Tag: Chef

Ryan’s Rooftop Pop Up


Last Sunday I finally got to get out of the city and enjoy the most amazing pop up on Chef Ryan’s roof top. The pop up was hosted to use and cook all of the fantastic ingredients he and his team had been growing on his rooftop out in the countryside. This is the exact kind of thing that really excites me. Locally produced ingredients picked that day and turned into the most delicious dishes.


The roof garden itself was truly a sight to behold. It was amazing how much you could grow on a simple roof top. There were different varieties of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, chilis, corn, herbs, carrots and more. I love the fact that everything in the garden was put to use, in fact Ryan’s garden master has even used the peppers to make and bottle his own hot sauce!  I took a bottle back with me for TFB as hes a fan of all things spicy, and hes been adding to every meal ever since.


The pop-up menu had 13 different dishes on it, which was almost completely comprised of produce grown on the garden and their surrounding farm land.  The plates were small dishes of what I’m calling ‘Garden Tapas”, and were priced between 3,000 – 8,000 each. They also had a homemade omija infused gin for their signature cocktail but we were free to bring our own beverages as well.


Not surprisingly I wanted to try everything on the menu, and this was more than ample to feed three large eaters. We also got a second round of a few of our favourites, just because we could.


While every dish we had was fantastic in its own way, it would take me forever to list everything so here is the highlight reel. First up was the Salmon Gravlax (5,000), a whole beet cured salmon, thinly sliced on top of toasted homemade focaccia, and topped with a devilled egg salad. Honestly this was pretty hard to beat, especially for the price.


With the salmon we were served the Sweetened Carrots (3,000). These baby carrots were sweeter than honey. Sauteed with dill, mustard, and cumin, they had a slightly warm spicy taste which complimented them so well. I’ve got a few pots of carrots in my own garden and I really hope they turn out as good as these.


It is not often that you come across veal in Korea, and Ryan had two dishes on the menu Grilled Veal Loin & Sage, and Smoked Veal and Collards both (8,000). Both dishes made great use of the gamey veal, the grilled version was crispy and served with sage, while the smoked version was falling off the bone and served with collards.


The Chilli Rellenos (8,000), were by far the star of the day for me. I’ve never had anything like it before but they were insanely good. Chillies stuffed with homemade cheese and deep fried, then topped with tomato spice water, there was also a tangy corn salsa on the side. I could have honestly eaten 100, and died happy when my stomach exploded.


The other standout dish was Ryan’s Corn (3,000). It was topped with John’s aioli and Ashes hot sauce. This was one of the first dishes we ate and I think it’s going to be a long time before I get to eat corn that good again. The smokiness from the bbq mixed with the hot sauce and aoili was just the perfect blend.


I kind of wanted to keep this last one as a secret because its my favourite thing in the world and I don’t want anyone getting hold of my secret supply, but it would be cruel not to share it. Ryan has a field full of his own rhubarb which he used to make a Rhubarb Crumble (5,000). I’m pretty sure I ate three bowls of this just by myself, it is always one of the foods that I miss most here in Korea. Luckily for us Ryan has a huge supply and often has it to sell at the monthly marche markets around the city. If you would like more details about the monthly farmers market then please see their website


This wasn’t the first roof top pop up that Ryan has hosted and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you want to find out more details about the next pop up, you can check out Ryan’s facebook group or Instagram account.You can also see him star in a documentary about the Korean seafood on Arirang TV on 7/29 or 7/30.



A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy an incredible 16 course tasting menu at Ryunique. And, since my visit, Chef Ryu has been very busy opening up a new bistro called Normal. The food is, unsurprisingly, a simpler version of the theatrically styled gastronomy he does at Ryunique. While the menu would lead you to believe that the food is standard bistro fare, I knew from my previous dinner that it would be anything but simple. There seems to be a bit of an influx of new bistros opening in the last month, and the few that I have been to haven’t really impressed me all that much, despite receiving high praise from other reviewers. So I was very interested to find out how Normal would compare. (more…)


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…)

Foodie Crawl – Eurail Pass

Last week the European Union hosted the Itaewon European food week. All your favourite restaurants had special dishes and all the stores really upped the ante by stocking their shelves with lots of lovely European goodies. So in keeping with the European theme, I helped host the Eurail Pass foodie crawl last Saturday with delicious results. The crawl was so popular that it will now be on once a month on the 2nd Saturday of every month. For more Details check out the Chips maps page.


The first restaurant on the tour was Tapeo. You may have read my full review before, but it was the first stop on our European tour. The Spanish tapas restaurant, served us up 3 of their finest paellas. A cuttlefish ink, a seafood, and a chicken paella. They were washed down with cerveza from Barcelona and their famous sangria. A great start to the tour.



Second stop of the day was Un Deux Trois for a taste of France. Here we tried the calamari carbonara. Not a traditional dish from France but it was exceptionally tasty. I have never eaten anything like this before, but it was so good. The calamari was cut into ribbons to make the pasta. It went down a storm with a glass of champagne.


Third stop was Chef Meili to see what Austria had to offer us. Our Austrian host served us up his finest sausage, potatoes and sauerkraut. It was the perfect thing to warm us up on the cold autumn day. This was all washed down with a nice wheaty Erdinger.


Last stop on the tour was Zelen to try Bulgarian food. We waltzed right past the queue and were assigned our table, it was nice to be treated so well. Here we tried Pork loin stuffed with cheese and served in a delicious gravy, it was so good we were all fighting over the bread basket to mop up those last few juices left. We all left the tour full happy and little worse for wear, well I did any how.


Despite being an Itaewon local and food blogger it was a great chance for me to try some dishes that I hadn’t had, and will certainly be looking forward to the next one. It’s not too late to sign up for tomorrows Hot & Spicy Tour, trying four of the hottest dishes in town, it will certainly have your taste buds tingling by the end. Checkout 10 magazine for more details.