Tag: Blog

NY Burger & Bagel – Hannam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

C27

I’m not sure if you will believe this, but this year I didn’t have a birthday cake. A tragic tale I know, but it ends very well because my very wonderful friend Lizzy offered to cheer me up and take me the land of cake, a magical place in Sinsa that offers 27 different kinds of cheesecake! There is nothing like a dazzling array of wondrous desserts to put a smile upon your face, and forget your troubles.

The dessert cafe is set over four floors, a true tower of cake filled goodness. The main cafe is on the first, making it easy for you to order your drinks and desserts, then you go and find yourself a seat and wait for your order. While every floor of the cafe is different, being two rather lazy ladies, we settled for the ultra comfy sofa nook in the back of the first floor. However there are dozens of cute selfie spaces  strewn throughout, just check out this mannequin and beauty mirror combo, obligatory selfie taking girls included.

Life is full of hard decisions, and none so hard as choosing which of the 27 different cheesecake we were to try. Since my companion was the president of the cake club and much more experienced than I when it comes to desserts, I left the decision up to her. It was for the best as I was getting carried away, if I had had my way i would have tried them all. A dream that one day I hope to fulfil. On the drinks side they offer the usual assortment of coffees and a teas, plus a couple of yogurty type smoothie things and wine. Nothing that overshadows the cakes though.

In the end we narrowed it down to three. The Earl Grey, the Dutch Apple and the Chocolate Cherry Cheese all 8,800 per slice. All the cheesecakes are the same price which I think is a nice touch, and allows you to make a choice based on flavour rather than price. While all the cheesecakes were orgasmicly good, I’d have to give the Earl Grey my star prize. I never would have chosen this one but it was rather magical. The cheesecake itself was sweet and creamy and incredibly delicious. It was topped with a very light fluffy creamy topping, and had a tea flavoured sponge at the bottom. The Earl Grey flavour wasn’t particularly strong, but there was enough to give you a hint of flavour as the cheesecake melted in the mouth. Each of the plates comes decorated with a trio of grated cheeses, not sure if it really works but it is a playful idea, and I’m always willing to eat a bit of cheese.

Our second choice was the Dutch Apple (8,800). This one was topped with a very crunchy and sweet and crumbly biscuit topping, this made for a nice contrast of textures against the silkiness of the cheesecake itself. We also loved the chunks of fruit strewn throughout giving a fruity pop now and then. This one didn’t have a sponge bottom like the others, it had more of a pastry bottom instead of the sponge, which made it a little more like an apple pie.

Lastly we ordered The Chocolate Cherry Cheese (8,800), which was probably the most decadent of the three we tried. This one had a chocolate sponge bottom, and was topped with a chocolate cheesecake which was studded with little bits of cherry, then a layer of fresh cream, and finished with a thick layer of chocolate ganache.  This one was he sweetest of the bunch and very chocolatey, the chunks of cherry were nice when we found them but I would have liked a lot more. If you are a chocolate lover then this one is likely to be a winner, though there were at least half a dozen other chocolate versions too.

Overall you couldn’t find a better place for cheesecake. The array of flavours was incredible and the cheesecake was excellent.  The cheesecakes are baked but have a similar silkier smoothness to the non baked ones that are more popular in the UK, so I especially enjoyed them. The cafe itself is quite stylish and has plenty of room and is a nice place to while away an afternoon while enjoying some good desserts.This is the main branch of  C27 but there are several other locations, including a new one opening soon in Hongdae.

C27 is located at 545-12 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa station (line 3) and come out exit 8. Walk straight and take the fourth left (the one after Garosugil). Walk straight down this road, you will see C27 about four blocks down on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-544-9901 or check out their website.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen

As it is summer and we’re all showing an ungodly amount of flesh at the moment, I thought it might behove me to share somewhere that is a little bit more on the healthy side. So today, I will talk about the amazingness that is Plant, the vegan cafe and kitchen. Plant has been a stalwart of the vegan and vegetarian community for years, however their home was a tiny little place in a back alley location that you would never come across unless you were looking for it. Just recently they have moved to much bigger premises, which can fit a lot more hungry vegans. The old location is still there, and is now being used a Plant bakery.

The new plant restaurant is located in the old Left Coast location on the furniture street in Itaewon. They have really transformed the space and made it feel very homely with their plants and cute cushions while at the same time making it feel light airy and slightly tropical. I was getting a real Bali kind of vibe going on. The menu like the new location has grown too, and has some great new additions to it.

We started off with a drink each. I went for the Mango Coconut Smoothie (7,500), this was divine and a taste of tropical bliss, though I found the addition of coconut milk made it a touch on the pricey side. My fellow pals got a Kombucha (6,500), and the Power Green Smoothie (7,000)  which is made with soy milk. I know that many people struggle in Seoul to find coffees and drinks that are made with dairy free milk, and at Plant they have options with both soy milk and almond milk, which should be music to lactose intolerant ears.

My favourite dish of the day was the fabulous BBQ Jackfruit Tacos (12,000). These are the vegan version of pulled pork and while I have had them before elsewhere, these ones were by far the best I have ever had. The shreds of Jackfruit were charred on the outside and tossed in a tangy BBQ sauce. With the cabbage slaw and salsa and chips on the side they were very filling. I’m pretty sure that if no one mentioned it to you, you would have no idea they are meat free. Unfortunately they are only available on Tuesdays, so you will have to plan your visit accordingly if you want to try them.

