout the week, so check out their facebook page for details of the next one including their new event Tapas Tuesdays.

Dominic is located at 683-133 Hanam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. to get there take a train to Hangangjin Station (line6) Come out of exit 3 and walk straight for about 200 meters. It’s located next to the Kolon Series Multi Shop and just across from Woori bank. For more information you can call them on 02-790-7588. They are open everyday from 11:30-11pm

Spacca Napoli

I’ve always been one for balance, so as I posted about a healthy salad place earlier in the week, I thought I would treat you to some pizza for the weekend. Last week one of my old friends got me in touch with a friend whom will be visiting Seoul very soon, and she asked me what I thought of the places she planned to try. Spacca Napoli was the one she were most excited about, and I had to admit I had never even heard of the place. After a quick search on the net,  my most trusted food resources came up empty too. However after seeing the pictures of the pizza online I quickly realised it was worth investigating, so I gathered myself up and a few of my unsuspecting friends and headed to Hapjeong.

The space is on the second floor of a building a short walk from Hapjeong station, if you were walking past you’d have no idea of the treasures that can be found inside. The restaurant itself is very spacious and has a real open plan feeling about it, you can even see the traditional wood fired oven in the corner and the chefs making your pizza.  There are plenty of tables and lots of light from the big open windows, it was the perfect spot to enjoy a nice lunch. Once seated we were given a menu and complimentary basket of garlic bread. It has been so long since I enjoyed garlic bread so I was thrilled at its appearance as it such a rarity in Seoul.

The best way to test the muster of a pizza joint is by the Margarita (19,000), and this one did not disappoint. While I’ve been to Italy, I have never travelled to Naples, so I am in no way an expert when it comes to Italian pizza, in fact what you get differs from region to region. But this pizza was everything I was looking for and more. The the crust was puffed up and sinfully chewy. I’m not a huge crust eater but even I couldn’t resist this one, I would love to have their recipe! The pizzas were baked in their wood fired oven, and topped with the freshest tomato, basil and mozzarella. The simplicity of the ingredients truly sang,  I definitely didn’t feel like I was in Kansas(or Seoul for that matter) anymore, but somewhere on the Med. Such a treat.

being a white pizza addict, I couldn’t resist the Funghi Bianco (21,000). A white pizza consisting of cream, mozzarella, mushrooms, and extra virgin olive oil. This combines my two favourite ingredients cheese and mushrooms, so I was pretty much in heaven. If they added truffle oil it would be orgasmic. There was plenty of cheese on this and again the crust was awesome.  I think of the four pizzas we ordered this one was the clear winner for me by far.

For a meatier twist we ordered the Diavola (21,000). A mix of fresh san marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, and pecarino. This one had a touch of spice in the sauce and would have been adored by my beloved if he had been at the lunch. The slivers of salami were lovely and crisp, thile there was lashing of the rich tomato sauce underneath.  As well as the pizza they also offer a handful of salads and pasta dishes, but we didn’t end up trying those as we stuck with the pizzas.

Overall I was really impressed by this place. The pizza was fantastic, and I can’t believe no one has ever mentioned this place to me before. They recently opened up a second location in Sinchon too. We were all absolutely stuffed for 20,000 apiece and still had a couple slices left over. So if you like Italian pizza it is not to be missed, and well worth the trip across town.

Spacca napoli is located at 2F, 28 Yanghwa-ro, 6-gil, Mapo-Gu, Seoul. To get there, take a train to Hapjeong Station (line 2 & 6) and come out of exit 5. Take the first left and then follow the road around. You will see Spacca Napoli on your left hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-326-2323 or check out their facebook page. They are open Tuesday – Sunday from 11:30am – 10pm.

Bad Farmers

I do love a good salad, so I am rather thrilled that after many years of living in Korea trying to dodge cabbage and corn monstrosities covered in kiwi or strawberry flavoured dressings, that salad joints have become a trend. Despite the name of my blog I really do try my best to stay healthy so having options like this available makes life a lot easier, especially when you eat out as much as I do. One of the first places to open and get in on the healthy eating trend was Bad Farmers, which I had always heard great things about but never visited until now. So when I met a friend in the area for lunch, I knew it was time to give it a try.

The restaurant itself has a very natural aesthetic. Everything is made of of wood and invokes that earthy wholesome kind of feeling. One of the highlights for me is the gorgeous outside seating area, it was a very hot day but under the umbrella we were very cool and content. However for those who don’t like to dine alfresco there is seating inside too, though when we arrived we advised we would have a short wait until a table became available.

