Tag: 이태원

The Royal Food & Drink

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One thing you can say about HBC is that there are plenty of coffee shops. But sadly one of the best and longest running coffee shops D’espresso closed down a few months ago, which was a bit of a shame as they had started making some really awesome smoothies and sandwiches. But the good news is they are still in HBC, they just moved way up the hill and reopened as The Royal Food & Drink. (more…)

Cha Chaan Teng

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Chinese is without a doubt my favourite cuisine, I adore it and would almost certainly choose it as my last meal on earth. However trying to find good Chinese food in Seoul is far harder than it should be considering China is practically our neighbour. So when I saw that Cha Chaan Teng had opened I immediately went to give it a try. (more…)

Original Pancake House

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A few weeks ago I was walking down Itaewon High Street and saw that yet another a new restaurant was being built, when I saw that it was a pancake place I didn’t pay much attention, but I quickly found out that the new opening of the Original Pancake House was a very big deal indeed, or at least to my American friends. Original Pancake House is located in the old Burger King location just underneath Coffeesmith, I believe they also have a location in Sinsa too, though I’ve never ventured there myself as I’m not overly keen on pancakes. Personally I like to start my day with something savoury, the thought of eating cake soaked in syrup before my eggs always sends a shiver down my spine, and they always seem too stodgy and filling to eat as dessert. But since they went to the effort of opening a restaurant here in Itaewon, It would have been rude of me not to give it a try. (more…)

Gino’s NY Pizza

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Last summer I met a man in a pub. We soon got chatting about food and travel and the conversation swiftly moved on to the pizza in New York. Now I’m no expert but I certainly did try my fair share of slices whilst I was in the Big Apple early last year, and I’ve been craving one of those super skinny cheese topped goodies ever since. As we continued to chat, Eugene revealed to me that he was getting into the pizza business himself and was currently on the lookout for premises in the Itaewon area to open up his own New York Style Pizzeria. I was as happy as a clam upon hearing the news, despite the fact that there’re about 8 pizza restaurants on every corner of the neigbourhood, most of them leave a lot to be desired. So I waited, and waited and waited, until finally, about 6 months later, I heard that Gino’s was to open its doors, and the second I came back from Bali I accepted Eugene’s kind invitation to come and give it a try on the house. (more…)

Gilbert’s Burger & Fries

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In Itaewon burgers are ten a penny, there’s a burger on just about every menu in town. However great burgers, true OMG just one bite and I’m in heaven kind of burgers, well those are rarer than a virgin on Hooker Hill. Don’t get me wrong there are some good burgers to be had, I’m a big fan of Left Coast and Phillies, but I’m still searching for a true 10 out of 10 burger. For me a 10/10 burger warrants an almighty Mmm after I bite into it, the perfect mingling of bun, meat, sauce, cheese and salad, a burger that’s so good I want to eat another one straight after, and if the price is right I usually do. For me in Seoul that burger no longer exists, Burger B in its heyday was there, but on subsequent visits the quality has never been the same. Reilly’s when it first opened also did a 25 dollar burger that was of epic proportions and so tasty I practically inhaled it. My three favourites now are the Juicy Lucy at Left Coast, the Sid 2.0 at Sid Burger or the cheese burger at Phillies, but the search for my perfect burger still continues.

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I’d always heard good things about Gilbert Burger, run by a previous owner of Brooklyn Burger, but the fact the locations were a wee bit far away put me off going. So when I found out that a Gilbert Burger had opened up in Itaewon, well, I knew my time had come to give it a try. I have to confess I didn’t really have much in the way of expectations. I figured they would be very similar to Brooklyn Burger which I always find has a strange iron-y taste, but still the die hard burger fan inside me couldn’t resist.