For my lunch I ordered the Sesame Peanut Soba Bowl (11,000). This was a wooden bowl filled with soba noodles, sesame-peanut satay sauce, fried tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green salad, and pickled slices of carrot and radish. The peanut sauce was very morish and I found the tofu was a nice change from chicken while the noodles were very filling. A good hearty lunch for sure.

Lastly we got the Plant Cheeseburger (12,500). There are three kinds of burger on the menu, but this one is my friends favourite. This one comes with the Plant veggie patty, vegan cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pickled cabbage, sriracha aioli, and yellow mustard. I tried a bite and have to agree it was really lovely, the bun in particular was very good. This one might be even better than the vegan burgers they serve at Huggers. It also comes with a nice helping of fries on the side, because lets face it, who wants a burger without fries?

Overall we had a very enjoyable lunch. The tacos in particular were really something special, so I’ll certainly  be visiting again on a Tuesday. The new space has a great vibe and is very relaxing, and I’m sure absolute haven for the vegans of Seoul. Though we didn’t partake this time they also have some incredible vegan cakes and their previous location is now a full time vegan bakery.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen is located at 117 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and walk out of exit 4, turn back on yourself and take the road on your left (the street where Taco Bell is) and walk straight. Keep walking on the same side you’re on for about 150 meters, Plant is on the right on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-1981 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm, Fri + Sat 11am-10pm, and closed every Sunday.

100 Korean Foods in 100 Days – Day 12 & Day 14

It is day 12 of my 100 Korean foods in 100 days challenge. If you haven’t been following my challenge journey, you can catch up here. On Day 12 of the challenge, I decided it was about high time I explored the culinary landscape of Mokdong which is where I work. I usually make my own lunch each day, which is why I have never tried any of the restaurants. That and I have no friends there to eat lunch with. But I decided to put on my big girl pants and go find somewhere to eat all by myself.

For my 11th Korean food, I decided to eat Tteokbokki – 떡볶이 (2,500). Tteokbokki are rice cakes in a spicy soup like sauce, and have they always been one of my favourite Korean foods. It’s typically a fast food, that is very popular with teenagers and students, probably because it is so cheap. It is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten in western cuisine. This one was rather spicy, a little too hot for my tastes, but still pretty good.

When you get tteokbokki you typically eat it with Twigim – 튀김 (3,000), which was my 12th Korean food. I have always adored twigim, anything deep fried is aces in my book. Typically with an order of twigim you get to choose 5-6 different items which are generally battered seafood and vegetables, cut up into bite sized pieces. You are often given a soy vinegar dip too, though I didn’t get one this time. These were right on the money and I had a nice selection of seafood and veggies to munch on with my tteokbokki.

On Day 14, I thought I would keep on trucking with the Mokdong neighbourhood as it has been working out so well so far. I came across Bukchon Son Mandu, not knowing about its fame, but thinking as it had mandu in the name it would be a great place to eat some and I wasn’t disappointed.

Unsurprisingly  Bukchon Son Mandu, had quite the array of dumplings. I decided to get the Deep Fried Mandu – 만두 (3,000). They were rather large and hearty, and stuffed to the gils, with meat, noodles, and veggies. They were so good, I’m still craving them now. I adore mandu, in fact any kind of dumplings are always a favourite food of mine, whether they’re Chinese style dim sum or served with stew, British style. Just the name dumpling gets my juices flowing.

For my 14th food I ordered a Mandu Soup – 만두국 (6,000). Another popular way for Koreans to eat mandu is in a bowl of soup, so I had to add it to my list too. There is something very comforting about a bowl of mandu soup, and it has always been one food that I crave when I am sick, or feeling a bit delicate after a heavy weekend of drinking. This beef broth was filled with three different dumplings, which provided a nice variety.

My 15th Korean food was Kimchi – 김치. I can’t believe I actually made it 14 days without having what is essentially Korea’s most famous food. As described on the video, Kimchi has never really been one of my favourite foods to eat. While I don’t hate, it, I don’t love it. Occasionally I will try a piece or two if given it as a side dish, but I rarely finish it, and never have it at home. However I was pleasantly surprised by this one, it was the best one I have had in a long time. Kimchi fans should certainly check it out.

15/100 Korean foods eaten, 86 days remain! What would you like to see me try next? Check out the list below.