The menu consists of half a dozen salads, some open sandwiches, and cold pressed juice. I make my own fresh juice every morning so decided to skip the drinks and just go for the salad. The Guaca Green (11,500) was our first choice and consisted of sprouts, avocado, lime, nacho chips, roast chicken, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. I really liked this one, as it reminded me so much of the Taco Salad  I used to make frequently. There was a great mix of  textures, and I adored the cilantro jalapeno dressing too. With the salads we were given a small cup of corn soup and some bread, which was not necessary but certainly appreciated.

After much deliberation our second choice was the Shrimp Bowl (11,500), which was a mix of Cajun shrimp, romaine lettuce, kale, grapes, cucumber, corn, red onion, lemon and cherry tomatoes. It came a side of cucumber yogurt dressing. The shrimp in this were really tasty, and the grapes added pops of sweetness. However the dressing was a bit lacklustre with this one. I was hopping for something reminiscent of tzatziki but it was a bit watery and flavourless. I’d probably go for one of the other salads next time instead.

Overall we enjoyed the salads. I didn’t try the juice this time but I do know they are sold in GS marts for a fraction of the price, so maybe try them there first to find your favourite flavour.  The place is really cute and I’d happily go back if I was in the area. If you plan to go on the weekend I would go early, as you may have a long wait once the crowds arrive.

 

Bad Farmers is located at 523-21 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa Station (line 3) and come out of exit 8. Walk straight then take the second left, walk to the end then take the next left street which is diagonal and runs parallel to Garosugil. Take the sixth road on the left by the 7-11 and then the next right. You will see Bad Farmers straight ahead. For more information you can call them on 02-515-8400, or check out their facebook page. They are open every day from 11am-9pm.

Lobster Bar

Lobster Bar in Itaewon just celebrated their 3 year anniversary, it truly is insane how quickly time flies these days. It seems like only last summer that they opened up in their first location on the hill, and had hordes of hungry patrons queuing up to get in on the new lobster roll trend.  To celebrate this momentous occasion and keep things fresh they have added some new items to the menu. They kindly invited me along to give them a try, and I was powerless to resist, I mean who says no to free lobster right?

One trend that isn’t going away any time soon is burgers, so putting a new lobster burger on the menu was a very savvy idea. The lobster burger (17,900), certainly looks very impressive, and will look very attractive on your Instagram feed. After taking about 18,000 pictures of it, I finally got to lock my lips around the mighty mound. The burger itself pretty tasty, and it remained firm despite the tower of ingredients topping it.  While I enjoyed the lobster and cheeseburger combo, I wast sure about the addition of the jalapeno mayo as I think it took away from the flavour of the lobster. There are plans to add a few different versions to the menu in the next few weeks, so I think they could come up with a few interesting options.

As well as the burger, we also tried the Spicy Bang Bang Shrimp (9,500). I was really happy to see this on the menu, as Bang Bang chicken is a dish I always order from the Chinese takeaway back home, so was pleased to see it here in Korea. We both really enjoyed this dish. The crispy battered shrimp were large and juicy and the spicy mayo sauce was very moreish. The shrimp were on top of a pile of rice and lettuce, so you could easily eat this as a main dish to yourself, or share it as a starter.

We also got to try the new Fried Crab Popcorn (9,000). This was a giant paper cone filled with tiny deep fried crabs. They made the perfect dish to snack on while we were enjoying our drinks, especially when dipped into the accompanying chili mayo. I thought they made a an interesting addition to the menu as they differ from the spicy Korean style.

To drink I of course had to order my favourite cocktail, the Tropical Berry Punch (15,000). This drink is all kinds of blackcurranty fruity goodness and is a highly addictive tropical treat. I also think it has grown in size since my last visit too, which is never a bad thing.  TFB was rather boring and stuck with a pint of Great White (9,000), however their drinks menu is actually pretty varied and has quite a selection including rather cheap bottles of spirits if you are dining with a large group

Overall we had a great dinner, and it is always nice to return to an old favourite. The menu has been kept fresh and and it is clear that Lobster Bar really cares about their food and keeping their customers coming back. I’m glad to see that they are expanding their range of seafood, while still keeping their most popular items like the lobster sandwiches on the menu. If you are hankering for some shellfish, then this is the place to get it.

