Tag: chicken

Halal Guys

The most exciting event of the year has finally came to fruition. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, though I am excited about that too. It’s the long awaited opening of one of New York’s favourite street foods, Halal Guys on Saturday December 17th! Now being a blogger sometimes has its perks as I was lucky enough to be invited to give  it a try during their soft opening phase. I first  fell in love with the delicious foil bowls of chicken and rice goodness when I was in New York last year. In fact despite all the amazing goodies I devoured on the trip it was one of the most memorable meals. Not long after my return from NYC Jil’hal Bros opened up their own version of the NY street food here in Seoul and I have been a very frequent customer ever since. However I have still hankered after the original so am pleased as punch they are here too, especially since it’s in Itaewon!

The restaurant is located in Itaewon on the second floor just across from the police station. The eatery is reasonably spacious with seating for about 20 and is decked out in a festive red and yellow colour combination. The team of staff they have working there is huge and they have brought reps over from New York to make sure everything goes smoothly. Working like a well oiled machine they had our monumental order put together in minutes, which is very important when you have so many people to serve in such a short time.

If you are unfamiliar with Halal Guys then the main menu item that everyone lusts after are the chicken and rice, or beef and rice salad bowls. They have three sizes of platters available, a small for 7,900, a regular for 9,900, and a New York for 11,900 (which are the same size as the street cart ones you get in NYC). Along with the meat and rice you also get salad and pita bread, which is then topped with two sauces, a creamy white sauce from heaven and a spicy hot sauce. The platters are customisable so you can have as much or as little sauce as your heart desires and you can also add other ingredients like pickles and olives. It has been a long time since I tried to the original in NYC but I have to say they are pretty much dead on to what I remember and just as addictive. I have eaten at least 8 over the past few weeks and I have to say that, unlike revenge, this is a dish best served hot. I’m not saying I didn’t scarf down a few for breakfast or lunch, but the true flavours are enjoyed warm so try and eat in store if you can. Another point to mention is that they are still testing their pita bread and trying to find an exact copy of the NY one, but it’s a very small flaw in an otherwise delicious dish.

Also on the menu are some gyro wraps. I hadn’t tried these before so was eager to try them. They aren’t cheap at 8,900, but they are large and filling. I got one last night and couldn’t even finish it, although considering I had already eaten the large chicken and rice bowl it is not surprising. The pita as mentioned still needs a little work, as this batch was a bit on the spongy side. Personally I think I’d rather stick with a kebab across the street if I was in the mood for a sandwich, just because the ratio of filling to bread is a little better and they are slightly better value, though don’t let me put you off from trying one.

There are number of sides on the menu including falafel (2,500) and hummus (5,000), which I am sure will be of great interest to my veggie readers. I know that falafel and hummus are found reasonably easily here these day but having a fast food option that you can go to and enjoy with your carnivorous friends will surely be a blessing to many. They also have very reasonably priced fries for (3,000), which are just cheap enough that you will throw a batch on to your order for gluttony’s sake. To celebrate the grand opening tomorrow, the first 100 customers will get their orders free of charge, while the first 1000 will have a chance to play a game and win free food or promotional t-shirts and what not, so be sure to stop by.

Halal Guys is located at 2F, 187 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight you will see Halal Guys just up ahead past Holly’s Coffee on the second floor opposite the police station. For more information you can call them on 027948309 or check out their facebook page. They will be open from from 11am-11pm Sunday – Thursday, and 11am-3am Friday and Saturday.

 

Wee Nam Kee

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More often that not whenever I am doing a spot of shopping in Myeongdong I tend to grab something hot and tasty off one of the street stalls, but this past weekend I was out a bit earlier in the day and they had yet to set up. So rather than miss a meal I instead ventured across to the Lotte Department Store food court to get something hot and tasty in my mouth. Usually when I’m in here it’s to get Panda Express, but I prefer to reserve the cheap and cheerful Chinese for when I am hungover and when only deep fried artificial sauce goodness and cheap noodles will do. After taking a good look at all the options I was drawn to the crispy roast chicken in the window of Singapore stall Wee Nam Kee. I recall trying the Hainanese style chicken and rice in Singapore when we travelled there a few years back but have yet to have it since, and had no idea it was available here in Seoul. (more…)

House of Wings

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Before I jetted off to Europe for a few weeks vacation, my friend took me to House of Wings for a farewell dinner. The small and minimalist restaurant is located up on the HBC Ogeori. Over the past year the streets up on top of the hill have been starting to get some seriously cool and niche places to eat like Sprout, The Royal Food & Drink, and 100 Food Truck.I have also seen a rooftop bar which I seriously need to investigate upon my return.

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The restaurant is owned by John, a chef whom I had been introduced to a few weeks ago at Ryan’s Rooftoop Pop Up event. As he cooked us each dish he explained to me the principles that he strives to abide by, choice of ingredients based on sustainability, professionalism, and simplicity. He also uses only domestic fresh ingredients in his food and organic wherever possible. This is a style of cooking that I have always appreciated and it’s refreshing to find a chef with such great core vales.

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The first thing we tried were the Pomme Frittes (4,000). I adore chips, in fact I consider them to be one of the major food groups, so I was very excited when these got brought out, in fact I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight. It has been a long time since I’ve seen potato looking that good in Korea. I’d always thought that the potatoes weren’t up to scratch, but clearly that isn’t the case, these babies were incredible. Crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, hand cut potato goodness. Served with homemade aioli, the only thing I could say is that I want to order 100 portions, but at only 4,000 a go it’s super affordable to do so!