1.Samgyupsal 삼겹살 2.Bulgogi 불고기 3.Kalbi 갈비 4.Hanwoo Steak 한우 5.Smoked Duck 오리훈제 6.Raw Beef 육회 7.Fried Chicken 후라이드치킨 8.Dak Galbi 닭갈비 9.Bossam 보 10. Don Cass 돈까스 11.Kimchi Jiggae 김치찌개 12.Dwenjang Jjiggae 된장찌개 13.Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 14.Hangover Soup 해장국 15.Dak Dori Tang 닭도리탕 16.Seaweed Soup 미역국 17.Tteok (New Year Soup) 만두국 18.Short Ribs 갈비찜 19.Tofu Soup 순두부찌개 20. Mandu Guk 만두국 21.Bibimbab 비빔밥 22.Bokumbab 볶음밥 23.Nurungji 누룽지 24.Jjang Myeon 짜장면 25.Nangmyeon 냉면 26.Ramyeon 라면 27.Kimbab 김밥 28.Jap Chae 잡채 29.Kalguksu 칼국수 30.Jjimddaek 찜닭 31.Lotus Root 연근 32.Quails Egg 메츄리알 33.Kimchi 김치 34.White kimchi 백김치 35.Radish 깍두기 36.Cucumber 오이 37.Korean Eggplant 가지 38.Soft Tofu 순두부 39.Katnip (sauteed perilla) 깻잎 40.Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 41.Dried Squid 오징어 42.Live Octopus 산낙지 43.Anchovi 멸치 44.Sashimi 회 45.Grilled Clam 조개구이 46.Yangnyeom Gejang 양념게장 47.Fishcake on a Stick 오뎅꼬치 48.Deep Fried Shrimp 새우튀김 49.Sea snails 소라 50.Sea Penis 개불 51.Pajeon 파전 52.Chicken Feet 닭발 53.Porridge 죽 54.Acorn Jelly 도토리욱 55.Pigs Trotters 족발 56.Dog Soup 보신탕 57.Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 58.Bindaetok 빈대떡 59.Bondegi 뻔데기 60.Sanjuk 산적 61.Tteokbokki 떡볶이 62.Mandu 만두 63.Croquette 고로게 64.Sundae 순대 65.Fried Tofu  두부부침 66.Yache Twigim 튀김 67.French Fry Hot Dog 핫도그 68.Twisted Potato 회오리감자 69.Meat on a Stick 꼬치 70.Egg Bread 계랑빵 71.Peppero 빼빼로 72.Shrimp Chips 새우칩 73.Tteokbokki snack 떡볶이과자 74.Honey Butter Chips 허니버터칲 75.Choco pie 초코파이 76.Steamed bun 호빵 77.Chestnuts 군밤 78.Jolly Pong 죠리퐁 79.Seaweed 김 80.Dried Persimmon 감말랭이 81.Soju 소주 82.Makgeoli 막걸리 83.Beer 맥주 84.Milkis 밀키스 85.Yuja Tea 유자차 86.Omijja Tea 오미지차 87.Hangover Drink 숙취해소음료 88.Rice Water 식혜 89.Ginseng  인삼쥬스 90.Aloe Vera Juice 알로에쥬스 91. Green tea 녹차 92.Bingsu 빙수 93.Hotcake 호떡94.Red bean 팥 95.Manjoo 만주 96.Rice cakes 떡 97.Fish waffle 붕어빵 98.Jeju Orange 한라봉 99.Dragon Beard Candy 꿀타래 100. Korean melon 참외

Itaewon the Burger Gangnam

It took me a long time and many meals to find a burger that I love in this city, and I finally found it at Itaewon the burger. It is by far and away my favourite burger joint in Seoul, and it is clear that I am not the only one who thinks so as they have just expanded and opened a new location in Gangnam. Knowing what a fan I am of their food, they invited me and a couple of my bestest friends to come and give the the new menu items a try.  The new place is huge and located on the second floor of a building in Seolleung, it’s bigger, brighter, and more colourful than the sister store. I always find it difficult to find good places to eat when I am in this part of town, so I am sure people are out rejoicing in the streets about this new addition to the neighbourhood.

The big speciality of this new location are these amazing freakshakes, which are sadly not available in Itaewon. So far there are three on the menu: The signature shake being the Swag the Party (13,900), a peanut butter shake topped with half a sweet shop. The glass is encrusted with MnMs, and topped with marshmallows, wafers, peanut butter cups, caramel sauce and a giant ass lollipop. This one is definitely for the sweet toothed among us and a total sugar rush, pro tip, you can get a salted version which is even yummier. The shake itself was lovely and if you are sharing between a few of you, I’m sure you’ll have fun doling out the candy between you.

As well as the Swag Party there is also the Toasted Marshmallow Mount (10,900), a chocolate and hazelnut milkshake which was topped with toasted marshmallows, hazelnuts, cookies, wafers and peanut butter cups. This one was my favourite, as I adore hazelnut, it was kind of like a giant Ferrero Rocher. Last up is the healthiest shake, the Avocado and Banana (10,900). This was a mix of vanilla, banana, and avocado. This one I wasn’t quite so sure about. I often enjoy a bit of avocado in my green smoothies as I like the creaminess but as a flavour all by itself I wasn’t convinced. My two dining companions liked it more than me though, and the slices of fresh avocado must make it worth about a billion dollars by itself.

The burger menu is the same as at the Itaewon location. My favourite of all the ones I have tried is the Big Double Burger (13,900). It consists of 2 x 140g beef burgers, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion,pickles, and a healthy slathering of mayo . It has been a couple of months since I last had one but after retasting it, I was glad to find that it lived up to all my expectations. When I bit into it, it got a loud and resounding Mmm. It was the favourite of both of my dining companions too.  The burgers here are flame grilled, which is probably what makes them so great in my eyes, and gives them a healthy edge on the competition.

Since my last review the Avocaddict (13,900) has been added to the menu. This is one serious burger, and I have tried it on a couple of occasions over the past few months. It is absolutely monstrous and you will have one hell of a time trying to eat it, just check out my Instagram video if you don’t believe me. This really is an avocado lovers dream, and as you can see they aren’t chintzy with the avocado. Avocado and bacon is always the perfect combination, throw it on a burger and it is party time. While it is jolly hard to eat, it is blooming tasty, the beef and avocado make such a good match. They also serve a version in a lettuce wrap instead of bread for anyone who wants a lighter option.

The other new item we got to try was the Bacon Cheese Fries (6,900). I have never been a fan of the fake cheese-like paste that Americans seem to be fond of. But these were awesome, not sure if it was the bacon, the fake cheese or a combination. They were just uber rich and salty, and we polished them off pretty quickly. The crunchy chunks of bacon were very plentiful, it was such a great sharing dish.

