Tag: Haebangchon

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe

Last weekend I decided to embrace the spring weather and get my fat arse out for a workout. Much to his dismay I dragged TFB out with me too. After a bracing walk around the park and quick sop at the HBC Ogari fruit and veg lady we headed back down. For being so virtuous I thought we were both in need of reward so we stopped by Brooklyn Bagel cafe on the way home for a treat. The small store is located at the far end of the main drag of HBC almost opposite the CU. Up at the counter is a menu and a refrigerator full of different cream cheeses and 8 different flavours of bagels. The cute cafe has seating inside and out which is always a plus on a sunny day.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for one of the sandwich style bagels and settled on the Chicken Salad (4,000). The best thing about this sandwich is that they let you choose your bagel, and after looking at their selection I went for the everything bagel. The bagel was nice enough, and it came stuffed with a rather nice chicken mayo and a little bit of salad. For 4,000 it was definitely a bargain, you rarely find a sandwich that is under 5,000 these days and although it was small I think most people would be satisfied.

TFB true to form opted for the Salmon with cream cheese (6,000), probably because he knew I wouldn’t ask for a bite. He got his salmon on a jalapeno bagel which personally I thought an odd choice but each to their own. I didn’t actually try this, as you know my feelings about salmon well, especially stuff at the cheaper end of the scale. But he said it had a nice flavour, and there was plenty of salmon with a little bit of zing from the red onion. He agree that the bagel was decent for the price, though wouldn’t have noticed that it was jalapeño flavoured.

Overall I cant say its the best bagel I’ve ever had, or even the best one I have had in Seoul, so I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. However if you are in HBC and in need of a sandwich style snack on a budget or fancy picking up breakfast for you and your latest Tinder hook up then its worth swinging by especially if you are up early or on a walk of shame because it opens at 7am.

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe is located at 44 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6). Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Keep walking straight along this street past Phillies and Casablanca, you will see Brooklyn Bagel Cafe up ahead on the right hand side next to 8 Piece. For more information you can visit their facebook page. They are open every day from 7am-8pm.

Sprout

As you may know I have been trying to be a little more health conscious lately, although that didn’t seem to stop me stuffing my face with pizza and cheeseburgers while guzzling Moscow Mules like they were going out of fashion last weekend. To balance my somewhat dubious diet I try to eat as cleanly as possible from Monday to Friday. So when Sprout, a vegan and completely additive free homemade meal service offered to provide me with a weeks worth of free meals I was only too happy to oblige them in their offer.

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McCoy’s

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With my jam packed schedule it has actually been quite a while since I last had a chance to eat at my favourite HBC bistro, McCoy’s. So when they invited me back to try their new menu, i just couldn’t say no. I last reviewed the cute and quaint eatery at the end of last year, when it became one of my most popular date night restaurants. Not only is the place absolutely adorable, the food is also fantastic and it’s very well priced. I hoped that nothing had changed in that department since my last visit and luckily I wasn’t disappointed. (more…)

Pub of the Month – Phillies

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I’ve decided to add a new feature here at Fat Girl entitled “Pub of the Month”. You may be aware that over the past year or two a lot of long established expat watering holes have closed their doors for the last time. They may have had toilets that smelled like chlamydia, floors stickier than jam, and furniture that was falling apart, but they were there for us when we needed them. The times we were too drunk to get into that fancy club, when we were so pissed no one else would serve us, to provide us with fried foods to help sober us up for the long journey home, to never judge us for the mingers we hooked up with, or to mention that time when we threw up all over the pool table. Those pubs were there when we were feeling down and lonely and needed to go somewhere where everyone knew our name. I might drink a lot less that I did 8 years ago but I feel it’s my duty to support my old favourite drinking holes so they too don’t suffer the same fate from rent hikes and be turned into yet another coffee shop. (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.

