Tag: Itaewon

궈일교자

January is almost always a very bleak month. It’s cold and miserable, you’ve failed your new health kick after a week and a half, and everyone is broke after spending too much money at Christmas. Honestly there really isn’t a whole lot to look forward to unless you are going to Cambodia for a week like I am tomorrow (please don’t hate me!). Despite these rather depressing conditions, the restaurant scene around Itaewon is still popping, with a whole host of new restaurants  opening their doors in the past few weeks.

Now one such place that has opened up in Gyeongridan is 궈일교자 . This new restaurant popped up overnight in a spot that used to host a 7-11. It’s not surprising that the minuscule 7-11 bit the dust as there are much larger convenience stores in spitting distance. The front portion of the tiny store is made up of the kitchen which boasts big towers of steamers to help lure in the crowds looking for shelter from the biting cold. At the back of the store is some counter style seating for the best part of a dozen patrons.

The menu like the store itself is pretty simple. There are  half a dozen different types of mandu, along with a few large ones and two different typoes of noodles. Honestly it was the cheap prices that lured me in, as they agreed with my new frugal sensibilities. Being in desperate need of iron in my diet I went for the BBQ Dumplings (3,000 for 6). The dumplings were stuffed with galbi and galbi sauce, which I had never eaten in dumpling form before. The meat was sweet and tasty, and they paired nicely with the free pickled radish.

We also tried the meat dumplings (2,500 for 8). These were pretty much your bog standard gogi mandu that you could buy frozen and make yourself at home. They were possibly a touch fancier than that and did taste pretty great when dipped into the accompanying vinegar. If you don’t fancy cooking these are a nice cheap and cheerful option.

As it was so cold and I was in the mood for soup so we also got the Udon (4,000). This was alright, honestly the broth was fairly unmemorable but the noodles were filling. At least the price is right. There were some other dumplings on the menu that I’d be more likely to try over these if I came again.

Honestly I cant say that this place was that amazing and if you are looking for standout dumplings you’d be better going to Stacked. The bbq galbi dumplings were tasty enough though, and I would probably pick myself up a to go order from time to time as it’s right by my house. Its real draw is its prices, mandu plus some soup for about 6,000, you can’t say fairer than that, though of course you can find similar places in neighbourhoods all over Korea, just rarely in ours, and for that alone it is worth a mention.

궈일교자 is located at 225-68 Itaewon2-dong, 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 underpass, then go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow the road around passing the church and Well Being mart. You will see 궈일교자 just up ahead on the right hand side after Cheese-a-lot. They don’t currently have a phone number so I can’t give any more information.

Gino’s Pizzeria

Almost a year ago to the day, Gino’s New York Style Pizza opened its doors here in Itaewon and a mere 365 days later later they are opening up a second location right across the street. The new location is set to be a slice shop and to help with their vast and numerous take out orders. The original location became wildly popular after featuring in a a bunch of TV spots which kept a steady queue of customers at its doors but made locals feel unwanted.  The new shop has seating / standing room for half a dozen or so customers but come springtime there will be outdoor seats available. The joint is the kind of eat and go place, if you want to have a leisurely lunch then head back to the original across the street.

After perusing the menu and the display case we ordered a Plain Cheese (4,000). Very simple, but hits the spot perfectly. A bit pricier than some of the other plain cheeses slices around but its certainly tastier, and almost as good as the full size pizza. I can imagine being very happy munching on one of these babies when I’ve had a few too many drinks on a Friday night. We also got the new Grandma Slice (6,000), a Sicilian style slice with a thicker more robust crust, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. This one was also delicious and a nice variation from the ultra thin slices.  Owner Euguene told me they still have a couple of kinks to work out to make sure customers are getting fresh slices and they aren’t throwing too many away but on the whole I think its perfect for anyone looking for a quick snack at this end of town.

Also new to the menu are a selection of  calzones. I couldn’t resist getting the Chicken Alfredo Calzone (12,000) as its one favourite pizza toppings across the street. The golden dough was stuffed with mozzarella, breaded chicken, spinach, mushrooms, red onion, alfredo sauce and ricotta. It was heavenly especially as it came with extra sauce on the side. A tad on the expensive side for lunch but nice for a treat.They also have a couple parmesan sandwiches on the menu which looked good but I didn’t have the room for.