By the time the three of us has polished off this mountain of food, we were fit to bursting, which is always a good sign in my book. If you keep eating even though you are full it always means the food is good. The new restaurant is a great addition down in Gangnam. Other than Firebell there really aren’t a whole bunch of western burgers in this area, so hopefully it will prove to be very popular with the locals. The space is great, and I’m told reasonably quiet at the moment on the weekends because they mainly cater to the office crowds. So if you trying to get away from the madness that is Itaewon on the weekend then this is your place.

Itaewon the Burger Gangnam is located at 33, Samseong-ro 85-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.  To get there take a train to Seolleung station (line 2), and come out of exit 1.Walk straight then take the third right. Walk along this street then take the second left. You will see Itaewon the burger a little way down on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-565-8940 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Sat from 11:30am – 9:30pm with a break from 3pm-5pm.

The Beastro Brunch

No your eyes are not deceiving you, after years and years of producing poor quality images on my phone, I have finally gone and bought myself a proper camera. As the blog has just turned 5, I thought I should treat myself to a little birthday present. As luck would have it, the day after the new camera arrived,  I was invited back to The Beastro to try their new brunch menu. After having sampled new Head Chef Steven’s dinner menu, I knew I was in for a treat so couldn’t possibly turn down a chance to check it out. And as it turned out, their beautiful food was just the right subject for me to practice my new skills on.

One of the most exciting new items on the menu, are their giant cocktail jugs, especially since one of them is Pimm’s (35,000)! Nothing says summer like a jug of Pimm’s, so I’m so excited that there is a second location in Seoul serving it up. This one is a lemony twist on the classic version which is usually made with strawberries ,orange, cucumber, and mint. While the lemon isn’t quite usual it certainly makes it much more refreshing. They also have pitchers of margaritas for the same price. We shared this between four of us, and we had at least two drinks each, probably ten in total so it is great value.

The first starter that we shared was the Grilled Piri Piri Jumbo Shrimp (12,000) which is actually from the dinner menu. The five jumbo shrimp were marinated in a Korean red chili & bourbon hot sauce, charred on the grill and topped with lime and parsley. These were absolutely incredible, the sauce was so full of flavour that it penetrated though the shells. They were spicy and sour all at the same time, and so good that we were fighting over the last one. Chef Steven told me they also do a chicken version on the lunch menu, which I’m imagining would be just as good. Nando’s fans should seriously check it out, especially since the Portuguese restaurant Taverna has shut down.

Our second starter was the Grilled Calamari (16,000). This was served with a brown butter dressing, capers, anchovies, cherry tomato, olives, and arugula. The calamari was also a firm favourite, and perfect for the summer. While I wasn’t quite sold on the tentacles as I found them too chewy, I loved the softer chunks of the body. This dish was so light and refreshing. With a handful more salad leaves it could easily become a very filling main dish.

Being a particularly boozy bunch, we made short work of our jug of Pimm’s, so ordered another round of drinks. You can’t do brunch without Bloody Marys and Mimosas (both 10,000), so we had to give them a try. The Bloody Mary is particularly well made here, and I loved the fact they asked how spicy we would like it, which is always a plus in my book. The mimosa and Moscow Mule went down a treat too. I also appreciate that all of the brunch cocktails are 10,000 a piece, meaning it is much cheaper for day drinkers like myself to get a good buzz going on.

For the main event we moved on to the more brunchy part of the menu. While everything we had was lovely, the undeniable stand out was the Salt House Beef Pastrami Hash (16,000). It was made with the locally smoked pastrami by Salt House, roast potatoes, caramelized onion, roasted peppers, and was topped with two poached eggs. This was just the perfect combination of ingredients in my eyes. The crunchy roast potatoes were punctuated by salty chunks of beef, while the caramelized onion and balsamic dressing provided a tangy sweetness. I could happily eat this for brunch every weekend for the rest of my life.

We also tried the Beastro Breakfast (16,000) – two eggs any style, with thick cut house cured bacon from Salt House, breakfast sausages, home fries, baked beans, and Pain au lait toast. The breakfast was fine, but not as obnoxiously amazing as the hash, I think those looking for a fry up should be pleased though.  Another popular option on the brunch menu is the Salmon Eggs Benedict (15,000).  This is served with a choice of house smoked salmon or Salt House Jeju ham, cheddar scone, home fries, two soft poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. The salmon was melt in the mouth, but with a flavour that overshadowed the rest of the dish somewhat, I’d be interested to try the Jeju ham version next time to see how it compares.

And last but not least, was the Pain Au Lait French Toast (16,000). As french toast goes this one was very similar to how I make it at home, so I was very happy. It was topped with Blueberry compote, Grand Marnier Butter, toasted almonds, and maple syrup. This made the ideal dessert, I was thinking it might be a bit heavy, but the french toast was almost custardy in the middle and it ended up being much lighter than expected, especially as there was a hint of lemon running through it.

I was in no doubt that we were going to have another amazing meal at The Beastro, but it was nice to confirm that standards haven’t slipped since the new head chef Steven has taken over. The Beastro is an incredible place, in terms of location and their menu, so it is great to see they are keeping it fresh. The conservatory style top floor is the ideal place to enjoy the glorious weather while still being in an air conditioned environment. If you haven’t been here to sample the new menu, you’re missing out!

The Beastro is located at  358-32 Seogyo Dong 2F, Mapo Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sangsu station (line 6). Come out of exit 1 and turn back on yourself. Keep walking straight for about 5 minutes until you reach the Hongdae Park. Walk up the stairs till you reach the road that runs parallel and you should see The Beastro on the 2nd floor above M.A.C (Make-up and great food!!!). For more information call 02-334-2500 or check out their facebook page.

