Cafe Able

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It has been rather a long time since I posted a new brunch place, in fact I cant even remember the last time I shared one. Although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there looking, I just haven’t found one worth sharing until now. The search for new brunch spots is never ending, but if you want to reap the rewards you have to put in the work. This place was recommended to me by my friend John Kim so I have to say a big thanks to him because it is an excellent find.

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Cafe Able is located just off the end of Garosu-gil in a renovated two story house The whole concept of the place is farm to table freshness and the serve organic fruit and veggies some of which are grown on their own farm. The restaurant itself is huge and very light with a real country chic warmth throughout. I adored all the jars and baskets of jams and candles that they had used to decorate the place. They also had the nicest smelling toilet I’ve ever been in, kind of like a vanilla latte.

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The Cafe Able menu is mostly made of sandwiches and salads but also has half a dozen brunch items. One of them being Eggs Florentine (15,000) which is my favourite brunch dish of all time. This one was served in frying pan which was utterly adorable. My two poached eggs were sat atop a thick and creamy sauce which was strewn with potatoes, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, and bacon. It also came with two pieces of toasted whole grain bread. I adored this dish, it was just so warm and comforting. I lapped up every bite but didn’t feel in the slightest bit heavy afterwards, it was the ideal brunch dish.

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My dining companion opted for the Eggs Benedict (14,000). He chose the ham version which I think he regretted once he saw it and wishes he had gone for the salmon instead. The ham was kind of a round slab, and not really what he was hoping for. The hollandaise was also rather thin and there wasn’t much of it, though I’m sure you could ask for more. The poached eggs themselves were perfect and came on a quinoa bread which I have never tried before. It was slightly sweet and has a very soft texture. The fried potatoes on the side were also very tasty and a small salad. Not the best Benedict as the ham and hollandaise let it down. The salmon version might be worth a try though.

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Booze wise there are no cocktails (boo) but they do have an ample selection of wine and beer (yay). The star of their drinks menu are their huge selection of homemade juices and teas, which seemed to be very popular judging by the other tables. The juices are not cheap at 9,000 each but they are made with organic fruits which somewhat justifies the price tag. We decided to splurge and get one each. My dining companion got the Red Field (apple and beet) while I got the Green Refresh (grape, kale, and cucumber). Both were delicious, and made a nice treat. I make juices a lot at home so it’s unusual for me to buy one, but I was staying off the booze and figured I needed a reward. If you want to drink, bottles of wine start at 23,000. They had a couple of sparkling options so I’m sure they could make you a fantastic freshly squeezed orange juice if you cant live without that mimosa.

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Overall I really enjoyed Cafe Able and I thought my dish was perfect. Seeing what others ordered around us the french toast and the English breakfast looked great too. If they had a cocktail menu I’d be here very week. The space itself is really cool and a wonderful ambience. Sinsa is also a great area for wandering around and walking off your lunch after, so if you are looking for somewhere to refuel after a spot of shopping then this is it.

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Cafe Able is located at 12 Apgujeong-ro,14gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Apgujeong station and come out of exit 5. Walk straight for several blocks and take the fifth road on the left (the one before Garosugil). Walk straight down this road for just over one block, you will see Cafe Able on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-3445-7335.

BCCK – Christmas Lunch

 

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Christmas is by far and away my favourite time of year and nothing excites me more than a fabulous Christmas party. The food, the booze, the sequins, its just the thing to induce some seasonal merriment into your year. In Korea the Christmas party hasn’t really taken off in the way it has back home, where let’s face it they are practically mandatory at this point. However luckily for us the BCCK is hosting their Christmas Lunch on December 2nd at the Four Seasons Hotel. The lunch which is from 11:30-3:00pm, cost 165,000 per person, or a cool 1.6 million for a table of ten. So feel free to bring a few friends.

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The luncheon will begin with a champagne reception before moving on to tradition Christmas lunch, then carolling and a chance to dance when DJ Fenner hits the Decks. The final menu is a bit of surprise but expect at least four courses and plenty of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce along with other British favourites. As with all BCCK events the booze will be free flow, so feel free to drink thew bar dry, it’s Friday after all, and at the Christmas party it’s customary to get carried away.

