Tag: Haebangchon

Linus BBQ – HBC

Southern style barbecue has been a big old trend in these parts over the past year or two, though very few places have managed enjoy the success of Linus Kim. The Linus Itaewon location has had queues around the clock since it opened, and the variety of copycats haven’t made a dent in it. Luckily for those of us who like the food but don’t want  to wait in line for the privilege, Linus has just opened up a second location in Haebangchon.

The new place is set over two floors and is located 3/4 of the way up the main road in Haebangchon. On the first floor is the bar with some counter style seating overlooking the scenic beauty that is HBC, while upstairs is the kitchen and the familiar wooden tables and chairs. The paint is still practically wet on this place, as it only opened during Chuseok so we were easily able to grab a table for dinner. Once the word spreads I am sure this will change, however unlike the other location this one will take reservations, saving you from those monumental queues if you plan ahead.

Like its customers stomachs, the Linus menu has grown in size at this new location. All the favourites are still on, as are the lunchtime sandwiches, and the new smoked chickens. Having eaten the pulled pork and brisket about a thousand times I was very excited to try the muster of Linus’ chicken. You can eat it in a variety of ways, but we sprung for the new Smoked Chicken Platter (22,000). This comes with a whole smoked chicken, six sliders, white sauce, tomato salad and taters and gravy. The chicken had a real heady smokey flavour throughout and came away nicely from the bones. The skin wasn’t as crisp as I might have liked it, but it was in no way under cooked either. The meat was tender and juicy and went very well with the new white BBQ sauce. I liked this thick garlicky white sauce a lot. I have to say I was very impressed with the size of this smoked chicken platter. Both TFB and myself can eat a lot but we struggled to finish half of this as we ordered another dish. I think we both would have left full and happy, had we only had this especially as it works out to only 11,000 per person.

One of my favourite items from Linus is the Da Bomb Sandwich (13,900), but  they only serve it at lunch at the Itaewon branch. Due to my schedule I am not often a lady who lunches, so  rarely got to indulge as often as I would have liked. The toasted bun is layered with brisket, cheese, caramelized onions, fried pickles and a sweet BBQ sauce. I love the combination of the tender smokey meat, with the cheese and onions. With the slightly sourness and crunch from the deep fried pickles it just ticks all my flavour boxes. We made this sandwich into set for an extra 2,500 won for our sandwich which included two sides of our choice, I got the creamy slaw and skinny fries. For some reason all the sandwich set upgrades are different prices which I found odd, as surely the sides cost the same no matter the sandwich. Hopefully it is just an oversight on the menu.

Not only does Linus have good food, they have a damn fine drinks menu too. My favourite is the Pina Colada (21,000). This gigantic frozen drink  is suggested for two, but being a bit of a lush I prefer it for one. As you can see it is served in a hollowed out pineapple. The cocktail itself incredibly tasty, creamy, and refreshing and has a good flavour of rum coming through. They also serve it with a cup of pineapple that hasn’t been used in your drink which I find a really nice touch. The rest of the drinks menu is equally stellar, and having had quite a few over the years I can definitely give them my seal of approval.

Overall I am quite pleased with the new locations, and vow to head there more often. Fingers crossed it wont be as busy as the Itaewon branch, but if that does happen you can still make a reservation. The new menu items are great, and they have some affordable sandwiches on offer too, which would make a cheap takeout dinner if you live locally.

Linus is located at 37-5 Yongsan-dong 2 ga, 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 & Casablanca. You will see Linus BBQ a little further up on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-790-2930 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am -10:30pm (kitchen closes at 9:30pm).

The Concorde

I know it seems as though I have been away for forever, and I have. But I’m back now and there’s nothing like coming home to a bar where everyone knows your name to a well made cocktail. To celebrate being home I met up with my crew and went for another fabulous dinner at McCoys in HBC, then after headed to the Concorde after for a few apres dinner drinks. Now I think we all know I enjoyed a drink more than most, and luckily for me my neighbourhood is packed with dozens upon dozens of bars. In fact it is positively teeming with them, but my new favourite place to sit and drink while watching the world go by is The Concorde.

While The Concorde has been a HBC fixture for some time now, it has just undergone a change of management and a menu renovation. One of my oldest friends in Korea, and one of the owners of Phillies Pub, Alex Illich is now at the helm creating affordable but well executed cocktails with flair and finesse. After taking a look at the menu we were recommended the Spicy Greyhound (16,000) this was made with freshly squeezed to order grapefruit juice, Titos vodka, spicy syrup, and hellfire bitters.  As much as I love vodka I have never been big on grapefruit but a companion ordered this and it blew my mind. It was so refreshing, with a nice kick at the end from the spice. This is a super grown up cocktail that felt classy, yet cool at the same time and was one of our favourites of the night.

When I saw that there was a Cherry Mojito (12,000) on the menu I was as giddy as a school girl. Nothing makes me happier than a mojito, and a cherry flavoured one sounded like delightful way to enjoy one of my favourite fruits. The classic drink was studded with liquor soaked cherries which gave a the mojito a boozy edge. The mojito is a staple of the menu but the fruit will change weekly to accommodate what is in season. Also on the menu is a killer Old Fashioned. I have literally hated every Old fashioned I have ever tried, however this one made with rye instead was divine. The Daquiri (10,000), deserves a mention too. Not only is it cheap as chips, it was also delicious.

By the end of the night we had made our way through most of the menu and we didn’t get a bad drink all night. All the cocktails are reasonably priced and range between 10,000 – 16,000, with the option to upgrade to the super premium brands if you prefer. Though the bar itself it small, it is a place filled with friendly staff and plenty of people looking to have a good time. With the big slide windows open it was also the perfect spot to watch the hi-jinx and happenings of a weekend in Haebangchon.