100 Korean Foods in 100 Days – Day 6 – Myeongdong

It is day 6 of my 100 Korean foods in 100 days challenge. If you haven’t been following my challenge journey, you can catch up here. On day six I decided to head over to Myeongdong to try some street food. It is always one of my favourite places to bring visitors as there is such an array of different foods available and lots of fun and less traditional ones too. Plus it is an awesome place to shop, just try and avoid weekends unless you love crowds.

My 7th food to try was the famous French Fry Hotdog – 핫도그 (3,000), despite being a huge fan of all things deep fried, and chips I have never actually eaten this baby. I grew up eating battered sausages but this one has never really enticed me. I was slightly put off when after paying for my sausage it was bunged in the microwave then re-deep fried, when I bit into it, it tasted old, like days old, the sausage was minging and even the batter was horrible. I had to throw it away. A good idea in theory and I’d imagine it would be edible if it was fresh and had a higher quality sausage, but as it doesn’t this was a real miss for me.

My 8th food was the very yummy Egg Bun – 계랑빵 (2,000), a classic Korean snack that you often find on the streets of seoul. They are cheap, yummy, and much sweeter than you would imagine, the bread is more cakey than bready. But they make a very nice snack.

My 9th food was Chicken Feet – 닭발 (5,000). I was dreading these, they have never appealed to me, and quite frankly they still don’t. I saw these on offer topped with cheese and just thought why not give it a try here rather than going to a speciality type restaurant where they would be more expensive. I thought since they were covered in cheese I might be alright, but I could barely keep one in a my mouth for two seconds. The texture was beyond grim and the sauce was insanely spicy. This is not a dish that I will be eating again anytime soon. See the video above for the full reaction!

To get the vile chicken feet taste out of my mouth, I had to pick something nice for my tenth food. I decided upon the Twisted Potato – 회오리감자 (3,000). Another famed and well photographed Korean street food. I often get these, as they taste pretty darn good. The swirls of deep fried potato are rolled in the flavour of your choice, I like the onion one but the BBQ one is also awesome too. It’s like a giant never ending potato chip, a must try when in Korea for sure.

10/100 Korean foods eaten, 93 days remain! What would you like to see me try next? Check out the list below.1.Samgyupsal 삼겹살 2.Bulgogi 불고기 3.Kalbi 갈비 4.Hanwoo Steak 한우 5.Smoked Duck 오리훈제 6.Raw Beef 육회 7.Fried Chicken 후라이드치킨 8.Dak Galbi 닭갈비 9.Bossam 보 10. Don Cass 돈까스 11.Kimchi Jiggae 김치찌개 12.Dwenjang Jjiggae 된장찌개 13.Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 14.Hangover Soup 해장국 15.Dak Dori Tang 닭도리탕 16.Seaweed Soup 미역국 17.Tteok (New Year Soup) 떡국 18.Short Ribs 갈비찜 19.Tofu Soup 순두부찌개 20. Mandu Guk 만두국21.Bibimbab 비빔밥 22.Bokumbab 볶음밥 23.Nurungji 누룽지 24.Jjang Myeon 짜장면 25.Nangmyeon 냉면 26.Ramyeon 라면 27.Kimbab 김밥 28.Jap Chae 잡채 29.Kalguksu 칼국수 30.Jjimddaek 찜닭 31.Lotus Root 연근 32.Quails Egg 메츄리알 33.Kimchi 김치 34.White kimchi 백김치 35.Radish 깍두기 36.Cucumber 오이 37.Korean Eggplant 가지 38.Soft Tofu 순두부 39.Katnip (sauteed perilla) 깻잎 40.Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 41.Dried Squid 오징어 42.Live Octopus 산낙지 43.Anchovi 멸치 44.Sashimi 회 45.Grilled Clam 조개구이 46.Yangnyeom Gejang 양념게장 47.Fishcake on a Stick 오뎅꼬치 48.Deep Fried Shrimp 새우튀김 49.Sea snails 소라 50.Sea Penis 개불 51.Pajeon 파전 52.Chicken Feet 닭발 53.Porridge 죽 54.Acorn Jelly 도토리욱 55.Pigs Trotters 족발 56.Dog Soup 보신탕 57.Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 58.Bindaetok 빈대떡 59.Bondegi 뻔데기 60.Sanjuk 산적 61.Tteokbokki 떡볶이 62.Mandu 만두 63.Croquette 고로게 64.Sundae 순대 65.Fried Tofu  두부부침 66.Yache Twigim 튀김 67.French Fry Hot Dog 핫도그 68.Twisted Potato 회오리감자 69.Meat on a Stick 꼬치 70.Egg Bread 계랑빵 71.Peppero 빼빼로 72.Shrimp Chips 새우칩 73.Tteokbokki snack 떡볶이과자 74.Honey Butter Chips 허니버터칲 75.Choco pie 초코파이 76.Steamed bun 호빵 77.Chestnuts 군밤 78.Jolly Pong 죠리퐁 79.Seaweed 김 80.Dried Persimmon 감말랭이 81.Soju 소주 82.Makgeoli 막걸리 83.Beer 맥주 84.Milkis 밀키스 85.Yuja Tea 유자차 86.Omijja Tea 오미지차 87.Hangover Drink 숙취해소음료 88.Rice Water 식혜 89.Ginseng  인삼쥬스 90.Aloe Vera Juice 알로에쥬스 91. Green tea 녹차 92.Bingsu 빙수 93.Hotcake 호떡94.Red bean 팥 95.Manjoo 만주 96.Rice cakes 떡 97.Fish waffle 붕어빵 98.Jeju Orange 한라봉 99.Dragon Beard Candy 꿀타래 100. Korean melon 참외


Myeongdong street food, is right in the middle of the shopping district. To get there take a train to Myeongdong station (line 4) and come out of exit 6. Walk straight along the street, there will be many different street food stalls, then at the end of the street turn left and there are even more. Its a great place to explore. The market is on everyday, but doesn’t really get started until 6pm, so save it for your evening.

