Tag: American

Guilty Pleasure

It has been quite some time since I last enjoyed a brunch at Guilty Pleasure in Itaewon. However when some of my favourite people suggested we get together for a catch up before Christmas, I thought it would be the perfect spot for a boozy brunch.

The main draw of Guilty Pleasure to me is the fact that it had outdoor seating, and thanks to their crafty roof cover and some space heaters it can be enjoyed year round. There is also seating inside but I always think its a bit too dark and dingy inside for a day time meal.  The menu has changed somewhat since my last visit, which isn’t surprising as it’s been well over a year. Unfortunately there is still no Bloody Mary on the brunch menu, which saddens a vodka lover like myself, but thankfully they do have a mimosa which I enjoyed instead (12,000).

I couldn’t make up my mind between the pancakes and the breakfast burger so we decided to get both and share. The ricotta pancakes came with house smoked bacon, honey comb butter, bacon syrup, and fruit compote  (16,000). The pancakes were big and fluffy and the there was plenty of syrup for them. The bacon which I had sampled before with the brunch platter was just as nice as I remembered and this was a great dish to keep the sweet toothed happy. It was also incredibly filling, I couldn’t even manage my half and I can eat a lot!

My second shared dish was the Guilty Burger (17,000). A beef patty, hash brown, swiss cheese, american cheese, thick cut bacon, lettuce, chipotle aioli on a rye bread bun. I was very excited by this burger especially when I saw how glorious the hash brown looked. However the burger didn’t taste as good as it looked, despite the line up of stellar ingredients. It wasn’t bad in anyway, just lacking for a better word and it did little to tantalise my taste buds. The coleslaw on the side was pretty decent but I probably wouldn’t order this again.

My very fussy friend ordered the Duck prosciutto & Scrambled Eggs (16,000) for his main dish. Truffle scrambled eggs were piled on toasted baguette and topped with duck prosciutto, smoked ham,  and grana padano cheese. I’m not particularly fond of either prosciutto,duck, or scrambled eggs so this probably would be the very last dish I would ever order. However I was forced to give it a try after my companion took one bite and proclaimed he didn’t like it. I actually thought it was delicious, a real standout. The eggs were fluffy and the ducky prosciutto smoky without being over salty and the smell of truffle permeated the air. I told him if he didn’t like it, to send it back, which he didn’t so I’m ignoring all his negativity on the matter as he actually managed to devour the whole thing. If you are looking for something a bit lighter and heavy on the protein then this is an excellent dish.

While I rather enjoyed my brunch for the most part, one point to note is that we went on a very quiet day and the service was not great. The two servers were new and very sweet and went out of their way to please us so I cant fault them for that. My main issue was that the food came out separately. Fine if you are sharing, but only two of us were and it was just a very long awkward wait as one dish came out every five minutes. This was especially noticed as some of our party were still waiting for drinks. I wouldn’t let it put me off coming again but I would be sure to make sure to tell the wait staff we want all the meals served at once, especially if it isn’t busy. If you are looking for a decent modern American brunch in Itaewon though, it’s certainly worth a visit.

Guilty Pleasure is  located at 1F, 2-10 Itaewon-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Walk straight until you get to Dillingers and take the set of stairs going down. Turn right and walk straight, you will see for  the sign Guilty Pleasure on the right hand side. Walk up to the top of the stairs and go in the building on the left, it’s on the 1st floor. For more information you can call them on 02-794-4332 or check out their facebook page.

Itaewon the Burger

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Call it an early Christmas present but I may have just found my new favourite burger. After the months and months of searching and the endless recriminations from fellow foodies I have finally found a burger that makes me go Mmmm. I have been all over town searching for a burger that I can love, while I have found plenty that I like none have quite made the cut until now.

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Itaewon the Burger is nestled in the “Linus” alleyway, there are obviously plenty of other restaurants and bars along this strip but none as ubiquitous as the BBQ joint. The restaurant itself is pretty simple, nothing fancy except the “Stranger Things” inspired signage which ensures all of the pictures come out with a lovey red hue to them.

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So the burger that pleased me so very much was the Big Double Burger (12,900). The reason I probably enjoy this burger so much compared to the other popular burgers around town is the fact that it’s charcoal grilled, and for me that always imparts plenty of flavour to the meat. Secondly the bun was really really good, and thirdly it was stuffed with bacon and cheese. All of these ingredients worked in perfect harmony to give me the burgery bite of goodness I have been hankering after. The burger itself was very juicy and a little hard to eat as it started falling apart about half way through, but this doesn’t particularly bother me, and I’m often covered in food juice thanks to my less than elegant table manners. If a fault had to be found it would be that the pickles are sweet and not dill but after alerting the owner to this fact he said he intends to rectify it very soon. All in all I was beyond happy with this burger and stuffed to the gills, which again is a very rare occurrence.