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Not only is the luncheon a chance to kick back and enjoy some seasonal merriment, it also an opportunity to give a little something back. Every year companies such as British Airways, Jaguar, Land Rover, Burberry, Jo Malone and many more generously donate a whole host of gifts which are then raffled off. Last years raffle raised over 50 million won and was donated to a very worthy cause. So be sure to bring plenty of cash with you for the raffle and your credit card for the silent auction, it will be a great chance to do some Christmas shopping.

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This year I will be hosting a table at the Christmas lunch, so if you would like to join me get your Christmas party on, be sure to mention that you want to be seated on the FAT GIRL TABLE when you fill out your registration form. To reserve your ticket please visit the BCCK website and download the reservation form and transfer your money to the BCCK bank account Standard Chartered Bank, 100-20-260583.

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The BCCK Christmas lunch is being held on Friday December 2nd 11:30am-3pm at the Grand Ballroom in the Four Seasons Hotel at 97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gwanghwamun Station (line 5) and come out of exit 7. Walk straight and cross over the street, you should see the hotel in front of you. For more information or to reserve your tickets for the ball please visit the BCCK website or email rsvp@bcck.or.kr. Merry Christmas!

Omyrose at Seoul Dining

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Last week I was invited to an event to promote a new range of Korean liquors called Omyrose, which are made by J.K Lee with  omija berries grown right here in Korea. Now I think we all know how much I enjoy a drink, and the prospect of trying something new was very enticing to me. The event was held at Seoul Dining, a new restaurant in the Dongguk university area. The slick and sleek restaurant has only been open for a month but it exuded a warm and welcoming high end atmosphere.

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We started out the night with a glass of the Korean Omyrose sparkling wine. The sparkling wine has a rather lovely pink hue to it that really reminded me of a kir royal cocktail. The wine itself was a touch sweet with a slightly bitter finish but I rather enjoyed it, and quaffed quite a few glasses to say the least. The sparkling wine was paired with raw cooked scallops with apple and sesame oil, in a mussel sauce, which was light and delicate taste of the sea. It was a nice contrast against the heady flavour of the wine.

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Our next drink was The Omyrose rosé (try saying that after a few too many). Again  the wine was slightly sweet from the berries but it had a very buttery finish. I’ve never been into dry wines so I was quite enamored with his one too. The rosé was paired with several dishes but for the most memorable being  a pumpkin and potato soup, cauliflower quinoa, and squid ceviche, The warm and comforting soup was so silky it felt like a pair of loving arms wrapping itself around your heart. While the squid ceviche provided a refreshing kick and some extra texture. It was the ideal autumnal dish.

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After a couple of other of courses including grey mullet, and confit chicken leg, it was time to move on to the stronger liquors. First was the oaky finish omija liquor. It was strong and we were given a glass of ice to pour it over. This to me tasted like the love child of a tequila and a scotch, probably due to the oak flavour from the barrel. This one was a bit too intense for me, though I’m rarely into drinking straight liquor.  I’d love to see what it tasted like in a cocktail though.

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The liquor was served with my favourite dish of the meal, char-grilled Iberico pork pluma, with onion and anchovy pesto. Just one bite of the tender grilled pork was enough to make me fall in love with this dish. The meat just oozed flavour. When talking with the Chef Eric, he told me he first started making this dish in Portugal when working in a restaurant there, and it is now his signature dish. I can see why as it was absolutely delicious.

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After the incredible pork we finished with a shot of the white liquor, a clear version of the one we enjoyed before and the most expensive of the bunch, though it does come in a rather beautiful bottle. This one was served straight up in a shot glass, but again I just found it too strong to enjoy neat. Along with the liquor we served espresso and a deconstructed tiramisu which was a very enjoyable way to end the meal.

