Tag: Festival

Mango Festival – Hilton Hotel

A food festival is always going to be music to my ears, so when I was invited to come and try the mango festival at the Hilton Hotel, well, I was very excited indeed, number one because I love mangoes and number two because mangoes generally cost an arm and a leg here. Fruit themed buffets are really popular at the hotels here in Korea, and with strawberry season being over and Spring in the air, it is time for mangoes to take centre stage.

I would best describe the event as a mango themed afternoon tea. It costs 45,000 per person which includes access to the buffet for two hours, either 2:30-4:30, or 5:00 – 7:00, and all the mango tea and juice you can drink. The mango festival is located inside the lobby of the hotel rather than in one of their restaurants. Personally I quite enjoyed watching the hordes of guests going by as I’m quite partial a bit of people watching, whereas my friend didn’t appreciate it so much. I guess it depends on whether you like everyone looking at you or not, which I clearly do.

Once we had settled in and enjoyed a relaxing cup or two of tea it was time to check out the food. There was certainly quite a wide array of different sweet goods and a couple of savoury options. There are too many to mention but off the top of my head there were cronuts, mousse, tiramisu, tarts, meringue pie, macarons, vol a vents, cheesecakes, and ice cream. There were also of a couple of savoury options of meat balls and chicken legs which seemed like a bit of an afterthought.

There was plenty to choose from and we ended up trying most of the different items. To me the stand outs were the freshly fried Namsan Cronuts. There was a chef doing a demonstration of how to make them so these were fresh as can be. The cronuts were filled with mango creme patissiere and covered with mango frosting and a fresh strawberry. Being a child of the 80s I was also very happy to see a mango chicken vol a vent, I certainly ate more than my fair share.  I also really enjoyed the slices of fresh mango that were served at the chocolate fountain, I just wish they had more things to dip into it besides the fruit.

In regards to the rest of the offerings I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. While I thought they offered a good selection of different desserts, they didn’t really do it in terms of flavour for me. They all looked pretty enough, but I would have enjoyed them sweeter and with a more intense mango flavour. I assume that their target audience is Koreans who don’t tend to like their desserts quite so sweet, but for me it was a bit of a miss. I left the buffet before my time was up, which unfortunately kind of says it all.

The Millennium Hilton is located at 50, Sowol-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Seoul Station (lines 1 & 4) and come out of exit 11. Follow the road around and take the third left, then walk straight. you will see the Millennium Hilton on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-753-7788, or visit their website.

Itaewon Global Village Festival – October 15th-16th

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For those at a loose end this weekend, the annual Itaewon Global Village Festival is happening. The whole of the main street is closed off and lined with dozens of different stalls selling food and drink from all over the world. The stalls vary from year to year, but in the past I’ve sampled delights such as empanadas, samosas, scotch eggs,and spring rolls. Clearly I have a fondness for deep fried foods, wherever in the world they may be from.

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Not all the stalls are made equal of course, there will be some crummy hot dogs and lines of people queuing up for run of the mill kebabs. However one stall I won’t be missing out on is the Carnitas tacos from Vatos! Although if you prefer your tacos with a side of margarita, you can of course go swing by the restaurant itself, which is ideally located on the hill to give you a view of all the action with the pushing and shoving.

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The weather looks to be gloriously sunny tomorrow so it’s ideal for a spot of day drinking and hanging out on the street and watching the crowds go by. There will be some form of entertainment happening all day long, expect to see dancers, singers and a DJ or two on the main stage. So get your convenience store drink on and go join the party.

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The Itaewon Global Village Festival is being held on Saturday October 15th & Sunday October 16th. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 1 or 4. The festival will be right in front of you, so you can’t miss it! For more details you can check out this website.

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Food Week Korea 2016 – A World of Flavour

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It’s that time of year again, its Food Week! As usual it’s being held at Coex on November 2nd – 5th 2016. This years theme is A World of Flavour, so expect to see an International flair at this years event.  This years event is set to be even bigger than last years, which boasted 900 hundred different exhibits, stalls, and manufacturers selling their wares to 80,000 visitors.

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This years Food Week 2016 will host a number of international guests including a Turkish pavilion, Chinese pavilion, and an ASEAN Fair dedicated to ASEAN local food. Most of the stalls will be giving out out free samples or some kind of promotional goodies. There will also be a whole host of cooking demonstrations and competitions to watch.

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For those with a passion for cakes, pies, and baked goodies, the Seoul International Bakery Fair will
be held alongside Food Week Korea. There will be plenty of opportunities to satisfy your sweet tooth
and pick up any baking or cookware you’ve been after.

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I have been to the exhibit the past few years in a row and there is always something interesting to see, buy,  or taste. If you are a newbie to Food Week, expect to see booze, baked goods, machinery, packaging, ingredients, cooking competitions and so much more. So if your idea of a good time involves walking around a supermarket devouring as many free samples as possible, then Food Week is the exhibit for you. Just be sure to go hungry!

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Food Week Korea will be taking place at Coex, Seoul from the 2nd – 5th of November 2016. If you would like to get free tickets you can register on the Food Week Website! If you decide to visit on the day, tickets can be purchased for 10,000 won. For more information about food week please call +82-2-6000-8160 or check out the Food Week website.

HBC Festival – 2016 May 28th

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Twice a year the best neighbourhood in Korea plays host to the event of the season, the HBC Fest. All the local bars and restaurants have dozens of bands and singers playing sets. Each venue has its own schedule which you can find here, This year’s Festival is on today Saturday May 28th and tomorrow Sunday May 29th! (more…)

Seoul Night Market

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Last Saturday was the opening weekend of the Seoul Night Market along by the Yeouido Han River Park. Not only was I lucky enough to attend, I was also selected as one of their independent adjudicators to help choose which food trucks will gain a permanent position at the market which hopes to run until October. The market is a mix of food trucks and hand crafts, and will be on again this Saturday and Sunday from 7:30pm until late. (more…)

Great Britain Festival

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The British are coming, the British are coming! Yes today and tomorrow Sinchon Literature Street will see an invasion of the British kind. The university neighbourhood will play host to The Great Britain Festival all day today and tomorrow. One of the highlights of the festival will be a performance from the The Coldstream Guards. The military band will be decked out in full regalia (those little fuzzy black hats and red jackets) providing excellent selfie material so be sure you don’t miss out. The performances are scheduled From 7pm-8pm on Friday & 12pm-1pm & 6pm-7pm on Saturday. (more…)

HBC Fest – 2015

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Twice a year the best neighbourhood in Korea plays host to the event of the season, the HBC fest. All the local bars and restaurants have dozens of bands and singers playing sets. Each venue has its own schedule which you can find here, This year’s Festival is on from Friday May 22nd – Sunday May 24th! (more…)