Along with the slices, sandwiches, and calzones the store will also be serving Lala Milkmade’s delicious ice cream. I’ve been a huge fan of Jen and her frozen treats since when had a shop called Ellay’s in Seochon. She has since opened another store in Gyeongbukgong trading under the name LA LA Milkmaid. The ice cream we tried was the Jameson’s Bacon, and the Guinness & Chocolate (4,500). Both ice creams were deliciously rich and creamy, but I’d have to give the edge to the Jamesons & bacon just because it had the sweet and salty pairing I love so much. I believe there are also another couple of flavours on the menu too, well worth a try even if it is freezing outside.

 

Gino’s Pizzeria is having its grand opening today (December 31st) and to celebrate will be selling 1,000won plain cheese slices, 2,000won pepperoni slices, 1,000won cups of blue point toasted lager, 1,000won jarritos, and 1000won ice creams from Lala milkmaid (one slice per customer). The doors open at 12pm on December 31st, get there early or very late as I’m sure there will be one hell of a queue. What better way to ring in the new year than with a cheap, tasty slice of pizza.

Gino’s Pizzeria is located at 455-47 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and exit using the lift next to thew shop. Walk over the bridge and then take a right, follow the road around and you will see Gino’s Pizzeria just ahead on the corner above Nori Table. For more information you can call them on  02-790-2235 or check out their facebook page. Ginos will be open from 12:00pm – 10:00pm Tue-Sun. 

Nori Table

Earlier this week I went off to try the latest restaurant to hit the Itaewon scene, Nori Table. The new sushi joint  is a passion project of the creative team behind KoMex place, Coreanos. The lack of LA style sushi in the city left them wanting and in the end they decided to set up the place themselves. The restaurant which is up on the Noksapyeong hill is very chic and filled with sleek black tables and wood clad walls and

We started off the evening with a Sake Bomb (8,000), which they are currently giving away FREE to anyone who mentions this article for the rest of the year! I’m not particularly fond of sake but the joy of doing the bomb was too much to resist. And I was very proud that I managed to do my bomb in one go. If you want to see the video chugging my bomb check out my instagram account. We also enjoyed a bowl of complimentary miso soup. The soup was nice enough but I was more excited about moving on to the main event! .

After perusing the menu we decided to get two sets of maki hand rolls, Tempura Shrimp (12,000 for 3), and the Soft Shell Crab (14,000 for 3). Both rolls were quite similar considering they were stuffed with battered and deep fried seafood, avocado, and vegetables. There were both filled with plenty of tempura covered shellfish and veg and not too much rice which was plus. They also came with a blob of wasabi, some pickled ginger, and a very nice soy sauce for dipping. I enjoyed the maki rolls a lot as they reminded me a lot of the hand rolls I used to eat for my lunch every day when I lived in Sydney. Three would be very easy to eat by yourself though, so consider these to be an appetiser.

Also on the menu are a selection of Nori creations. There are larger rolls stuffed with all kinds of different fish and covered in sauces and sliced into pieces. We ordered two of the rolls, the Fengshui Roll (14,000) which is filled with chicken karage, shrimp tempura and cucumber and is topped with salmon and apple mayo. As you may know I’m not overly keen on fish, so this battered chicken and shrimp stuffed version was right up my ally. It came with salmon on the top but it was very fresh and palatable so I had no problem eating that too.

We also ordered the Swaggy G (13,000) a spicy tuna roll with shrimp tempura covered in eel sauce and topped with deep fried seaweed. I honesty didn’t think I’d like this as I’m not fond of tuna but I tried a piece anyway, the fishy roll was actually rather tasty and I was surprised liked it. the sauce was slightly spicy and despite my doubts the eel was not at all fishy tasting and the deep fried seaweed on the top added a nice crunch. I’d be interested to try some more of the fishier options next time, as clearly it’s cooked fish that I’m not so keen on, rather than raw.

Lastly we were given a plate of the Baked Mussels (12,000)on the house. I wouldn’t have picked these, but hey free food is free food at the end of the day. These were like a seafood version of a buffalo wing, sweet and spicy sauce with nice meaty nuggets of scallop nestled inside the shell once you dug into the creamy sauce. I’ve never eaten anything like this before so it was nice to try something new.