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Overall I was really impressed by the Omyrose wines, and its great to see a new high end brand of Korean liquors, as they make especially good gifts. For anyone interested in Omyrose it is available in Shinsaegae and other large department stores and costs between 50,000 – 360,000 per bottle. I also really enjoyed the set dinner prepared by Seoul Dining. I took a look at their menu before I left and found that the 7 course dinner cost 77,000 and thought it to be very reasonably. It featured an excellent mix of Korean ingredients presented in the style of modern western cooking. It would be the perfect location for any special occasion.

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Seoul Dining is located at 272, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Dongguk University Station (line 3) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight for about 100 meters, you will see the Welcome City building ahead of you on the right hand side. Walk up the stairs and you will see the Seoul Dining restaurant on your right. For more information or to make a reservation you can call them on 010-3586-8061. They are open from Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Thanksgiving Guide 2016

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Woo hoo,  the holidays are upon us and that means turkey, lashings and lashings of turkey. Now being British we don’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m on board with any holiday that revolves around food, so Thanksgiving is always an event worth celebrating in my book. Now its usually around this time of year that we miss our loved ones back home the most, them and the copious amounts of sumptuous seasonal food that we get to enjoy. And although you might be missing out on your mums cooking, you can still get a darn good turkey dinner at a number of Seoul’s restaurants.

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Phillies – HBC home away from home will be hosting an American Thanksgiving on Friday the 25th of November. Their Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey, mash, cranberries, stuffing, pie, etc, and a glass of wine, beer, or Merry Down cider all for the bargain price of 25,000 won per person. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance at the bar.

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The Beastro – From Thursday November 24th- Saturday November 26th you can get a 3 course roast turkey dinner with a glass of wine or beer is 55,000 won. The full menu hasn’t been declared yet but last years dinner included butternut squash bisque, a Thanksgiving platter of roasted turkey, seasonal vegetables, mashed potato, stuffing, house made cranberry sauce, gravy, a choice of salad or mac and cheese and Pumpkin Pie with spiced whipped cream for dessert. I’m a huge fan of this restaurant and I have no doubt that their turkey platter will be just as good as all the rest of their food. Reservations are recommended you can call them on 02-334-2500.

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WinK –  From Thursday November 24th- Sunday November 27th you can get a thanksgiving dinner plate with a beer or mulled cocktail for 29,000. The plate will include turkey, sausage and apple stuffing, roast garlic mashed potatoes, home style gravy, green beans with walnut pesto, 4 Mac & Cheese, red wine cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. There will be two seating for each night one at 6pm and one at 8pm. And for those of you who really want to celebrate they have an all you can drink option for an extra 10,000-20,000. Reservations are recommended you can call them on 02-6053-3429.

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Southside Parlour – For those who want a little bit of southern flair and some finger lickin goodness to their TG celebrations head on down to one of my favourite cocktail bars. The Texans will be serving BBQ spiced turkey, apple pecan stuffing, cranberry hibiscus relish, smoked gravy, cornmeal fried okra, chorizo Mac & Cheese, bacon braised green beans, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, citrus glazed carrots, berry cobbler and a seasonal cocktail of your choice for 39,000. There are two seating available 6-8pm or 8:30-10:30pm. Seats must be reserved  in advance via their facebook event page.

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Dominic – On Thursday 24th of November Dominic will be serving up a delicious gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner for 50,000 per person. The menu includes deep fried turkey, apple pork belly, beet apple bacon stuffing, caramelized onion Mac n Cheese, mashed potato, creamed spinach on brioche and tiramisu crunch. There will be one seating from 7:00-8:30pm. To reserve a spot contact them via their facebook page.

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Bull and Barrel – On Thursday November 24th & Sunday November 27th Bull & Barrel will be serving up their annual all you can eat buffet. You can stuff yourself ’til you pop for 40,000 per person. The buffet includes an alcoholic beverage, turkey, ham, sausage and onion stuffing, mashed & roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, gravy, mac & cheese and pumpkin pie! There are two seating on Thursday 24th of November one at 6 – 8 pm, and another from 8:30 -10:30 pm. While on Sunday the 27th of November there are three seatings, the first from 3 – 5 pm, the second from 5:30 -7:30 pm, and the third from 8 – 10 pm. You can reserve your table via text message on 010-9982-2423 or by messaging them via their facebook page.