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TFB accompanied me and ordered himself  the  BLT & Egg Burger (10,900). I had a bite of this one, and while it couldn’t compare to my own piece of double burger heaven it was still pretty solid. I wasn’t quite sold on the spicy sauce but liked the addition of the egg. Perhaps a different sauce and some avocado and they’d be on to a winner. We made this one a set for an extra 4,500 and were given a full sized can of Sprite and not the tiny one, which was nice, and a generous portion of Cajun fries.

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The rest of the burgers on the menu are a bit of a mix, there is a shrimp burger probably geared to please the Korean clientele, and a sloppy Joe for the Americans. I was told that they are planning to add at least another 5 or 6 burgers to the menu soon which should keep things interesting for regulars, especially if they add a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger.

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After enjoying our meal we had a quick chat with the owner (I had to congratulate him on such a fine job) and he told me they also have a private room out the back which can be reserved free of charge and fits about 14 people. He is also opening up a craft beer bottle shop below so people are more than welcome to get drinks from downstairs if they are having a private party.

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Itaewon the Burger is located at 22 Noksapyeong-daero 32-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight then use the crossing to get over to the Itaewon side. Take the first alleyway on your right, just next to where Suji’s used to be. Walk down this street, you will see Itaewon the Burger on the right side about half way up. For more information you can call them on 02-797-8940 or visit their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am-10pm.

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!

Pub of the Month – Phillies

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I’ve decided to add a new feature here at Fat Girl entitled “Pub of the Month”. You may be aware that over the past year or two a lot of long established expat watering holes have closed their doors for the last time. They may have had toilets that smelled like chlamydia, floors stickier than jam, and furniture that was falling apart, but they were there for us when we needed them. The times we were too drunk to get into that fancy club, when we were so pissed no one else would serve us, to provide us with fried foods to help sober us up for the long journey home, to never judge us for the mingers we hooked up with, or to mention that time when we threw up all over the pool table. Those pubs were there when we were feeling down and lonely and needed to go somewhere where everyone knew our name. I might drink a lot less that I did 8 years ago but I feel it’s my duty to support my old favourite drinking holes so they too don’t suffer the same fate from rent hikes and be turned into yet another coffee shop. (more…)

Rye Post

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For a couple of years now Rye Post has been known for its excellent sandwiches. I first wrote about it three years ago when they opened in their original location, then updated when they moved up on to the main street just underneath Dillinger’s. Well the peeps at Rye Post have recently revamped the menu so that they now have a couple of burgers available, which I think is a rather marvellous thing.

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If you read this blog regularly you know how much I adore a good burger, you’ll also know how I long to find a true 10/10 mouthful of meaty Mmmming goodness. Now my burger search has taken me all over town, but I’m still searching for the burger holy grail. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had plenty of good burgers and even a few great ones I’m just still looking for my burger soulmate. I was actually starting to think that perhaps my expectations were too high, that maybe this mystical burger was a figment of my imagination, but after eating in Amsterdam and London my faith was restored, it is possible for my burger cravings to be satisfied, just not in Seoul.

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There are three new double beef burgers on the menu at Rye Post and the first one I tried was The All American (9,500). 2 beef patties topped with melted cheddar and swiss, tomato, romaine lettuce, onion, dill pickles, bacon, garlic aioli, and special sauce on a brioche bun. To me this was the ideal blend of toppings and I was very excited to try it. The patties themselves were quite thin and well done, which I don’t actually mind on a double burger as it keeps the ratios in balance. A nice enough flavour coming from the meat, seasoned, though I wouldn’t have minded a bit more fat in the cut to give it that extra oomph. Props to the bun which is baked in house like all of their other breads. I liked this burger a lot, it ticked all the boxes flavour wise. For me there was just that little bit of something extra missing. A fine burger though, up there with my current favourite, The Gilbert, at Gilbert’s Burger.

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Second up was The Texan (9,500). Again two beef patties, melted cheddar and swiss, beer battered onion rings, bacon, BBQ sauce, and mayo. I am a real sucker for a BBQ bacon cheese burger, especially if you throw on onion rings, so honestly couldn’t resist trying this bad boy too. In essence this should have made my dreams come true but it couldn’t quite match up to the All American in terms of taste, I think I missed the salad and special sauce. I also paid the extra 5,000 won to add a 1/2 portion of fries and a coke. The skinny fries themselves were fine, good but nothing noteworthy. The coke I wish had been the 330ml can and not the 200ml one but that is just me being picky.

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Overall I was very impressed with the Rye Post burgers, they are a good burgers that are well made and fall just under the $10 price tag. The new menu additions have reminded me how much I enjoy their sandwiches and how I need to eat them a little more regularly. The updated menu also has a collection of chicken burgers that sound rather good too. All in all I think this is good news and you won’t be sorry if you go down and give it a try.

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Rye post is located at 72-34 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Walk straight down this road for about 100 meters or so. You will see Rye Post on the left hand side just underneath Dillinger’s. for more information you can call them on 02-792-9991 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from  11:30am  – 9:30pm but they close for a break between 3pm -5pm.