Lastly we were given the Fried Ice-cream (8,000) on the house to try too. Vanilla ice cream covered in pound-cake and fried in tempura batter. This was a great way to end and get the spicy taste out of our mouths after eating the mussels. I loved this, the ice cream was really good and I think you know my feelings by now about anything deep fried. A decedent dessert that is bound to help you gain some of those extra pounds you need to keep warm this winter.

Overall I rather liked Nori Table. It was a lot of fun to share all the different dishes and to drink the bombs and I think it will soon become very popular with the young and trendy crowd. The menu is huge which is a big plus so I’m sure there is something for everyone, including fish fascists like myself.  It reminded me a lot of the food I ate in Australia. so for anyone hankering after a taste of western sushi then it’s certainly worth checking out.

Nori Table is located at 455-47 Itaewon-dong, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station and exit using the elevator or exit 1. Come out of the elevator and walk over the bridge. Take a right at the end and follow the road round. You will see Nori Table just up on the right opposite 3 section. For more information you can call them on 02-792-4427 or check out their facebook page. they are open for lunch and dinner everyday except Tuesday and take a break between 3:30-5:30pm.

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.

 

Guilty Pleasure

It has been quite some time since I last enjoyed a brunch at Guilty Pleasure in Itaewon. However when some of my favourite people suggested we get together for a catch up before Christmas, I thought it would be the perfect spot for a boozy brunch.

The main draw of Guilty Pleasure to me is the fact that it had outdoor seating, and thanks to their crafty roof cover and some space heaters it can be enjoyed year round. There is also seating inside but I always think its a bit too dark and dingy inside for a day time meal.  The menu has changed somewhat since my last visit, which isn’t surprising as it’s been well over a year. Unfortunately there is still no Bloody Mary on the brunch menu, which saddens a vodka lover like myself, but thankfully they do have a mimosa which I enjoyed instead (12,000).

I couldn’t make up my mind between the pancakes and the breakfast burger so we decided to get both and share. The ricotta pancakes came with house smoked bacon, honey comb butter, bacon syrup, and fruit compote  (16,000). The pancakes were big and fluffy and the there was plenty of syrup for them. The bacon which I had sampled before with the brunch platter was just as nice as I remembered and this was a great dish to keep the sweet toothed happy. It was also incredibly filling, I couldn’t even manage my half and I can eat a lot!

My second shared dish was the Guilty Burger (17,000). A beef patty, hash brown, swiss cheese, american cheese, thick cut bacon, lettuce, chipotle aioli on a rye bread bun. I was very excited by this burger especially when I saw how glorious the hash brown looked. However the burger didn’t taste as good as it looked, despite the line up of stellar ingredients. It wasn’t bad in anyway, just lacking for a better word and it did little to tantalise my taste buds. The coleslaw on the side was pretty decent but I probably wouldn’t order this again.

My very fussy friend ordered the Duck prosciutto & Scrambled Eggs (16,000) for his main dish. Truffle scrambled eggs were piled on toasted baguette and topped with duck prosciutto, smoked ham,  and grana padano cheese. I’m not particularly fond of either prosciutto,duck, or scrambled eggs so this probably would be the very last dish I would ever order. However I was forced to give it a try after my companion took one bite and proclaimed he didn’t like it. I actually thought it was delicious, a real standout. The eggs were fluffy and the ducky prosciutto smoky without being over salty and the smell of truffle permeated the air. I told him if he didn’t like it, to send it back, which he didn’t so I’m ignoring all his negativity on the matter as he actually managed to devour the whole thing. If you are looking for something a bit lighter and heavy on the protein then this is an excellent dish.

While I rather enjoyed my brunch for the most part, one point to note is that we went on a very quiet day and the service was not great. The two servers were new and very sweet and went out of their way to please us so I cant fault them for that. My main issue was that the food came out separately. Fine if you are sharing, but only two of us were and it was just a very long awkward wait as one dish came out every five minutes. This was especially noticed as some of our party were still waiting for drinks. I wouldn’t let it put me off coming again but I would be sure to make sure to tell the wait staff we want all the meals served at once, especially if it isn’t busy. If you are looking for a decent modern American brunch in Itaewon though, it’s certainly worth a visit.

Guilty Pleasure is  located at 1F, 2-10 Itaewon-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Walk straight until you get to Dillingers and take the set of stairs going down. Turn right and walk straight, you will see for  the sign Guilty Pleasure on the right hand side. Walk up to the top of the stairs and go in the building on the left, it’s on the 1st floor. For more information you can call them on 02-794-4332 or check out their facebook page.