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Route 66 – Will be celebrating with their 3rd Thanksgiving dinner! 56 tickets will be available. Cash only and you can pick them up at the bar. First come, first served until tickets are sold out! The 35,000 dinner includes a drink,  turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, 66’s sweet potato casserole, grilled veggies, buffalo chicken dip, rolls, pumpkin and apple pie w/vanilla ice cream!

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The Four Seasons – For those who want to keep it classy on such a fine occasion The Market Kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel will be serving up a special Thanksgiving Themed buffet on Thursday the 24th which includes whole roast turkey, whole roast lamb, pumpkin pie and much much more. The dinner starts at 5:30pm and costs 100,000 won per person. They will also have Turkey Dinner To Go packages available from the 24th of November – 31st of December for those who want to dine at home without the work. Their package which costs 220,000 includes 5-6kg roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, roast sweet pumpkin, green beans, glazed carrots, grilled corn, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, and pumpkin pie.

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For those of you who like to enjoy your turkey in the comfort of your own home you can get one delivered right  to your doorstep from  High Street Market. The turkey dinner includes a juicy 12-14 pound turkey, 2kg of mashed potato, 8 cups of brown gravy, 1kg of green bean almondine, turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce and stollen. The dinners serve between 10-12 people and cost 229,000. There are also are options available with roast beef, lamb, pork, and ham. Dinners must be ordered in advance. See their website for more details.

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Vatos Urban Collective – For those not remotely interested in Turkey then Drinksgiving at Votos could be just the event you are looking for. The all you can drink event held on Friday November 25th from 7pm-11pm is an alcoholic extravaganza. Tickets include carnitas tacos, chips and unlimited drinks made by each featured bartender. There will also be a bar tending competition where you can vote for your favourite drink. Tickets cost 33,000 if you pre register and 40,000 on the door. See their facebook event page for more details.

If none of these options float your boat, then do not despair, there are more dinners to be had. I have been in contact with several other restaurants who plan to offer specials but haven’t finalised their menus yet. So stay tuned!

BCCK Pub Night

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Winter has come early to Korea, and what we all all frankly need, is a nice cosy night in a lovely warm pub, with some proper British comfort food. Luckily for us the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea is hosting just such a night on November 17th at the Broughtons bar located inside the British Embassy. If you’ve always wondered what goes on behind the gates of the British Embassy, now is your chance to find out. Personally I imagine its a lot of people drinking endless cups of tea while chatting about the latest winner of The Great British Bake Off. Usually the Broughton’s bar is only open on Fridays to their members, but on BCCK pub night it’s open to all, if you are willing to buy a ticket which are priced at 30,000 for members and 40,000 for non members.

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The host of the BCCK Pub night changes with each event, but this time is none other than my favourite British Bar, Bulldogs. The Bulldogs team will be whipping up a fabulous feast of Sausage, Mash and Gravy, Honey Mustard Chicken, Scotch Eggs, Garden Salad and Coleslaw. Having eaten it before on many occasions, i can attest to the fact its the perfect meal to warm your belly on a cold wintry night.

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It wouldn’t be pub night without some drinks, and this events bar is being sponsored by Brewdog beer, Savanna cider, and Patron tequila. This is a free bar so feel free to drink until your heart is content and your cockles have been warmed. Just don’t forget that it’s a school night. And as with all BCCK events there will be a free raffle with lots of fabulous prizes from their sponsors, so don’t forget to drop your business card into the bowl.

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The British Pub Night is being held at Broughton’s Bar, British Embassy, 24, Sejong-daero 19-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul.
on November 17th at 6:30pm.  Tickets cost 40,000 won and must be purchased by November 11th at 12pm. You can RSVP via the BCCK website or email rsvp@bcck.or.kr for more information.