The Concorde is located at  28 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. You will see The Concorde on the right hand side opposite Bonny’s Pizza. For more information you can call them on 010-2996-3583. They are open from Wednesday – Sundays 6pm – 2am.

100 Korean Foods in 100 Days – Day 4 – Damatori

After my feast at Gwangjang Market, I was ahead of the game, but in need another few places to visit. As it was raining on Monday I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to give Pajeon a try as it is typically a rainy day food. Traditionally it was eaten by farmers on rainy days when they couldn’t tend to their crops because it was easy to prepare and the stodgy food was nourishing for the mind and body. The sound of Pajeon sizzling in the pan also recreates the sound of the rain.

Traditionally Pajeon is served a long side Makgeolli , a traditional fermented rice alcohol. So I headed over to Damotori in HBC as they have such an awesome selection. One of the best things about Damatori is that they have a Makgeolli tasting set for only 3,000 won. Which allows you to try five different Makgeolis to let yo see which one you like best. My favourite was the 복술도가 but we decided to get a bottle of our second favourite instead because it was cheaper (7,000). So food number 5 was a drink, not technically my favourite alcoholic beverage but it is very Korean, and different to anything else you find in the world. So it had to be tried.

My sixth food was Pajeon, a savoury Korean pancake made with green onions. There are a couple different versions at Damotori, and as they were out of the most common green onion and seafood version, we ordered the onion and mushroom instead (14,000). Honestly I don’t like seafood all that much, and I adore mushrooms so this was a plus in my box. The pajeon was cut into small pieces perfect for sharing. Though I thought the pancake itself was under-seasoned, with not a great deal of flavour by itself. The side dish of pickled soy sauce onions was very good, much better than the Gwangjang Market version. They added a nice salty and sour element to the dish, but a side of gochujang would have helped too. All in a a good meal for a rainy day though.

6/100 Korean foods eaten, 94 days remain! What would you like to see me try next? Check out the list below.

1.Samgyupsal 삼겹살 2.Bulgogi 불고기 3.Kalbi 갈비 4.Hanwoo Steak 한우 5.Smoked Duck 오리훈제 6.Raw Beef 육회 7.Fried Chicken 후라이드치킨 8.Dak Galbi 닭갈비 9.Bossam 보 10. Don Cass 돈까스 11.Kimchi Jiggae 김치찌개 12.Dwenjang Jjiggae 된장찌개 13.Sam Gae Tang 삼계탕 14.Hangover Soup 해장국 15.Dak Dori Tang 닭도리탕 16.Seaweed Soup 미역국 17.Tteok (New Year Soup) 떡국 18.Short Ribs 갈비찜 19.Tofu Soup 순두부찌개 20. Mandu Guk 만두국21.Bibimbab 비빔밥 22.Bokumbab 볶음밥 23.Nurungji 누룽지 24.Jjang Myeon 짜장면 25.Nangmyeon 냉면 26.Ramyeon 라면 27.Kimbab 김밥 28.Jap Chae 잡채 29.Kalguksu 칼국수 30.Jjimddaek 찜닭 31.Lotus Root 연근 32.Quails Egg 메츄리알 33.Kimchi 김치 34.White kimchi 백김치 35.Radish 깍두기 36.Cucumber 오이 37.Korean Eggplant 가지 38.Soft Tofu 순두부 39.Katnip (sauteed perilla) 깻잎 40.Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 41.Dried Squid 오징어 42.Live Octopus 산낙지 43.Anchovi 멸치 44.Sashimi 회 45.Grilled Clam 조개구이 46.Yangnyeom Gejang 양념게장 47.Fishcake on a Stick 오뎅꼬치 48.Deep Fried Shrimp 새우튀김 49.Sea snails 소라 50.Sea Penis 개불 51.Pajeon 파전 52.Chicken Feet 닭발 53.Porridge 죽 54.Acorn Jelly 도토리욱 55.Pigs Trotters 족발 56.Dog Soup 보신탕 57.Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 58.Bindaetok 빈대떡 59.Bondegi 뻔데기 60.Sanjuk 산적 61.Tteokbokki 떡볶이 62.Mandu 만두 63.Croquette 고로게 64.Sundae 순대 65.Fried Tofu  두부부침 66.Yache Twigim 튀김 67.French Fry Hot Dog 핫도그 68.Twisted Potato 회오리감자 69.Meat on a Stick 꼬치 70.Egg Bread 계랑빵 71.Peppero 빼빼로 72.Shrimp Chips 새우칩 73.Tteokbokki snack 떡볶이과자 74.Honey Butter Chips 허니버터칲 75.Choco pie 초코파이 76.Steamed bun 호빵 77.Chestnuts 군밤 78.Jolly Pong 죠리퐁 79.Seaweed 김 80.Dried Persimmon 감말랭이 81.Soju 소주 82.Makgeoli 막걸리 83.Beer 맥주 84.Milkis 밀키스 85.Yuja Tea 유자차 86.Omijja Tea 오미지차 87.Hangover Drink 숙취해소음료 88.Rice Water 식혜 89.Ginseng  인삼쥬스 90.Aloe Vera Juice 알로에쥬스 91. Green tea 녹차 92.Bingsu 빙수 93.Hotcake 호떡 94.Red bean 팥 95.Manjoo 만주 96.Rice cakes 떡 97.Fish waffle 붕어빵 98.Jeju Orange 한라봉 99.Dragon Beard Candy 꿀타래 100. Korean melon 참외

 

Damotori is located at 31 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station and come out of exit 2. Walk straight to the end of the road, then take the road baring left and walk straight pas the Kimchi Pots.Keep walking straight along this road, you will see Damotori just ahead on the left hand side, after you pass Bonny’s Pizza. For more information, you can call them on 070-8950-8362.

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…)