Lobster Bar is located at 56-13 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) come out of exit 4 and walk straight, keep going until you reach Mcdonalds. Lobster Bar is on the 3rd floor just above Starbucks. For more information you can call them on 070-8225-3963 or check out facebook page.

Mishmash

 

I first came across Mishmash when a good friend posted pictures from their dinner. It really doesn’t take much to get me excited about food, in fact even just a fleeting glance of something vaguely edible will do it. But after seeing a picture of the biggest galbi rib I have ever seen, it knew I had to go and give it a try and added it to my list of places to eat at.  A mere two days later another friend recommended Mishmash, at the time I was just in the midst of organizing a dinner for a visiting friend and knew that the modern Korean fusion style restaurant would be the perfect place to take them. The neighbourhood bistro is located just away from the main road, down the Hangangjin end of Itaewon.

We arrived on one of the hottest days of the year, and quickly refreshed ourselves with the provided cool wet towels, it was not necessary but an incredibly welcome and thoughtful touch. We then moved on to the bottle of Chablis (70,000) which revived us even more. They offer both set course menus and a la carte. We opted for the five course set menu which was a very reasonable 65,000. The four course is 47,000 while the the three course was 35,000.

We kicked off the dinner with a fish course of thin slices of lightly cured sole, charred gwarri pepper, garlic and chogochujang caviar. I’m not a big fish eater but this was so fresh, not a hint of fishiness. The onion oil married so well with this dish, and you could really taste the slightly sweet char from the pepper. The caviar was resplendent little bursts of mildly spicy gochu that left a whisper of a spicy tang. It was a very refreshing dish indeed. We then moved on to the chicken lollipop, which were tiny pieces of fried chicken tossed in spicy yangnyeom seasoning. I adored these, the only shame being that there were only three, thankfully we were also given two lovely plump barbecued shrimp, and a bowl of bouillabaisse as well. I wish I could show you pictures of every course we enjoyed but we would be here all day.

You’d have thought that three starters would be enough for most people, but not our group. We decided to order the Galbi Raviolo (15,000) as an extra dish, as we had heard it was not to be missed. This duck yolk dumpling was stuffed with braised short rib, and served in a puddle of brown butter, green onion sauce and chili oil, and was topped with pine nuts and deep fried mushrooms. I was expecting this to be really rich, and while it was, it was also incredibly satisfying. The tender braised beef was very sweet, but the slight sharpness from the onion, and spice from the chili oil really helped cut through it. The toasted pine nuts really added an extra texture too. I’m glad we added this one on to our order.

The main event was the Beef Short Ribs. These bad boys were spice rubbed, cooked sous vide for 24 hours, and then topped with pine nuts and and ginseng flakes. We carved these up like butter, they were so incredibly tender and the meat melted in the mouth. The rub itself was slightly memorable of a Chinese style spare rib, and though it was tasty, it would have been even better if the flavour had been more intense. This came served with a traditional Korean pot (gamasot) of garlic rice, and some banchan style veggies. It was a very filling course, though I still of found the room, and lack of dignity, to gnaw the bones clean.

I really thought we had ordered enough food, but the Chef and owner Minzi seemed to disagree and sent over a complimentary order of Fried pickles with Doenjang Aioli (8,000). Oh my god were these pickled chilies incredible. The light batter encasing them was extra crispy, and the pickles themselves has a really nice tang. I could have eaten a never ending supply of these bad boys, especially when dipped into the doenjang aioli, which was the ideal accompaniment.

For dessert we had a gluten free chocolate cake with coffee and nut frosting, and caramel ice cream. I was expecting this to be a battle of flavours but it all really worked and I found myself shoveling it down, despite being rather full. A very nice way to end the dinner. Overall we enjoyed a fabulous meal at Mishmash and I was really blown away by the creativity of some of the dishes. For modern Korean, it is very hard to beat at this price point. In fact I’m not sure how they are really turning a profit because the food was so incredible. It is a true gem of a place, and the perfect spot for a date or nice meal with friends.

Mishmash is located at 739-18 Hannam Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hangangjin station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and cross the street whenever you get a chance. Then take a left at the Bun Cha place. At the next intersection take right, you will see Mishmash located a little way up on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-6465-2211 or check out their facebook page. They are open for lunch at 11:30 – 3 & dinner from 6-10 Monday – Saturday. 