Cre8 Cookies

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I’ve been known to enjoy a cookie or two from time to time, although I wouldn’t say I eat them that often. When it comes to sweet treats cookies are generally at the back of the line, I’d choose a brownie or slice of red velvet any day of the week. But after seeing the numerous photos of the Cre8 Cookies from friends and other bloggers, I couldn’t resist going to see what all the fuss was about.

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Cre8 cookies is located in one of the tiny alleyways off the main street in Gyeongridan, and is dangerously close to my home. When I was walking to get there I could smell the place a good few minutes before I saw it, it was heavenly. The shop itself is cute, pink, and totally adorable. I was lucky enough to arrive just as the cookies were being brought out of the oven, it was incredibly good timing on my part.

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There are currently nine different cookies on the menu, although seasonal specials seem to be added all the time. For those who want to sit in, there is also an array of hot drinks available. The cookies on the menu vary from 1,900 – 2,500 each. I oped for the Peanut Butter (1,900), Double Chocolate Chip (2,000), and a Red Velvet (3,000), which was a special for Halloween. The server also very kindly gave me an MnM cookie on the house because they didn’t have any of the stuffed cookies ready.

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All of the cookies were especially delicious, the peanut butter which was still warm from the oven just melted in mouth, while the double chocolate had a rich cocoa flavour which is sure to please all chocolate lovers. However my favourite of the bunch had to be the red velvet, oh my god was this good. I nearly killed TFB after I found he had eaten a rather large portion of it whilst I wasn’t looking. The cookie itself was studded with white chocolate cream cheese swirls that just danced upon the taste buds. It was so, so, good. I wish I had bought a dozen of them.

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Honestly I cant wait to go back and try more of these fantastic cookies especially the stuffed ones, I have certainly been converted into being a cookie lover, and I am thrilled it’s so close to my house. This is the perfect way to add on a few extra pounds to keep me warm this winter. One tip if you are coming from afar and want to avoid disappointment, you can pre-order your cookies via their facebook page. Some of the large stuffed cookies like the Nutella and coffee marshmallow ones need a little extra time to be made so have to be ordered in advance.

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Cre8 Cookies is located at 36 Hoenamuro, 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, go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow this road around passing the church and Paris Baguette, walk up the hill towards the Hyatt and you will see Cre8 Cookies in an alleyway on your right. For more information you can call them on 02-792-8890 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am -9pm.

Pub of the Month – The Wolfhound

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It’s time for another pub of the month. A chance to reacquaint yourselves with an old favourite that you we might have all forgotten about after being seduced by all the new hot spots that have been opening . This Month it is Seoul’s beloved Irish Pub, The Wolfhound.  I will always have a huge fondness for The Wolfhound in Itaewon as its where I first met my darling TFB, he was watching rugby, I was drinking cider, it’s a love story to rival Romeo and Juliet. Back in my Cheongju days it was my group’s home base when coming up to Seoul. We would hit it up on a Saturday night, then reconvene again on Sunday lunch time and feast upon fry ups before heading back home to the ‘ju’. There was no place I’d rather be on Sunday Funday, and although I don’t party quite as much as I used to, it’s good to know its always there and open 365 days a year..

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As you might expect the two floored pubs sells everything you could dream of and more liquor wise at very reasonable prices. They were also one of the only pub bars to make a decent cocktail back in the days before mixologists and speakeasies became all the rage. Their drinks aren’t fancy but I’ve always been fond of their strawberry lemonade, it’s a super sweet and sour frozen treat.

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Their ample menu is made up of the usual Itaewon pub fare like wings and burgers, along with all those dishes your mammy used to make you for tea like bangers and mash, toad in the hole, shepherd’s pie, beef and mushroom pie, and Irish stew. As well as their regular menu they have a food special happening every week night, and the best of the bunch is by far and away their 1+1 Fish and chips on Tuesdays! Now Seoul is seriously lacking in good fish and chips , often the fish is good but the chips, well they aren’t chips. The Wolfhound does their version with potato wedges and for 7,000 per person its probably the tastiest bargain around.