 

 

 

Motor City

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Before I jetted off on my jaunt around Europe, I paid a visit to new pizza joint on the block Motor City. I honestly thought that there was no where else for pizza to go in this city after trying almost every slice of cheese and tomato covered goodness that Seoul had to offer. I thought I had seen it all, turns out I was wrong, I’d yet to try Detroit Style. Quite frankly I had never even heard of the Detroit style slice until Motor City opened its doors, so didn’t really know quite what to expect, but after being turned on to deep dish style by the Chicago slice after years of being a thin crust girl I wasn’t going to miss out on trying this version too. (more…)

Made – Brunch

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Unless you live under a rock you have more than likely heard about the new Pokemon game, where you go on your own quest to catch as many of the little critters as possible. Well my life is also like that, though instead of looking for pretend animated characters, I’m looking for brunch spots. For some reason brunch seems to need to fill far more criteria than a simple lunch ever would. For starters they have to have a western style menu filled with egg and carb heavy options, secondly, strong and reviving cocktails, and thirdly, outside seating. It is rare to come across in place in Seoul that manages to satisfy all three,  but thankfully Made just about does. Whenever I am in Sinsa, it is the only place I like to go to. Its location in between Apgujeong and Garosugil makes it the perfect place to stop and take a rest and watch the world go by. The large open doors give you the feeling of being outside while still being very close to the air conditioning. The best part is that they serve brunch all day everyday, with an extra special bunch menu on weekends. (more…)

Hours

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I have let it be known on numerous occasions that Chinese is my absolute favourite food in the whole wide world, or rather western style Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, I love the food in China, the Chinese in Korea, not so much. My obvious favourite is how we do it in England, but sadly I can’t see that catching on any time soon so for now I’ll stick with American style which is pretty damn close.

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Hours is a brand new restaurant that has opened up in my old stomping ground HBC. When I visited at the weekend it was still only in its soft opening phase but I honestly just couldn’t wait to give it a try. The restaurant is pretty small with seating for about 12, but the menu is of a pretty decent size with a good mix of appetizers and entrees. They also have a nice array of alcoholic beverages available too.

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The first thing we had to order was TFB’s favourite, Kung Pao Chicken (16,000). I was hoping for some crispy chunks of chicken in a light batter but unfortunately the chicken was just fried with the skin on.  It wasn’t bad, I just prefer it when it is battered. The chicken, veggies, and sauce were still pretty good anyway, it had a nice balance and was not too spicy. However I make a pretty damn amazing version of this myself at home so I’m not 100% sure if I would get it again.

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The next dish we ordered was the Beef with Broccoli (18,000). I really enjoyed this a lot. There were plenty of generous strips of tender beef in an overly Chinesy tasting sauce. It just had that flavour that you can’t replicate at home, I’m assuming it’s MSG, but who cares when it tastes this good!

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My dining buddy wanted to try the Crab Rangoon (8,000). I don’t think we have these in the UK,  but I’m always down for anything deep fried. The middle was filled with a cream cheese crabby dip like stuffing. They were fine if you just ate them and didn’t think about the flavour too much, but I can’t say I was bowled over.

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After seeing how good it looked at the next table over, we had to try the General Tso’s Chicken (15,000). The sauce was really good, like plate licking good. We don’t have this dish in the UK so I can’t say how authentic it is, but it was like a slightly spicy sweet and sour. The chicken did look crispier from afar and I was hoping it would be in a kind of batter like the Kung Pao is at home, but again sadly not. However I spoke with the owner after we settled up  and she told me they plan to roll out the full menu this week or next, which includes all of the battered dishes I’ve been longing for like sweet and sour pork, and orange chicken. Hopefully I shall be satisfied upon my next visit.

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Lastly we got a Chicken Fried Rice (8,000). It showed up at the end of the meal when everyone else was pretty full, but I managed to power through and finish it. Not as amazing as a special fried rice from my local Chinese at home, but it will do. We got a look at the noodles as our neighbours ordered it, and I thought the rice looked like the better bet of the two.

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Although I didn’t love the food as much as I had hoped I’m still thrilled to have a place like this in the neighbourhood. As I mentioned they were still in their soft opening phase during my visit, so I’m looking forward to going back once the full menu is up and running. The prices are a touch on the high side for me to really order everything that I want to try, but in the UK Chinese is food is often operating as a take out service and not a restaurant which lowers their running costs considerably. The dishes are fairly priced if you compare them to similar Thai places in Seoul though. While they do have take out boxes, I think if you are looking for the cheap and cheerful option to gorge upon at home then it’s best to stick with Panda Express.

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Hours is located at 41 Sinheung-ro, 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 the left hand turn by the kimchi pots. Walk straight past Bonny’s, Phillies, and Casablanca. Hours is just a little further up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 010-27680658.

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…)