Tag: Cheap

궈일교자

January is almost always a very bleak month. It’s cold and miserable, you’ve failed your new health kick after a week and a half, and everyone is broke after spending too much money at Christmas. Honestly there really isn’t a whole lot to look forward to unless you are going to Cambodia for a week like I am tomorrow (please don’t hate me!). Despite these rather depressing conditions, the restaurant scene around Itaewon is still popping, with a whole host of new restaurants  opening their doors in the past few weeks.

Now one such place that has opened up in Gyeongridan is 궈일교자 . This new restaurant popped up overnight in a spot that used to host a 7-11. It’s not surprising that the minuscule 7-11 bit the dust as there are much larger convenience stores in spitting distance. The front portion of the tiny store is made up of the kitchen which boasts big towers of steamers to help lure in the crowds looking for shelter from the biting cold. At the back of the store is some counter style seating for the best part of a dozen patrons.

The menu like the store itself is pretty simple. There are  half a dozen different types of mandu, along with a few large ones and two different typoes of noodles. Honestly it was the cheap prices that lured me in, as they agreed with my new frugal sensibilities. Being in desperate need of iron in my diet I went for the BBQ Dumplings (3,000 for 6). The dumplings were stuffed with galbi and galbi sauce, which I had never eaten in dumpling form before. The meat was sweet and tasty, and they paired nicely with the free pickled radish.

We also tried the meat dumplings (2,500 for 8). These were pretty much your bog standard gogi mandu that you could buy frozen and make yourself at home. They were possibly a touch fancier than that and did taste pretty great when dipped into the accompanying vinegar. If you don’t fancy cooking these are a nice cheap and cheerful option.

As it was so cold and I was in the mood for soup so we also got the Udon (4,000). This was alright, honestly the broth was fairly unmemorable but the noodles were filling. At least the price is right. There were some other dumplings on the menu that I’d be more likely to try over these if I came again.

Honestly I cant say that this place was that amazing and if you are looking for standout dumplings you’d be better going to Stacked. The bbq galbi dumplings were tasty enough though, and I would probably pick myself up a to go order from time to time as it’s right by my house. Its real draw is its prices, mandu plus some soup for about 6,000, you can’t say fairer than that, though of course you can find similar places in neighbourhoods all over Korea, just rarely in ours, and for that alone it is worth a mention.

궈일교자 is located at 225-68 Itaewon2-dong, yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, then go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow the road around passing the church and Well Being mart. You will see 궈일교자 just up ahead on the right hand side after Cheese-a-lot. They don’t currently have a phone number so I can’t give any more information.

Little Baja

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Little Baja is no longer the teeniest tiniest Mexican in the country. The So Cal crew have moved on to bigger and better premises after becoming a roaring success in their first location. The new spot is located up on top of the hill at the end of Itaewon, and they are in good company with neighbors like Manimal and Coreanos.  . (more…)

7 under 7,000 won

Finding great cheap food in this city is actually pretty damn easy, most Korean food won’t really run you over 10,000 if you don’t want anything too fancy, some rice, veggies, and a little meat will always fall into this budget, but finding great foreign foods for under that figure is fraught with a little bit more difficulty. But just because you have the budget of a pauper, doesn’t mean you can’t eat like a king. Below are my favourite 7 under 7,000 won, the best economical eats in Seoul.

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Jil’Hal Bros

One of the standouts on my trip to New York this year had to be the chicken and rice from the Halal guys street cart. Nothing fancy but those delicious giant foil containers filled with chicken, rice, salad and pita bread rocked my world and they were only a mere $7 dollars, I just couldn’t get enough. Anyhow I put the deliciousness that was chicken and rice behind me after making my own a couple of times and realizing that I would never quite strike the right balance of flavours. When one day out of the blue one of my most diligent and well sourcing foodie friends discovered Jil’Hal in Cheongdam and once again all was right with the world.

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Namu Arae (Under the Tree) 나무아래

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Finding a good restaurant in Itaewon to dine in on a Monday night is like searching for a needle in haystack. For some time now Monday nights have been hailed as the industry day off, a time when the staff all across town can rest up after a hard week’s work and let their hair down. Well that’s all well and good for them, but where are the rest of us supposed to eat? (more…)

Nalari – 나라리

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If you’ve been paying attention to Seoul’s foodie scene you would have noticed that churros are yesterday news and the whole nation has been going crazy for croquettes. The Korean croquettes are more or less a savoury doughnut which is then filled and rolled in panko crumbs. The interest in these babies has skyrocketed of late, just check out this queue at Busan Station! (more…)

WinK

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I’m a creature of habit and sloth, so rarely leave my little neighbourhood unless pressed to do so. However offer me the chance to try a new menu, and you can usually lure me out. WinK is a new restaurant and tap house located just next to Seoul National university of Education, and is owned by When in Korea head honcho William. This week they opened for their soft launch and invited me for a sneak preview. (more…)

Little Cuba

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Seoul’s food landscape is forever changing and in the 6 years that I’ve lived here, the change has been remarkable. Over time the city has become more and more international and there are very few foods you can’t get these days. A few months ago, Seoul’s first Cuban restaurant was opened in Sinchon. The owner and chef is Cuban Augusto Cesar Calzadilla, and he kindly invited me to come and try his food. I’ve never been to Cuba or eaten any Cuban food before so my interest was instantly piqued. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but my first thought was that it would be similar to the food we ate while travelling in South America, and after a little research I found out they did some excellent Cuban sandwiches. So off we went to give it a try. (more…)