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2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Wolfhound, and for an Itaewon restaurant and bar to last that long is quite an achievement. They have recently renovated the third floor and added a new pool table, electronic darts, and beer pong. They will also be having a huge party at the end of the year to mark the very special occasion. But you don’t need to wait until then, tomorrow (Saturday the 29th) they will be hosting their annual Halloween Party. It is without fail one of the best events in the neighbourhood and is always packed to the rafters, probably due to their very generous 1.5 million won cash prize for their costume contest, so be sure to look out for me (I’ll be dressed as a unicorn). Happy Halloween!

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The Wolfhound is located at 128-6 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Turn back on yourself, and  take a right at the intersection and then the first right after that. Walk along this street, The Wolfhound is located on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-7971 or checkout their facebook page.

Fire Bell

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Whenever anyone makes a restaurant recommendation to me, I add it to a list on my phone, and Fire Bell has been on that list for well over a year and a half. The south of the river burger joint is widely regarded as one of, if not the best burger in Seoul. Its not that I haven’t wanted to try it, its just that it is all the way down in Daechi-dong and until now I’ve just been to lazy to drag my fat arse over there.

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Well as luck would have it, TFB was taking part in a charity soccer match in that very area. I don’t usually give him much support in his sporting endeavours, so I thought it was about time I stood by my man, and if I managed to get a burger at the same time, well that was killing two birds with one stone.

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As the name suggests Fire bell has a kind of fire station theme going on. The place is completely decked out in red and white check, all the burgers are aptly named within the theme and there are tonnes of cute and quirky decorating touches like this adorable break in case of fire, toasted marshmallow kit.

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As you may or may not know I don’t really enjoy the patties of american burgers. For me they just seem lacking. I am looking for a burger that makes me go Mmmm when I bite into it, a burger so tasty I have to buy another one straight after. Not a tall order you would imagine, but so far I’ve yet to find a 10/10 burger here in Seoul. After perusing the menu I opted for the Rookie (7,000). I decided to stick with the classic so I could really rate the burger for itself and not its toppings. First things first, the bun was delicious, by far the best bun tried, the cheese and grilled onions were as expected but just something was a bit lacking in the patty itself. Although for the price, and someone less picky than I, a solid choice.

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We also gtr a second burger, the Call 911(9,000) which was topped with american cheese, spicy sauce, tomato, jalapeno, and lettuce and I cant say that I enjoyed it. Even TFB, who likes hot sauce on everything, found the heat to completely overwhelm any taste of the burger. It was a poor choice on his part, also mine, as I rarely let him choose for himself and I wish I had forced him into ordering one of the others instead. We made this one a set for an extra 4,000 which is incredibly reasonable. We got a half portion of twisty fries which I thought made a nice change and a sprite. I wasn’t really in the mood for a milkshake that day, but the menu had a nice selection and looked pretty good from what i could see.

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Although I wasn’t that crazy for the burgers here, I still wanted to share it as hey, it’s very well priced and there really inst a lot of competition in the area. It’s similar to Brooklyn Burger and Gilbert Burger. Gilbert burger is easily my favourite of the three, though I found Fire Bell to be better than Brooklyn. And price wise its the best of the bunch. I can’t say it was worth the trip across town for me, but it seems as though I’m incredibly hard to please when it comes to burgers, and I’d more than likely go again if I was in the neighbourhood.

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Fire Bell is located 13 Seolleung-ro 72-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Solleung Station (line 2) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight for maybe 5 blocks and then take a left, its a little way down this street..  For more information you can call them on 02-6489-0041, or check out their facebook. They are open everyday except Mondays from 11:30am – 9:30pm.

Misstakeroom

 

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Living in Itaewon, I had walked past Misstakeroom on at least a dozen occasions over the past few months and always thought it looked like a cute and quirky spot to enjoy a drink. I was always drawn by the cool style of the place exudes, but had never ventured inside. However if I had, I would have found out that is home to the cheesiest, meltiest, yumminess ever. and that I had seriously been missing out by not taking a look inside. Luckily for me there were plenty of other people who did, and I soon added it to my list of places to try.