Casa – All you can eat Pizza Aperitivo

Unfortunately Casa has gone bankrupt, and despite their best efforts have closed their doors for the final time. If you are looking for good nd affordable Italian try Brera

 

I first went to Casa Antonio, an Italian restaurant in Itaewon about 6-7 years ago for friend’s birthday. I didn’t go back, not for any reason in particular, I just didn’t. Since then, Antonio has left and he took his name with him leaving his wife with the restaurant Casa or Osteria Pizzeria Casa to use their full name. In all the years I have been blogging, 5 to be precise I haven’t heard anyone mention this place and it was on the verge of closing, when a fellow Italian restaurateur stepped in to give them a bit of advice. It is always sad when a long time restaurant in Itaewon closes its doors, and it was so nice that Brera despite being a competing restaurant have offered their assistance. It is one of the many reasons I love that place so much. To get people in the doors they have started doing  a new Aperitivo promotion, all you can eat pizza for 15,000 per person. Regular readers will know that I would never pass up an opportunity to eat as much pizza as I can, especially for such a bargain price. So I formed a motley crew of my friends and went off to give it a try.

The restaurant itself is uber fancy, they have a super nice bar and even a piano in the middle of the restaurant, not many places can say that. There is also a wine room, smoking room and little love seat in the loo. Its really quite posh, much fancier than the kind of places I usually frequent. The new AYCE deal is to replicate the Italian tradition that is aperitivo, where restaurants give you free food to get you to buy drinks in the evening. The all you can eat pizza is available every night form 6:30-9:30 for 15,000 and includes a drink too.

I honestly didn’t have high hopes for my free drink, but as it was included I couldn’t really complain. I started with an Aperol Spritz, which was lovely, then moved on to a caiprinha which was also fabulous. It is rare to find a half decent one under 15,000 in this hood, and here they are free with the pizza, or 10,000 each.  Word to the wise, the Peronis are miniscule, so you’ll probably get better bang for your buck with a cocktail.

Not long after I arrived, the pizza started showing up. They make them freshly and put them up on a buffet table where you collect them from. They come out reasonably often which is nice as we got them fresh. It was quite quiet during our visit, so we didn’t have to wait long. The margarita was pretty awesome, bubbly Napoli wood fired crust, topped with a simple yet flavourful tomato sauce, a little melted cheese and some fresh basil, eat it while it’s hot they told me and, eschewing my usual several minutes of photography, I did.

They switched up the pizzas too, each time they sent out a different flavour. Next up the four cheese, one of my favourites especially with a side of honey. I know purists will protest, but it’s such a good bloody combination. This was possible my favourite, it was lovely and cheesy, with a nice tingle from the blue cheese. Throw in the and the sweetness of the honey of the incredible chewy crust and it is party time.

The pizza kept on coming, and another one we enjoyed was the Italian sausage pizza. The meat itself was superbly flavoured  with plenty of fennel and Italian seasonings inside. There was also a salami version, which was crispy to perfection. After that the pizzas just rotated, and the slices were never left on the table for very long.

Also on the pizza table was a simple green salad, and two pasta dishes. Rigatoni is always a favourite of mine, one was topped with a simple tomato sauce, the second, plain with some ground beef and mushrooms. A nice addition to make a change from the pizza, but the pasta was too al dente for most of out table. A bit of bite yes, but I don’t want it hard.

By the end we were filled, and stuffed, there was more pizza left but we couldn’t finish it, we definitely had all we could eat. For the price this is really unbeatable, a great drink plus all you can eat pizza, plus a couple of other dishes. If it is busy this deal is here to stay, so if you like good pizza and are sick of paying far too much for it at other places, go support this place, I can believe anyone would walk away happy if they had what we did. I was more than happy to pay my 15,000 and ill definitely be going back.

Casa is located at 2F, 124-6, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight and take the second left. You will see Casa Antonia just up ahead in the right hand corner above Thursday Party. For more information you can call them on 02-794-8803, or check out their facebook page. The AYCE Pizza Aperitivo is on everyday from 6pm – 9:30pm, but the restaurant is open from 11am-10pm.

100 Korean Foods in 100 Days – Day 4 – Damatori

After my feast at Gwangjang Market, I was ahead of the game, but in need another few places to visit. As it was raining on Monday I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to give Pajeon a try as it is typically a rainy day food. Traditionally it was eaten by farmers on rainy days when they couldn’t tend to their crops because it was easy to prepare and the stodgy food was nourishing for the mind and body. The sound of Pajeon sizzling in the pan also recreates the sound of the rain.

Traditionally Pajeon is served a long side Makgeolli , a traditional fermented rice alcohol. So I headed over to Damotori in HBC as they have such an awesome selection. One of the best things about Damatori is that they have a Makgeolli tasting set for only 3,000 won. Which allows you to try five different Makgeolis to let yo see which one you like best. My favourite was the 복술도가 but we decided to get a bottle of our second favourite instead because it was cheaper (7,000). So food number 5 was a drink, not technically my favourite alcoholic beverage but it is very Korean, and different to anything else you find in the world. So it had to be tried.