NY Burger & Bagel – Hannam

When it rains it pours, all my favourite burger joints seem to be opening up new stores, clearly the new burger craze isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact it isn’t just Korea, burgers are booming all over the world, my Instagram feed is filled to the brim with burger porn. So recently my favourite Itaewon burger place Itaewon the Burger opened up a new shop in Gangnam, and now my favourite Gangnam burger place NY B&B has opened up a place in Hannam, how will I ever decide which one to go to? Thankfully I was invited to the soft opening of both so didn’t have to choose.

NY Burger & Bagel is at the higher end of the burger spectrum in terms of price, class, and quality of ingredients. They only use USDA Prime beef in their burgers. While the Gangnam space is cute quaint and rustic and a step away from the soulless Gangnam haunts, this new version really puts the New York back into NY B&B. The space is very large, which is unusual for this part of town, there is a long bar running against one wall, and huge floor to ceiling walls against the other. In between is seating for about 65. The light filled space makes it perfect for brunch, hopefully one of these days I’ll get to try the bagel part of the name.

It had been a long week, and what with the heat wave we are suffering right now I was in desperate need of a drink. We kicked off with the Hand & Malt Hard Apple Cider (8,000), which was uber refreshing and the only thing to drink in summer. We also had the Gin and Earl Grey signature drink (10,000), a strong and refreshing tea infused gin concoction. While the taste wasn’t bad I still think it needs a little finessing to get it right. We visited during the soft opening so they were still tinkering with a couple of the items, however I was glad to see that this location is serving cocktails.

On to the burgers, my favourite of the NY B&B burgers is the Wasaaabi, but as we were invited to try the new ones we kicked off with the Bruchetta ’bout It (14,500). This baby was topped with mozzarella cheese, bruchetta tomatoes, and homemade aioli. Being one of my favourite appetisers, I was interested how this would work out as a burger. The sweet and juicy chopped tomatoes were the perfect topping for the tasty and well seasoned beef patty, with the creamy aioli this was really a dream burger and very well balanced in terms of flavour. One thing I’m loving about this location is that the burgers come served with fries, which is rare in this city. We upgraded from the free plain ones to the parmesan garlic fries for an extra 1,500, which was worth every penny in my opinion. The other burger we tried was the Uptown Girl (16,500), a burger topped with avocado, pepper jack, lettuce and tomato. When I first tried it, this one seemed a bit lacking in taste for me, so I asked for a slice of bacon which really kicked it up a notch, it could also benefit from a slightly spicier mayo. We got this one served with the Chili Cheese Fries (4,500 upgrade). These were awesome, some of the best I’ve had, the chili had an really tomato-ey chili topping which was super tasty. Not sure which fries I liked best, so I would recommend you get both!

For those poor souls who like to live a carb-free life, you may be interested in the Atkins Slider Trio (17,5000). This came as a trio of sliders, the wasabi, the bruchetta, and roast beef. The mini wasabi burger was topped with shiitake mushrooms, grilled onions, pepper jack cheese and wasabi mayo. This little beauty was just as good as the full sized version I previously reviewed.  The bruchetta was just a mini bunless version of the burger above. However the real star of this dish was the roast beef. This was my favourite by far, and the most amazing roast beef I have ever had in Korea. The pink slivers of juicy beef were sat in a puddle of super scrummy gravy. It was so good I wanted to lick the plate clean. I will definitely be trying the full-sized roast beef sandwich in the near future for sure. The only way they could improve this dish, is if they served them all inside mini buns, though I guess that would kind of defeat the point.

Despite our groaning bellies announcing we were full, we still had to have dessert. We opted for the Orange Dreamsicle Float (6,000). I loved the creamy orange combo. It was sweet and tangy all at the same time. It was a superb way to end the meal and a great way to beat the heat.

Tonight is the Grand Opening of the new NY Burger & Bagel so they are having a special event, a Bruchetta burger and fries, or Chicken Club Sandwich and fries for only 10,000 won. There will also be live music. This offer is for tonight only, so if you don’t have dinner plans it is the perfect place to go.

NY Burger & Bagel Hannam is located at 744-5 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hanggangjin station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and cross the street whenever you get a chance. Then take a left at the Bun Cha place. At the next intersection take another left, and then keep walking down that street, you will see NY B&B in the new big black building to the right, the entrance is tucked away round the corner but you can’t miss the signs. For more information you can call them on 02-592-7992 or check out their facebook pages. The store is open 10:30am – 10:30pm Mon-Sat, and 10:30-9:00pm on Sundays.