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Next up was the Calamari (8,000). Served with John’s spicy sauce. I consider myself a rather strange human being as I really don’t like squid, even the thought of it kind of makes me a gag a little, but I love calamari. To be honest if you battered and deep fried a smelly old sock I would probably eat it. Anyhow the calamari we tried and it was in-freaking-credible. Crispy outside, not in the least bit chewy or rubbery, the sauce complimented it perfectly and it had a nice wedge of lemon on the side. If you want to make it a set you can add a glass of wine for an extra 4,000 too.

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Now let’s get to the important part, the wings. Currently there are three flavours, Buffalo, Seoul, and No City (no sauce) but John told me he plans to a few more city sauces over the next few months. All the wings are priced at 7 for 6,000. Factoring in the fact that these are fresh local chicken wings and not the cheap ass frozen ones that come from China they are actually exceedingly good value. First up was the buffalo, John cooked the wings and then shook them up the old fashioned way inside a jar. The sauce was vinegary, yet had a nice mild kick, perfect for buffalo. Served with creamy ranch and celery sticks, this is exactly how you want your wings to be.

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Our second set were the Seoul wings, which were covered in a slightly sweet and sticky honey sauce with just a touch of garlic and a tiny hint of spice. I’m a sweet sauce lover and these were perfection for me, I enjoyed the buffalo but the sweet version would just make it easier to devour more. The wing itself was crispy and the white meat was juicy and came clean away from the bone. You can tell by looking at them that these aren’t frozen and you can taste it too.

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Also on the menu there are some crispy spicy shrimps and chicahornas – deep fried chicken skin, perfect beer food. And if you sit overlooking the kitchen it is a great spot to chill out in this heat and watch the world go by. As the kitchen is a one man operation, all of the drinks are self-service, which adds to the homey, chilled out vibe. I love what John is doing and I really hopes he continues with his no additives and sustainability policy. This is a perfect restaurant for the HBC area and I hope that it gets lots of support from the community.

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House of Wings is located at 67, Sowol-ro 20 gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul . The easiest way to get there is to jump the number 2 local green bus just across the street from Noksapyeong station (Line 6) exit 2.  Then ride the bus through HBC all the way to the top of the Haebangchon Ogeori. Walk down the road by Tous Les Jours and you will see it on your left a couple hundred metres along. For more information you can call them on 070-8872-9123 or check out their facebook page.

 

Jil’Hal Bros – Hongdae

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One of my favourite foodie finds from last year was the chicken and rice from the Halal Bros in NYC. Then rediscovering it here in Seoul was the cherry on top of the cake. If you’ve yet to try the gloriousness that is chicken and rice, then you need to head on over to Jil’Hal Bros pronto. Since opening their first store in Cheongdam last summer, they have become insatiably popular and have since opened a second store in Hongdae. Meaning I no longer need to travel to Gangnam to get my fix, and trust me this stuff is more addictive than crack!

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The menu is the same as the original store, tender slices of lamb or chicken over rice with salad, sauce and pita, or kebab like wraps (4,500). As much as I liked the wraps they are fairly similar to those at half a dozen or so restaurants in Itaewon, so they don’t interest me as much. However the chicken over rice is epic (6,500). It’s insane that something so simple could be as highly addictive as it is. TFB prefers the lamb (7,000) but sometimes I’m greedy and get both. In fact whilst I’m being honest I get two chicken and one lamb! Only the combination of three boxes can satisfy my crazy cravings!

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The restaurant in Hongdae is pretty tiny but has bar style seating for about 5 if you want to eat in, they also have a couple of sodas and such forth. But whether you eat in or take away this is one treat that you need to try. Clearly the store is doing well and my wish is that they will soon open a store in Itaewon so I can eat it everyday until i grow tired of it and move on to my next obsession! But for now the new Hongdae store will do.

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Jil’Hal Bros is located at 153-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hongdae Station (line 2) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight out of that exit for maybe 100m and then turn left. Jil’Hal bros is just along this street on your right hand side. For more information you can call them on or check out their facebook page. If you are lucky enough to live near to Hongdae you can even get it delivered!

 

 

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…)

The Little Pie

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A well baked pie is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Nothing can rival a shell of pastry which is flaky, golden and crisp while inside are chunks of tender meat and glorious gravy so rich you will savour every drop. Served on its own or with veg and mash, a good pie is very hard to beat. However a good pie is also hard to make, pastry that’s well cooked and not soggy on the bottom can be quite a challenge and rather time consuming. And with ready made pastry being very hard to find in Korea I’ve been left yearning for my favourite meaty treat for the past 7 years. (more…)

1981

1981 is yet another new restaurant to hit the Itaewon scene. They just had their grand opening a few weeks ago, and knowing that it was owned by the lovely folks who brought us Left Coast, I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I rounded up my posse and went to check it out.

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Vertex Chicken

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When I heard that a new chicken teriyaki place had opened up in Haebangchon I put it on my list of places to try. However when I heard they were giving away their food for free it jumped straight to the head of the queue, and I ran there as quickly as my chubby little legs would carry me. (more…)

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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