Paolo De Maria

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I’m sure I have mentioned my fondness for Italian cuisine on many occasions. However in Seoul it is not always easy to find as there seem to be far too many restaurants offering spaghetti drowning in puddles of cream and calling it Italian food. But over the years I’ve discovered a few treasures along the way and after I was invited to come and try Paolo de Maria last week I have another one to add to the list. (more…)

Golmok Gourmet

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So I’m a bit late to the party, but there are still four days left, so better late than never. Golmok Gourmet is a Jarritos sponsored, Itaewon restaurant showcase extravaganza, and will be running throughout the weekend. Basically eight of Itaewon’s most popular restaurants have come up with some lunch and dinner sets to get you fed with their yummiest foods for bargain prices. Being that Itaewon’s best restaurants are involved I have of course reviewed them all so if if you want to know more just click on the restaurant name to find out what I really think. (more…)

The Coffee Expo 2016

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It’s that time of year again, a time to get absolutely hopped off your nut on your favourite calorie free caffeine provider coffee. Each year COEX hosts the four day event and exhibit and this year looks to be bigger and better than ever. The coffee extravaganza is being co-organized by COEX and the Korea Coffee Association will be running from Thursday April 14th to Sunday April 17th. This years show is set to be twice the size of last year’s show, which drew more than 33,000 visitors, and will be expanding to both Halls A and B of COEX Mall.

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As usual a different country will be hosting and this year it is Brazil. Which means that there will also be complementary cultural food and drink products, personally I’ve got my fingers crossed for Cachaca rum and coxinhas, a delicious chicken stuffed fried delight that I adored when travelling in Brazil.

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Popular events at this year’s show will include Mint Label, a new product showcase, and the “World Super Barista Championship” , a competition involving some outstanding professional and amateur baristas. If you’ve every had someone turn your cappuccino into a beautiful piece of 3D foamy art, you will know what I’m taking about.

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Expect to hear about all the latest and greatest trends, last year announced Korea’s first Nitro coffee from Bruworks, who knows what wondrous things will be at this years show? If this years expo is anything like the past two years expect to get more free samples of sugary drinks and caffeine filled beverages than you can handle. By the time I left last year I was practically vibrating from the buzz. Thankfully there were lots of tasty food samples like fried chicken and pizza to take the edge off.

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In a nutshell it’s a great place for coffee lovers to try a worlds worth of coffee and the chance to some buy incredibly cheap coffee beans for 1,000 a kilo. You can also get all kinds of high end cooking equipment and sample almost any kind of food or drink that is served at a coffee shop, who doesn’t love free samples! I visited in 2015, and 2014 if you want to learn more about previous shows.

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The 2016 Coffee Expo is on from Thursday April  14th – Sunday April 17th and is located at COEX Hall A.& B. To get there take a train to Samseong Station (line 2) and follow the directions to halls A & B. Tickets are 30,000 for the business days, and 10,000 for visitor days and can be purchased at the event. For more information please visit The Coffee Expo website..

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Casablanca

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One of the best places to eat in my neigbourhood has to be Casablanca, their Moroccan sandwiches are renowned and I really don’t need to share again how amazing they are, but if you haven’t tried one I suggest you go and buy one or two immediately because they are not to be missed! The reason I’m sharing today is because yesterday Casablanca turned 5 years old. The amazing food and warm and welcoming owners have made this small sandwich shop into a community home away from home. To celebrate being open for so long they have completely redecorated and added a couple of new items to the menu, and being a good friend of theirs they invited me down to come and try the new items.

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The first dish we tried was the platter (9,000) which you can have with chicken, lamb, shrimp or veggies. It’s a lot like a deconstructed sandwich just with extra side dishes. The grilled chicken is tender and full of zingy favour, as are the amazing deep fried and battered scoops of potato which are still one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. Pickles, carrots, salad and a bowl of rich lentil soup round out the healthy and filling platter. I can’t imagine anyone not feeling satisfied after this, but if you aren’t you could always have a sandwich on the side.

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Also new to the menu is the Shakshuka (9,000), which is one of my all time favourite dishes and I often make it at home. A couple of eggs are poached in a rich spiced tomato sauce which is studded with minced lamb and a little bit of chili for an extra kick. It’s then served in the tagine dish and topped with a little grated cheese and served with bread. I loved this, it was just so tasty and comforting. I usually make mine with chorizo but I loved the flavour of the spicy lamb. I’d be interested to see what the chicken version tastes like.

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Casablanca is located in Hae Bang Chon at 44-8  Yongsandong 2 -ga, Seoul, Korea. 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. Casablanca is on the left a few doors up from Phillies. You can also call them on 02-797-8367 or check out their facebook page.

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The Royal Food & Drink – Brunch

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You may recall that I did a review of The Royal Food and Drink a couple of weeks ago, but this quaint little restaurant on top of the hill in HBC is quickly becoming one of my new favourite places to eat. Last time I tried the lunch menu, but this time I was there for brunch and I took three of me best friends along with me.

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While we were waiting for the rest of our group to arrive we decided to relax over a couple of cocktails. I ordered the Bloody Mary (8,000), because it’s just not brunch without one. While my good friend Jeanie got the Irish coffee (8,000). Hands down this was the best Irish coffee I had ever tried. So creamy and sweet, it was so good I got a second one for myself!

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To eat I couldn’t resist trying the Green Breakfast (10,000) which included almost all of my favourite things, egg, mushroom, tomato, avocado, spinach, and toast. I truly felt virtuous eating this, all of the ingredients were just so fresh, but utterly delicious. I loved the bread that came with it, and would love to know where they get it from. It’s the perfect healthy brunch choice in my eyes.