Just look at that cheese go, isn’t it incredible? The cute and quirky restaurant has plenty of seating, and the large open facade makes it the perfect spot to enjoy the glorious fall weather. The menu is quite small with Raclette (cow’s milk swiss cheese) being the star of the show. The first thing we decided to order was the Burger & Raclette Cheese (18,000), because let’s face it, who doesn’t want their burger smothered in a a river of melted cheese! The burger itself was pretty tasty, more akin to a European style than the smashed down american patties that are popular these days. It came topped with bacon and American cheese and with a side of fried potato chunks and pickles. and made for a very cheesey burger.

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The other menu item that stood out to me was the skewers. They come in three varieties, beef, chicken, or shrimp. We got the chicken (23,000). Our skewers turned up and our server proceeded to scrape the mesmerising flow of cheese lava on to our plate. It was pretty awesome. It’s hard to tell from the photo but the grilled chicken came with bread, roast potatoes, pumpkin and veggies. The meat and vegetables were nice enough although If they marinated them in more flavourful blend of spices or sauce they could really amp up the flavour of this dish. I also feel they should add a few more menu items that make the most of this gorgeous flow of cheese. Either way it is certainly a fun place to go for dinner the next time you are in Itaewon.

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Misstakeroom is located at 72-17 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Turn back on yourself and go right, then take the first right turn after that by the bank. Walk straight down this street. Misstakeroom is on the left hand side just after you pass The Wolfhound. For more information you can call them on 02-794-8411.

WinK Kitchen & Taphouse

A few weeks ago I was invited back to WinK  to come and try their new menu. It had been some time since my last visit so I was curious to see what was new.  The Gyodae pub has been open for over a year and a half now and they have recently hired a new chef who has revamped their menu. While they are still serving their popular classic dishes, he has also added his own personal flair and flavour to the menu.

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One of the new dishes is the Spicy Pork Belly Sandwich (9,500). I love a slab of juicy pork between my lips so really couldn’t resist giving this a try. Housed in a long soft roll was a a melt in the mouth piece of pork belly that was soft as butter. This is very important when putting it in a sandwich as you don’t want to get through the bread and have trouble biting through the meat. The Thai glaze smothering the meat is advertised as spicy and it certainly hits that note. Inside the sandwich were pickled radish and carrots, cucumber, and cilantro which provided a sour and refreshing crunch to cut through the spice. If the sauce was slightly less spicy this would be a an absolute knock out for me.

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Since it first opened, WinK has always been popular for its burger selection.  All the burgers are on the hearty side and very filling and I ordered the biggest of the bunch The Mega Burger (14,000), which kind of made me feel like I was at the Peach Pitt in Beverly Hills 90210. This burger has everything but the kitchen sink on it but it really works. Housed inside the buttered bun is a 150g whole beef patty, pulled pork, several kinds of cheese, egg, avocado, lettuce onions, tomato, and mayo. Burger purists may not agree but I loved the combination of flavours, and any bite that included that oozy egg yolk was a winner for me.

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Also on the menu are plenty of topped fries, and our favourite was the Loaded Fries (8,900). Although nothing groundbreaking in culinary terms, the fries topped with cheese, bacon and sour cream were quite hard to resist, and we didn’t leave many on the plate.

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As with any good pub, the drinks remain cheap and cheerful. They have a variety of Platinum ales on tap and plenty of mixed cocktails all ranging from 5,000 – 9,000 won. The lemon drop was probably my favourite whereas my companions enjoyed the mocha stout. If you live south of the river and are looking for a good time, it is certainly worth stopping by.

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WinK is located at 2F, 1576-6, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Seoul National University of Education (lines 2 & 3). Come out of exit 14 and walk straight, WinK is about 100 meters down the street on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-6053-3429 or check out their facebook page.

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