 

Fat Girl’s 4th Birthday Giveaway – Closed

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I can’t believe that it has been four years since I first started writing this blog. As a naturally lazy and sloth like person I am continually surprised and a little proud of the the fact that I have managed to keep it going all this time. Without getting too soppy, I’d just like to say a big thank you to all of my beloved readers. You spurred me on to keep blogging even when even my own friends and family stopped reading and I couldn’t have done it without you. Knowing that over 100,000 people read this blog every month gives me the motivation to get off the sofa and go out into the city and find the most delicious foods that Seoul has to offer. I have eaten some amazing things over the last four years, and I know there is even better to come, so please keep reading. (more…)

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…)

HBC Gogit Jib

Note – This location has since closed down, however there is a bigger and (arguably) better version in Itaewon. The Itaewon location offers the all you can eat deal every day for 16,000 per person. I have amended the map and directions at the bottom to reflect the alternate location.

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My blog is well known for its lack of Korean food, but over the past few months I have had more than my fair share of out of town visitors who have been rather eager to sample some local delights. My favourite Korean food by far Korean BBQ, I cant get enough of the meaty goodness, and I just love the idea of cooking and eating all together. However my neighbourhood of Itaewon isn’t really known for its Korean food, so I wanted to share this place as it’s one of the best as far as I’m concerned. (more…)

Hours

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I have let it be known on numerous occasions that Chinese is my absolute favourite food in the whole wide world, or rather western style Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, I love the food in China, the Chinese in Korea, not so much. My obvious favourite is how we do it in England, but sadly I can’t see that catching on any time soon so for now I’ll stick with American style which is pretty damn close.

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Hours is a brand new restaurant that has opened up in my old stomping ground HBC. When I visited at the weekend it was still only in its soft opening phase but I honestly just couldn’t wait to give it a try. The restaurant is pretty small with seating for about 12, but the menu is of a pretty decent size with a good mix of appetizers and entrees. They also have a nice array of alcoholic beverages available too.

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The first thing we had to order was TFB’s favourite, Kung Pao Chicken (16,000). I was hoping for some crispy chunks of chicken in a light batter but unfortunately the chicken was just fried with the skin on.  It wasn’t bad, I just prefer it when it is battered. The chicken, veggies, and sauce were still pretty good anyway, it had a nice balance and was not too spicy. However I make a pretty damn amazing version of this myself at home so I’m not 100% sure if I would get it again.

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The next dish we ordered was the Beef with Broccoli (18,000). I really enjoyed this a lot. There were plenty of generous strips of tender beef in an overly Chinesy tasting sauce. It just had that flavour that you can’t replicate at home, I’m assuming it’s MSG, but who cares when it tastes this good!

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My dining buddy wanted to try the Crab Rangoon (8,000). I don’t think we have these in the UK,  but I’m always down for anything deep fried. The middle was filled with a cream cheese crabby dip like stuffing. They were fine if you just ate them and didn’t think about the flavour too much, but I can’t say I was bowled over.

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After seeing how good it looked at the next table over, we had to try the General Tso’s Chicken (15,000). The sauce was really good, like plate licking good. We don’t have this dish in the UK so I can’t say how authentic it is, but it was like a slightly spicy sweet and sour. The chicken did look crispier from afar and I was hoping it would be in a kind of batter like the Kung Pao is at home, but again sadly not. However I spoke with the owner after we settled up  and she told me they plan to roll out the full menu this week or next, which includes all of the battered dishes I’ve been longing for like sweet and sour pork, and orange chicken. Hopefully I shall be satisfied upon my next visit.

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Lastly we got a Chicken Fried Rice (8,000). It showed up at the end of the meal when everyone else was pretty full, but I managed to power through and finish it. Not as amazing as a special fried rice from my local Chinese at home, but it will do. We got a look at the noodles as our neighbours ordered it, and I thought the rice looked like the better bet of the two.

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Although I didn’t love the food as much as I had hoped I’m still thrilled to have a place like this in the neighbourhood. As I mentioned they were still in their soft opening phase during my visit, so I’m looking forward to going back once the full menu is up and running. The prices are a touch on the high side for me to really order everything that I want to try, but in the UK Chinese is food is often operating as a take out service and not a restaurant which lowers their running costs considerably. The dishes are fairly priced if you compare them to similar Thai places in Seoul though. While they do have take out boxes, I think if you are looking for the cheap and cheerful option to gorge upon at home then it’s best to stick with Panda Express.

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Hours is located at 41 Sinheung-ro, 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 the left hand turn by the kimchi pots. Walk straight past Bonny’s, Phillies, and Casablanca. Hours is just a little further up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 010-27680658.