Itaewon the Burger

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Call it an early Christmas present but I may have just found my new favourite burger. After the months and months of searching and the endless recriminations from fellow foodies I have finally found a burger that makes me go Mmmm. I have been all over town searching for a burger that I can love, while I have found plenty that I like none have quite made the cut until now.

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Itaewon the Burger is nestled in the “Linus” alleyway, there are obviously plenty of other restaurants and bars along this strip but none as ubiquitous as the BBQ joint. The restaurant itself is pretty simple, nothing fancy except the “Stranger Things” inspired signage which ensures all of the pictures come out with a lovey red hue to them.

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So the burger that pleased me so very much was the Big Double Burger (12,900). The reason I probably enjoy this burger so much compared to the other popular burgers around town is the fact that it’s charcoal grilled, and for me that always imparts plenty of flavour to the meat. Secondly the bun was really really good, and thirdly it was stuffed with bacon and cheese. All of these ingredients worked in perfect harmony to give me the burgery bite of goodness I have been hankering after. The burger itself was very juicy and a little hard to eat as it started falling apart about half way through, but this doesn’t particularly bother me, and I’m often covered in food juice thanks to my less than elegant table manners. If a fault had to be found it would be that the pickles are sweet and not dill but after alerting the owner to this fact he said he intends to rectify it very soon. All in all I was beyond happy with this burger and stuffed to the gills, which again is a very rare occurrence.

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TFB accompanied me and ordered himself  the  BLT & Egg Burger (10,900). I had a bite of this one, and while it couldn’t compare to my own piece of double burger heaven it was still pretty solid. I wasn’t quite sold on the spicy sauce but liked the addition of the egg. Perhaps a different sauce and some avocado and they’d be on to a winner. We made this one a set for an extra 4,500 and were given a full sized can of Sprite and not the tiny one, which was nice, and a generous portion of Cajun fries.

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The rest of the burgers on the menu are a bit of a mix, there is a shrimp burger probably geared to please the Korean clientele, and a sloppy Joe for the Americans. I was told that they are planning to add at least another 5 or 6 burgers to the menu soon which should keep things interesting for regulars, especially if they add a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger.

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After enjoying our meal we had a quick chat with the owner (I had to congratulate him on such a fine job) and he told me they also have a private room out the back which can be reserved free of charge and fits about 14 people. He is also opening up a craft beer bottle shop below so people are more than welcome to get drinks from downstairs if they are having a private party.

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Itaewon the Burger is located at 22 Noksapyeong-daero 32-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight then use the crossing to get over to the Itaewon side. Take the first alleyway on your right, just next to where Suji’s used to be. Walk down this street, you will see Itaewon the Burger on the right side about half way up. For more information you can call them on 02-797-8940 or visit their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11am-10pm.

Thanksgiving Guide 2016

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Woo hoo,  the holidays are upon us and that means turkey, lashings and lashings of turkey. Now being British we don’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving, but I’m on board with any holiday that revolves around food, so Thanksgiving is always an event worth celebrating in my book. Now its usually around this time of year that we miss our loved ones back home the most, them and the copious amounts of sumptuous seasonal food that we get to enjoy. And although you might be missing out on your mums cooking, you can still get a darn good turkey dinner at a number of Seoul’s restaurants.

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Phillies – HBC home away from home will be hosting an American Thanksgiving on Friday the 25th of November. Their Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey, mash, cranberries, stuffing, pie, etc, and a glass of wine, beer, or Merry Down cider all for the bargain price of 25,000 won per person. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance at the bar.

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The Beastro – From Thursday November 24th- Saturday November 26th you can get a 3 course roast turkey dinner with a glass of wine or beer is 55,000 won. The full menu hasn’t been declared yet but last years dinner included butternut squash bisque, a Thanksgiving platter of roasted turkey, seasonal vegetables, mashed potato, stuffing, house made cranberry sauce, gravy, a choice of salad or mac and cheese and Pumpkin Pie with spiced whipped cream for dessert. I’m a huge fan of this restaurant and I have no doubt that their turkey platter will be just as good as all the rest of their food. Reservations are recommended you can call them on 02-334-2500.