My sixth food was Pajeon, a savoury Korean pancake made with green onions. There are a couple different versions at Damotori, and as they were out of the most common green onion and seafood version, we ordered the onion and mushroom instead (14,000). Honestly I don’t like seafood all that much, and I adore mushrooms so this was a plus in my box. The pajeon was cut into small pieces perfect for sharing. Though I thought the pancake itself was under-seasoned, with not a great deal of flavour by itself. The side dish of pickled soy sauce onions was very good, much better than the Gwangjang Market version. They added a nice salty and sour element to the dish, but a side of gochujang would have helped too. All in a a good meal for a rainy day though.

6/100 Korean foods eaten, 94 days remain! What would you like to see me try next? Check out the list below.

1.Samgyupsal 삼겹살 2.Bulgogi 불고기 3.Kalbi 갈비 4.Hanwoo Steak 한우 5.Smoked Duck 오리훈제 6.Raw Beef 육회 7.Fried Chicken 후라이드치킨 8.Dak Galbi 닭갈비 9.Bossam 보 10. Don Cass 돈까스 11.Kimchi Jiggae 김치찌개 12.Dwenjang Jjiggae 된장찌개 13.Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 14.Hangover Soup 해장국 15.Dak Dori Tang 닭도리탕 16.Seaweed Soup 미역국 17.Tteok (New Year Soup) 떡국 18.Short Ribs 갈비찜 19.Tofu Soup 순두부찌개 20. Mandu Guk 만두국21.Bibimbab 비빔밥 22.Bokumbab 볶음밥 23.Nurungji 누룽지 24.Jjang Myeon 짜장면 25.Nangmyeon 냉면 26.Ramyeon 라면 27.Kimbab 김밥 28.Jap Chae 잡채 29.Kalguksu 칼국수 30.Jjimddaek 찜닭 31.Lotus Root 연근 32.Quails Egg 메츄리알 33.Kimchi 김치 34.White kimchi 백김치 35.Radish 깍두기 36.Cucumber 오이 37.Korean Eggplant 가지 38.Soft Tofu 순두부 39.Katnip (sauteed perilla) 깻잎 40.Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 41.Dried Squid 오징어 42.Live Octopus 산낙지 43.Anchovi 멸치 44.Sashimi 회 45.Grilled Clam 조개구이 46.Yangnyeom Gejang 양념게장 47.Fishcake on a Stick 오뎅꼬치 48.Deep Fried Shrimp 새우튀김 49.Sea snails 소라 50.Sea Penis 개불 51.Pajeon 파전 52.Chicken Feet 닭발 53.Porridge 죽 54.Acorn Jelly 도토리욱 55.Pigs Trotters 족발 56.Dog Soup 보신탕 57.Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 58.Bindaetok 빈대떡 59.Bondegi 뻔데기 60.Sanjuk 산적 61.Tteokbokki 떡볶이 62.Mandu 만두 63.Croquette 고로게 64.Sundae 순대 65.Fried Tofu  두부부침 66.Yache Twigim 튀김 67.French Fry Hot Dog 핫도그 68.Twisted Potato 회오리감자 69.Meat on a Stick 꼬치 70.Egg Bread 계랑빵 71.Peppero 빼빼로 72.Shrimp Chips 새우칩 73.Tteokbokki snack 떡볶이과자 74.Honey Butter Chips 허니버터칲 75.Choco pie 초코파이 76.Steamed bun 호빵 77.Chestnuts 군밤 78.Jolly Pong 죠리퐁 79.Seaweed 김 80.Dried Persimmon 감말랭이 81.Soju 소주 82.Makgeoli 막걸리 83.Beer 맥주 84.Milkis 밀키스 85.Yuja Tea 유자차 86.Omijja Tea 오미지차 87.Hangover Drink 숙취해소음료 88.Rice Water 식혜 89.Ginseng  인삼쥬스 90.Aloe Vera Juice 알로에쥬스 91. Green tea 녹차 92.Bingsu 빙수 93.Hotcake 호떡 94.Red bean 팥 95.Manjoo 만주 96.Rice cakes 떡 97.Fish waffle 붕어빵 98.Jeju Orange 한라봉 99.Dragon Beard Candy 꿀타래 100. Korean melon 참외

 

Damotori is located at 31 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station and come out of exit 2. Walk straight to the end of the road, then take the road baring left and walk straight pas the Kimchi Pots.Keep walking straight along this road, you will see Damotori just ahead on the left hand side, after you pass Bonny’s Pizza. For more information, you can call them on 070-8950-8362.

100 Korean Food in 100 Days – Day 1 -Gwangjang Market

A Fat Girl’s Food Guide has just turned 5 years old. To celebrate this momentous occasion I have set myself a challenge, of eating 100 different Korean foods in 100 days. Despite blogging for the past 5 years about food in Korea, I really haven’t spent much time eating Korean food, so this new YouTube series will be my chance to do it, click here to subscribe to my new channel.  My challenge started on June 23rd, and finishes on September 30th. Follow me on my journey as I eat my way around Korea. I have split my foods into ten categories: meat, stews/soups, noodles/rice, sides, fish, Traditional Korea, fast food/ street food, snacks, drinks, desserts. My food list is at the bottom of this post, I have listed all the foods I plan to try below. Which ones are you excited for me to try?