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I took two visits to Gilbert Burger, on my first visit I tried the 5oz Mr President (12,500). I tried to make it a set but was informed I couldn’t have a half portion of fries because I wanted a milkshake and not a soda. a bit silly to say the least. The burger was topped with sharp cheddar, red onion, tomato, dill pickle, romaine lettuce, bacon and horseradish mayo. No Mmm factor but pretty good, a nice medley of toppings on it and I adored the horseradish mayo. When I bit into the beef burger by itself though it was tasteless, way under-seasoned. It needed all the extra crap on it to make it tasty that’s for sure. No yucky taste in the meat so a plus. Not the best burger in the world but good, I figured they deserved a second chance.

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The Vanilla Coconut Milkshake (7,500)  I had on the side was a nice blend of creamy coconutiness. It was a nice shake but I cant say it was really worth its hefty price tag like the Nutella & Burnt Marshmallow at Brooklyn Burger, this one just seemed nowhere near as special.

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On my second visit I got the 5oz Gilbert (10,500). This one was topped with American cheese, red onion, tomato, lettuce, bacon, fried egg, and a homemade sauce. I really enjoyed it and this time the beef burger was actually seasoned. It was a bit sloppy with the oozy egg, and the sauce was a tad too spicy but overall this one was pretty darn good, no Mmm, but good. . One thing also to mention is that Gilbert Burger cooks their burger to medium, which personally I prefer but if you don’t then you’d better let them know. I managed to get a set this time for an extra 5,000. The fries were just your standard ones you seem to get everywhere. I also got a can of peach ice tea, which was delicious and one of my new favourite drinks, thanks America.

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I think on the whole I can get on board with the new Gilbert Burger, and I will certainly return, but for me I’m still looking for the kind of gourmet burger I’d get back in England. My main problem with burgers here, is that I don’t care so much for the 100% beef patty that Americans seem to love, shake shack and In n out, I just couldn’t give a fig about. I’m European and we like onions in our burgers, lots of seasoning and maybe even just a tiny pinch of herbs and spices. But overall I enjoyed the burgers at Gilbert’s, I’d give them a solid 8/10 but the search for Seoul’s perfect burger continues.

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Gilbert’s Burger & Fries is located at 2F, 55-2 Noksapyeong-Daero 40-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and exit using the lift. Walk over the bridge, and turn right, follow the road around past Coreanos and Manimal until you get to the GS. Turn left at the GS and walk slightly up the hill, you will see Gilbert’s Burger & Fries just ahead on the right. For more information you can call them on 02-792-7676. they are open everyday from 11:30am – 9:30pm.

McCoy’s

A few days ago I got invited by a friend to come and try McCoy’s in Haebangchon. He had declared that it was an absolute gem of a place and a real find. I had heard a few mutterings on the grapevine about it, so my interest was certainly piqued but I honestly didn’t have my hopes that set that high. However since the dinner was on the house I figured it was worth a try. (more…)

Mozzie

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A few weeks ago I shared with you brand new Kiwi/Ozzy restaurant Mozzie. And after such a good meal on our first visit we vowed to go back. So when I received an invitation  to try a couple of other menu items on the house, it was impossible to refuse.

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Whenever we see lamb on a menu it is usually not resisted and that night was no exception, there’s a rack of lamb and a lamb shank available at Mozzie, but since we had eaten rack of lamb at the Park Hyatt a few days prior we settled on the Lamb Shank Redemption (28,000). The dish came with two quite hunking lamb shanks, sauteed potatoes, and a side salad. The fact there were two lamb shanks on the plate made it perfect for sharing and they were tender as hell. The fried potatoes on the plate were also deliciously crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle, dipped into the rich gravy on the side I was in comfort food heaven. My only gripe would be to serve it with vegetables rather than salad, not that the salad wasn’t good it would just make more sense to have a hot side.

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The second dish we decided to get was the Crikey Chicken (18,000) as it came so highly recommended from the next table. When it came out I could see why, a huge chicken breast stuffed with with cheese and ham and served with a delightful creamy sauce style gravy. The chicken was served with the same delicious fried potatoes that we had with the lamb. One thing you can certainly say about Mozzie is that you definitely get a lot of food for your money, when the food comes out you kind of wonder how you’ll manage to finish it, but I haven’t left a morsel of food yet.