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One of my friends ordered the Guacamole Breakfast (9,000) which was the other menu item I had been considering. A bagel smothered in guacamole, egg, bacon, tomato, and cheese is pretty hard to resist, and I was lucky enough to get a bite. Unsurprisingly it was really bloody good, and I loved how much guacamole was on it. Whenever avocado is used at this restaurant, it is not skimped upon!

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Lastly, my other friend got the Breakfast Hash(10,000). It was reasonably similar to my green breakfast, just with a lovely chunky potato and root vegetable hash instead of the fresh cut veggies. The hash had a nice bit of spice, and the egg and toast completed the meal. It was very filling thanks to all the carbs and again excellent for the price.

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As we were having such a great time we got a few more cocktails after we had eaten to wash things down. A Pineapple & Cinnamon Smoothie (6,500) which was fresh and fruity but given a nice flavour by the cinnamon, and a Hendricks and Tonic (8,000), which was very well made and garnished with freshly cut cucumber. I know it’s a such a simple drink but it’s rare to get such a well made one at this price point. One side note is that the service is a tad slow as there are usually only one or two people in the kitchen, but if you aren’t in a hurry then it shouldn’t be a problem. The friendliness of the staff and very reasonable prices more than make up for it, my 2 cocktails and brunch came to a mere 26,000 won, which I thought was amazing.

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The Royal Food & Drink is located at 37, Sinheung-ro 20gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station and come out of exit 2. Walk stright until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the right hand set of stairs. There should be a bus stop right in front of you, wait there for the number 2 green bus and take it through HBC all the way up to to the Haebangchon Ogori and get off when you reach the 5 way intersection. Take the road that is directly to the right of By The Way. Walk down that road for a couple of minutes and you will see The Royal Food & Drink on the left,  it’s a door down from 100 Foodtruck Smoke and Grill. For more information you can call them on 070-7774-4168 or check out their facebook page. They are open from 9am til 12am Tuesday – Sunday.

Jameson’s Giveaway

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Late last year Jameson’s started selling small bottles of their whiskey in the GS mart. If you are fan of convenience store drinking, which lets face it we all are, having a decent range of spirits and mixers is of the utmost importance. Now that the sun is shining I think we are all going to be spending a lot more time outside, and drinking cocktails just makes life so much more enjoyable. Cocktail making is a hobby of mine but I know when you are sat outside of your local mart you may not have the bar of ingredients you have back home so I’ve devised four simple cocktails you can make with what’s in the store.

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Irish Palmer 
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
200mls of Fuze Tea – Peach
100 mls of Sunkist Lemonade
1 ice cup
Directions : Add all the ingredients in order of recipe to the ice cup and stir with your straw.

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Limerick Lemonade
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
150mls of Sunkist Lemonade
150mls of Chilsung Cider
1 ice cup
Directions : Add all the ingredients in order of recipe to the ice cup and stir with your straw.

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Irish Coffee 
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
200ml Starbucks Double Shot
1 ice cup
Directions: Add the whiskey to the ice cup, then the coffee and give it a good stir.

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Celtic Chaos
50mls of Jameson Whiskey
250mls of Hot Six Energy Drink
1 ice cup
Directions: Add the whiskey to the ice cup, then the hot six and give it a good stir.

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To celebrate St. Patrick’s day tomorrow on Thursday the 17th of March Jameson have given me 5 bottles of the stuff to give away to my lucky readers. 2 big bottles and three of the medium ones. To win all you have to do is share this article on social media telling everyone which cocktail you intend to make. Use the hashtag #fatgirljameson to make sure I see your post, and comment at the bottom of this article to ensure you are entered in the draw. I will be picking the lucky winners this Friday, to make sure their weekend goes off with a bang!

Magnolia Bakery

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On almost any best eats list in NYC, one place you can always expect to see is the Magnolia Bakery. The cupcakes were made famous by Sex and the City, though the banana pudding is also well favoured and keeps queues around the block on any given day. Last year in New York I was lucky enough to visit the original location, but since then they have opened up a store in Seoul! (more…)

Sponsored Post – Snapple

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A few months ago I had my first taste of Snapple at Gino’s NY Pizza. For those not in the know Snapple is a New York based soft drink, and quite recently it became available in Korea. To promote this tasty soft drink, Snapple sent me a whole case of the stuff hoping I could make some delicious cocktails for them. Being somewhat of an expert when it comes to making beverages of the alcoholic variety I quite quickly took up their offer. There are eight different flavours of Snapple available in Korea, but I chose my four favourites and turned each of them into a lovely libation. Each one is unique in its own way and complements the naturally sweetened drink. You can of course opt out of the alcohol and drink it the way it was intended, but where is the fun in that? (more…)

Ryunique

Occasionally my life is very charmed, and last week was one of those occasions as I was invited to try the tasting menu at Ryunique in Sinsa. The name rang a bell as it was where the In-N-Out Burger pop up had been located but I had no idea about the restaurant itself. A quick search revealed that it had been voted one of Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2015, in fact it was voted 27th. So after a quick peruse of the menu, I said they could count me in, and as an extra special treat they let me drag TFB along with me.

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McPherson’s BBQ Pub

Unfortunately due to management conflict McPhearson’s BBQ is no longer open. 

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Last week my fellow foodie friend Joe McPherson of Zenkimchi opened up his very first restaurant and I couldn’t be happier for him. Being from Alabama Joe wanted to concentrate on his roots and stick with food he knows good old fashioned BBQ. Now if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know it takes a hell of a lot for me to drag my fat lazy ass across town, but for Joe I made a very special exception. To help me in my review I took my two favourite Southern Girls along with me for a proper American perspective, as the English version of BBQ is somewhat different to the American style. (more…)