On Day 1 we headed to Gwangjang Market, which is near Jongno 5 station. Gwangjang Market is one of the oldest markets in Seoul, having opened in the early 1900’s, and it is filled to the brim with loads of amazing street foods. One of the best things about this market aside from the sheer array, is that all the stalls have seating so you can hang out and enjoy your food, rather than eating standing up and scoffing it on the go.

I started my challenge with Kimbap, but not just any Kimbap, Mayak Kimbab (2,500). The famed narcotic Kimbap is a real speciality at Gwangjang Market. They call it narcotic as it is supposed to be addictively good. The rice and veggie rolls are wrapped in seaweed, and are smaller than your typical Kimbap. They aren’t so special by themselves but when served with the accompanying wasabi dip they are really scrummy. I wish all Kimbap was served with this sauce.

The second food I tried was Bindaetteok (4,000), a fried mungbean pancake. Again this is another speciality of Gwangjang market. The pancakes are huge and very filling for mere 4,000 won. They came served with a side of soy sauce pickled onions. I did enjoy the crunchy texture but think it would be a bit nicer with some gochujang or something else as it is a little repetitive by itself. I liked the creamy texture inside though, and we know how much I love anything deep fried.

After the main course we deiced on something sweet for dessert, and Hotteok (1,500) was just the ticket. The sweet Korean pancakes are filled with brown sugar and sesame seeds. I really love these, they are uber delicious and kind of glutinous and chewy in the middle. I would love to have one stuffed with Nutella or some other kind of filling if they exist!

My 4th food was Sikhye (1,000) a sweet traditional drink made from rice. After all that claggy food, I needed something refreshing. Although I’m a big fan of Mexican horchata, which is very similar I just couldn’t get on board with this, it just tasted like rice dissolved in sugar water, not really my bag. Four foods tried with one miss isn’t too bad though. 4/100 Korean foods eaten, 99 days remain! What woulds you like to see me try next? Check out the list below.

1.Samgyupsal 삼겹살 2.Bulgogi 불고기 3.Kalbi 갈비 4.Hanwoo Steak 한우 5.Smoked Duck 오리훈제 6.Raw Beef 육회 7.Fried Chicken 후라이드치킨 8.Dak Galbi 닭갈비 9.Bossam 보 10. Don Cass 돈까스 11.Kimchi Jiggae 김치찌개 12.Dwenjang Jjiggae 된장찌개 13.Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 14.Hangover Soup 해장국 15.Dak Dori Tang 닭도리탕 16.Seaweed Soup 미역국 17.Tteok (New Year Soup) 떡국 18.Short Ribs 갈비찜 19.Tofu Soup 순두부찌개 20. Mandu Guk 만두국 21.Bibimbab 비빔밥 22.Bokumbab 볶음밥 23.Nurungji 누룽지 24.Jjang Myeon 짜장면 25.Nangmyeon 냉면 26.Ramyeon 라면 27.Kimbab 김밥 28.Jap Chae 잡채 29.Kalguksu 칼국수 30.Jjimddaek 찜닭 31.Lotus Root 연근 32.Quails Egg 메츄리알 33.Kimchi 김치 34.White kimchi 백김치 35.Radish 깍두기 36.Cucumber 오이 37.Korean Eggplant 가지 38.Soft Tofu 순두부 39.Katnip (sauteed perilla) 깻잎 40.Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 41.Dried Squid 오징어 42.Live Octopus 산낙지 43.Anchovi 멸치 44.Sashimi 회 45.Grilled Clam 조개구이 46.Yangnyeom Gejang 양념게장 47.Fishcake on a Stick 오뎅꼬치 48.Deep Fried Shrimp 새우튀김 49.Sea snails 소라 50.Sea Penis 개불 51.Pajeon 파전 52.Chicken Feet 닭발 53.Porridge 죽 54.Acorn Jelly 도토리욱 55.Pigs Trotters 족발 56.Dog Soup 보신탕 57.Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 58.Bindaetok 빈대떡 59.Bondegi 뻔데기 60.Sanjuk 산적 61.Tteokbokki 떡볶이 62.Mandu 만두 63.Croquette 고로게 64.Sundae 순대 65.Fried Tofu  두부부침 66.Yache Twigim 튀김 67.French Fry Hot Dog 핫도그 68.Twisted Potato 회오리감자 69.Meat on a Stick 꼬치 70.Egg Bread 계랑빵 71.Peppero 빼빼로 72.Shrimp Chips 새우칩 73.Tteokbokki snack 떡볶이과자 74.Honey Butter Chips 허니버터칲 75.Choco pie 초코파이 76.Steamed bun 호빵 77.Chestnuts 군밤 78.Jolly Pong 죠리퐁 79.Seaweed 김 80.Dried Persimmon 감말랭이 81.Soju 소주 82.Makgeoli 막걸리 83.Beer 맥주 84.Milkis 밀키스 85.Yuja Tea 유자차 86.Omijja Tea 오미지차 87.Hangover Drink 숙취해소음료 88.Rice Water 식혜 89.Ginseng  인삼쥬스 90.Aloe Vera Juice 알로에쥬스 91. Green tea 녹차 92.Bingsu 빙수 93.Hotcake 호떡 94.Red bean 팥 95.Manjoo 만주 96.Rice cakes 떡 97.Fish waffle 붕어빵 98.Jeju Orange 한라봉 99.Dragon Beard Candy 꿀타래 100. Korean melon 참외

Gwangjang market is located at 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno, Seoul. To get there take a train to Jongno 5 (line 1), and come out of exit 7 or 8. Walk straight and you will see one of the many entrances to the market. The whole place is filled with all kinds of awesome food so be sure to explore. For more information you can check out the Visit Korea website.