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It was a very chilly night so we had a couple of hot Toddy’s to warm us up (10,000). Made with Jameson and some lemon and honey syrup these were pretty darn tasty, the only thing they were missing was a clove studded piece of lemon and a slick of cinnamon. They’ve got all the ingredients to make some very good cocktails they just need to work on making them a little bit prettier.

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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 theirfacebook page. Mozzie is open every day from 5pm-12am.

Mozzie

Mozzie is brand spanking new New Zealand bar attached to the new I.T.W. hotel . Located up on hooker hill just opposite Old Town, it’s a sign of more of the regeneration that even the most depraved parts of Itaewon are set to see. The large sleek and elegant restaurant fills the space well with its insatiably long bar which is divided between coffee, spirits, wine and beer. The restaurant also boasts a large patio which is set to have a large communal  table and chairs for those who want to dine alfresco.

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For opening weekend all the draft beers were on a  1+1 special so TFB got himself a couple of Pilsner Urquells (8,800) which he enjoyed immensely. Not being a beer lover myself I was more interested in the liquor. As the place only just opened there isn’t a cocktail list yet, but they have a full bar and after expressing an interest in anything made with fruit and vodka, owner Simon brought me back a long blackcurrant soda and vodka drink (10,000) which tasted just like my Naughty Ribena cocktail.

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The menu is made up of a mix of classic home style meat and two veg dishes like shepherd’s pie, rack of lamb, steak and sausages. In other words, proper comfort food that is just perfect for this time of year. After a gazing over the options we decided to try the Great Barrier Reef Fish & Chips (11,500). At just over 11 dollars this is a very cheap fish and chips and I was very interested to see how it fared. There were two generous sized pieces of fish coated in a nice light beer batter and a banging little tar tar sauce on the side for dipping. I had hopes that the chips would be home made but I guess that old Korean potato problem rears its ugly head once again. I asked about the possibility of mushy peas but was told this is a Kiwi bar and not English so they wouldn’t be serving them, but they do have peas on the menu so perhaps you could still get a side order.

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As well as the fish and chips we tried the Captain Cooker Chops (16,500). I adore pork chops, especially my Grandmother’s so was so thrilled to see them on the menu. I’ve always been saddened that despite Korea’s love of pork this isn’t a cut of meat that’s widely sold. When the dinner arrived we were served up two huge pork chops, a mound of mashed potatoes, a generous serving of peas and a puddle of gravy. This was a huge dinner and you’d be hard pushed not to be filled up by this. The pork chops themselves while humongous were on the tough side, they were quite lean on the fat so that may have dried them out. We relayed our comments to the owner and were told they are still working on some of the recipes and he would talk to his chef. Other that it was a good hearty meal. This is proper comfort food that you’d have at home on a week night for dinner. Nothing fancy, just meat, potatoes, and veg. I also appreciated the generosity with the gravy, I like a lot and they weren’t shy in it giving it to me.

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Overall I like what Mozzie is doing and I’d like to try a few more of the dishes on the menu. On the whole the food is very cheap, the most expensive dish on the menu is 31,000 but most of the dishes fall way below the 20,000 mark. Although it’s not a British bar, it’s serving lots of the home cooked food that I grew up eating so for that alone it’s a winner for me.

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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.

Brera – Brunch

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I love brunch. I don’t know why but it just seems so much more special than lunch for some reason. The combination of breakfast foods and booze is really hard not to love. Now the thing about brunch is that I am always desperate to try someplace new, I hate returning to the same places time and time again, despite how good they may be. So when I found out that one of my favourite Italian restaurants had a brunch menu, I couldn’t resist giving it a try.

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Lobster Bar

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I’e been a fan of Lobster Bar pretty much since they opened. They have been operating for just over a year or so now, and in that time I’ve managed to try all of the sandwiches and their whole lobster. In the past few months they have been making some changes and adding new items to the menu, and they were super keen to get my opinion on them. It’s not often that I get the chance to take my man out for lobster, so I of course accepted their very kind invitation. (more…)