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WinK –  From Thursday November 24th- Sunday November 27th you can get a thanksgiving dinner plate with a beer or mulled cocktail for 29,000. The plate will include turkey, sausage and apple stuffing, roast garlic mashed potatoes, home style gravy, green beans with walnut pesto, 4 Mac & Cheese, red wine cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. There will be two seating for each night one at 6pm and one at 8pm. And for those of you who really want to celebrate they have an all you can drink option for an extra 10,000-20,000. Reservations are recommended you can call them on 02-6053-3429.

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Southside Parlour – For those who want a little bit of southern flair and some finger lickin goodness to their TG celebrations head on down to one of my favourite cocktail bars. The Texans will be serving BBQ spiced turkey, apple pecan stuffing, cranberry hibiscus relish, smoked gravy, cornmeal fried okra, chorizo Mac & Cheese, bacon braised green beans, sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, citrus glazed carrots, berry cobbler and a seasonal cocktail of your choice for 39,000. There are two seating available 6-8pm or 8:30-10:30pm. Seats must be reserved  in advance via their facebook event page.

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Dominic – On Thursday 24th of November Dominic will be serving up a delicious gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner for 50,000 per person. The menu includes deep fried turkey, apple pork belly, beet apple bacon stuffing, caramelized onion Mac n Cheese, mashed potato, creamed spinach on brioche and tiramisu crunch. There will be one seating from 7:00-8:30pm. To reserve a spot contact them via their facebook page.

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Bull and Barrel – On Thursday November 24th & Sunday November 27th Bull & Barrel will be serving up their annual all you can eat buffet. You can stuff yourself ’til you pop for 40,000 per person. The buffet includes an alcoholic beverage, turkey, ham, sausage and onion stuffing, mashed & roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, gravy, mac & cheese and pumpkin pie! There are two seating on Thursday 24th of November one at 6 – 8 pm, and another from 8:30 -10:30 pm. While on Sunday the 27th of November there are three seatings, the first from 3 – 5 pm, the second from 5:30 -7:30 pm, and the third from 8 – 10 pm. You can reserve your table via text message on 010-9982-2423 or by messaging them via their facebook page.

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Route 66 – Will be celebrating with their 3rd Thanksgiving dinner! 56 tickets will be available. Cash only and you can pick them up at the bar. First come, first served until tickets are sold out! The 35,000 dinner includes a drink,  turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, 66’s sweet potato casserole, grilled veggies, buffalo chicken dip, rolls, pumpkin and apple pie w/vanilla ice cream!

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The Four Seasons – For those who want to keep it classy on such a fine occasion The Market Kitchen at the Four Seasons Hotel will be serving up a special Thanksgiving Themed buffet on Thursday the 24th which includes whole roast turkey, whole roast lamb, pumpkin pie and much much more. The dinner starts at 5:30pm and costs 100,000 won per person. They will also have Turkey Dinner To Go packages available from the 24th of November – 31st of December for those who want to dine at home without the work. Their package which costs 220,000 includes 5-6kg roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, roast sweet pumpkin, green beans, glazed carrots, grilled corn, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, and pumpkin pie.

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For those of you who like to enjoy your turkey in the comfort of your own home you can get one delivered right  to your doorstep from  High Street Market. The turkey dinner includes a juicy 12-14 pound turkey, 2kg of mashed potato, 8 cups of brown gravy, 1kg of green bean almondine, turkey stuffing, cranberry sauce and stollen. The dinners serve between 10-12 people and cost 229,000. There are also are options available with roast beef, lamb, pork, and ham. Dinners must be ordered in advance. See their website for more details.

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Vatos Urban Collective – For those not remotely interested in Turkey then Drinksgiving at Votos could be just the event you are looking for. The all you can drink event held on Friday November 25th from 7pm-11pm is an alcoholic extravaganza. Tickets include carnitas tacos, chips and unlimited drinks made by each featured bartender. There will also be a bar tending competition where you can vote for your favourite drink. Tickets cost 33,000 if you pre register and 40,000 on the door. See their facebook event page for more details.

If none of these options float your boat, then do not despair, there are more dinners to be had. I have been in contact with several other restaurants who plan to offer specials but haven’t finalised their menus yet. So stay tuned!

Pub of the Month – The Wolfhound

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It’s time for another pub of the month. A chance to reacquaint yourselves with an old favourite that you we might have all forgotten about after being seduced by all the new hot spots that have been opening . This Month it is Seoul’s beloved Irish Pub, The Wolfhound.  I will always have a huge fondness for The Wolfhound in Itaewon as its where I first met my darling TFB, he was watching rugby, I was drinking cider, it’s a love story to rival Romeo and Juliet. Back in my Cheongju days it was my group’s home base when coming up to Seoul. We would hit it up on a Saturday night, then reconvene again on Sunday lunch time and feast upon fry ups before heading back home to the ‘ju’. There was no place I’d rather be on Sunday Funday, and although I don’t party quite as much as I used to, it’s good to know its always there and open 365 days a year..

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As you might expect the two floored pubs sells everything you could dream of and more liquor wise at very reasonable prices. They were also one of the only pub bars to make a decent cocktail back in the days before mixologists and speakeasies became all the rage. Their drinks aren’t fancy but I’ve always been fond of their strawberry lemonade, it’s a super sweet and sour frozen treat.

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Their ample menu is made up of the usual Itaewon pub fare like wings and burgers, along with all those dishes your mammy used to make you for tea like bangers and mash, toad in the hole, shepherd’s pie, beef and mushroom pie, and Irish stew. As well as their regular menu they have a food special happening every week night, and the best of the bunch is by far and away their 1+1 Fish and chips on Tuesdays! Now Seoul is seriously lacking in good fish and chips , often the fish is good but the chips, well they aren’t chips. The Wolfhound does their version with potato wedges and for 7,000 per person its probably the tastiest bargain around.

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2016 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Wolfhound, and for an Itaewon restaurant and bar to last that long is quite an achievement. They have recently renovated the third floor and added a new pool table, electronic darts, and beer pong. They will also be having a huge party at the end of the year to mark the very special occasion. But you don’t need to wait until then, tomorrow (Saturday the 29th) they will be hosting their annual Halloween Party. It is without fail one of the best events in the neighbourhood and is always packed to the rafters, probably due to their very generous 1.5 million won cash prize for their costume contest, so be sure to look out for me (I’ll be dressed as a unicorn). Happy Halloween!

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The Wolfhound is located at 128-6 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Turn back on yourself, and  take a right at the intersection and then the first right after that. Walk along this street, The Wolfhound is located on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-7971 or checkout their facebook page.

Misstakeroom

 

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Living in Itaewon, I had walked past Misstakeroom on at least a dozen occasions over the past few months and always thought it looked like a cute and quirky spot to enjoy a drink. I was always drawn by the cool style of the place exudes, but had never ventured inside. However if I had, I would have found out that is home to the cheesiest, meltiest, yumminess ever. and that I had seriously been missing out by not taking a look inside. Luckily for me there were plenty of other people who did, and I soon added it to my list of places to try.

Just look at that cheese go, isn’t it incredible? The cute and quirky restaurant has plenty of seating, and the large open facade makes it the perfect spot to enjoy the glorious fall weather. The menu is quite small with Raclette (cow’s milk swiss cheese) being the star of the show. The first thing we decided to order was the Burger & Raclette Cheese (18,000), because let’s face it, who doesn’t want their burger smothered in a a river of melted cheese! The burger itself was pretty tasty, more akin to a European style than the smashed down american patties that are popular these days. It came topped with bacon and American cheese and with a side of fried potato chunks and pickles. and made for a very cheesey burger.

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The other menu item that stood out to me was the skewers. They come in three varieties, beef, chicken, or shrimp. We got the chicken (23,000). Our skewers turned up and our server proceeded to scrape the mesmerising flow of cheese lava on to our plate. It was pretty awesome. It’s hard to tell from the photo but the grilled chicken came with bread, roast potatoes, pumpkin and veggies. The meat and vegetables were nice enough although If they marinated them in more flavourful blend of spices or sauce they could really amp up the flavour of this dish. I also feel they should add a few more menu items that make the most of this gorgeous flow of cheese. Either way it is certainly a fun place to go for dinner the next time you are in Itaewon.

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Misstakeroom is located at 72-17 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. Turn back on yourself and go right, then take the first right turn after that by the bank. Walk straight down this street. Misstakeroom is on the left hand side just after you pass The Wolfhound. For more information you can call them on 02-794-8411.

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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