Tag: Itaewon

Mishmash

 

I first came across Mishmash when a good friend posted pictures from their dinner. It really doesn’t take much to get me excited about food, in fact even just a fleeting glance of something vaguely edible will do it. But after seeing a picture of the biggest galbi rib I have ever seen, it knew I had to go and give it a try and added it to my list of places to eat at.  A mere two days later another friend recommended Mishmash, at the time I was just in the midst of organizing a dinner for a visiting friend and knew that the modern Korean fusion style restaurant would be the perfect place to take them. The neighbourhood bistro is located just away from the main road, down the Hangangjin end of Itaewon.

We arrived on one of the hottest days of the year, and quickly refreshed ourselves with the provided cool wet towels, it was not necessary but an incredibly welcome and thoughtful touch. We then moved on to the bottle of Chablis (70,000) which revived us even more. They offer both set course menus and a la carte. We opted for the five course set menu which was a very reasonable 65,000. The four course is 47,000 while the the three course was 35,000.

We kicked off the dinner with a fish course of thin slices of lightly cured sole, charred gwarri pepper, garlic and chogochujang caviar. I’m not a big fish eater but this was so fresh, not a hint of fishiness. The onion oil married so well with this dish, and you could really taste the slightly sweet char from the pepper. The caviar was resplendent little bursts of mildly spicy gochu that left a whisper of a spicy tang. It was a very refreshing dish indeed. We then moved on to the chicken lollipop, which were tiny pieces of fried chicken tossed in spicy yangnyeom seasoning. I adored these, the only shame being that there were only three, thankfully we were also given two lovely plump barbecued shrimp, and a bowl of bouillabaisse as well. I wish I could show you pictures of every course we enjoyed but we would be here all day.

You’d have thought that three starters would be enough for most people, but not our group. We decided to order the Galbi Raviolo (15,000) as an extra dish, as we had heard it was not to be missed. This duck yolk dumpling was stuffed with braised short rib, and served in a puddle of brown butter, green onion sauce and chili oil, and was topped with pine nuts and deep fried mushrooms. I was expecting this to be really rich, and while it was, it was also incredibly satisfying. The tender braised beef was very sweet, but the slight sharpness from the onion, and spice from the chili oil really helped cut through it. The toasted pine nuts really added an extra texture too. I’m glad we added this one on to our order.

The main event was the Beef Short Ribs. These bad boys were spice rubbed, cooked sous vide for 24 hours, and then topped with pine nuts and and ginseng flakes. We carved these up like butter, they were so incredibly tender and the meat melted in the mouth. The rub itself was slightly memorable of a Chinese style spare rib, and though it was tasty, it would have been even better if the flavour had been more intense. This came served with a traditional Korean pot (gamasot) of garlic rice, and some banchan style veggies. It was a very filling course, though I still of found the room, and lack of dignity, to gnaw the bones clean.

I really thought we had ordered enough food, but the Chef and owner Minzi seemed to disagree and sent over a complimentary order of Fried pickles with Doenjang Aioli (8,000). Oh my god were these pickled chilies incredible. The light batter encasing them was extra crispy, and the pickles themselves has a really nice tang. I could have eaten a never ending supply of these bad boys, especially when dipped into the doenjang aioli, which was the ideal accompaniment.

For dessert we had a gluten free chocolate cake with coffee and nut frosting, and caramel ice cream. I was expecting this to be a battle of flavours but it all really worked and I found myself shoveling it down, despite being rather full. A very nice way to end the dinner. Overall we enjoyed a fabulous meal at Mishmash and I was really blown away by the creativity of some of the dishes. For modern Korean, it is very hard to beat at this price point. In fact I’m not sure how they are really turning a profit because the food was so incredible. It is a true gem of a place, and the perfect spot for a date or nice meal with friends.

Mishmash is located at 739-18 Hannam Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hangangjin station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and cross the street whenever you get a chance. Then take a left at the Bun Cha place. At the next intersection take right, you will see Mishmash located a little way up on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-6465-2211 or check out their facebook page. They are open for lunch at 11:30 – 3 & dinner from 6-10 Monday – Saturday. 

NY Burger & Bagel – Hannam

When it rains it pours, all my favourite burger joints seem to be opening up new stores, clearly the new burger craze isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact it isn’t just Korea, burgers are booming all over the world, my Instagram feed is filled to the brim with burger porn. So recently my favourite Itaewon burger place Itaewon the Burger opened up a new shop in Gangnam, and now my favourite Gangnam burger place NY B&B has opened up a place in Hannam, how will I ever decide which one to go to? Thankfully I was invited to the soft opening of both so didn’t have to choose.

NY Burger & Bagel is at the higher end of the burger spectrum in terms of price, class, and quality of ingredients. They only use USDA Prime beef in their burgers. While the Gangnam space is cute quaint and rustic and a step away from the soulless Gangnam haunts, this new version really puts the New York back into NY B&B. The space is very large, which is unusual for this part of town, there is a long bar running against one wall, and huge floor to ceiling walls against the other. In between is seating for about 65. The light filled space makes it perfect for brunch, hopefully one of these days I’ll get to try the bagel part of the name.

It had been a long week, and what with the heat wave we are suffering right now I was in desperate need of a drink. We kicked off with the Hand & Malt Hard Apple Cider (8,000), which was uber refreshing and the only thing to drink in summer. We also had the Gin and Earl Grey signature drink (10,000), a strong and refreshing tea infused gin concoction. While the taste wasn’t bad I still think it needs a little finessing to get it right. We visited during the soft opening so they were still tinkering with a couple of the items, however I was glad to see that this location is serving cocktails.

On to the burgers, my favourite of the NY B&B burgers is the Wasaaabi, but as we were invited to try the new ones we kicked off with the Bruchetta ’bout It (14,500). This baby was topped with mozzarella cheese, bruchetta tomatoes, and homemade aioli. Being one of my favourite appetisers, I was interested how this would work out as a burger. The sweet and juicy chopped tomatoes were the perfect topping for the tasty and well seasoned beef patty, with the creamy aioli this was really a dream burger and very well balanced in terms of flavour. One thing I’m loving about this location is that the burgers come served with fries, which is rare in this city. We upgraded from the free plain ones to the parmesan garlic fries for an extra 1,500, which was worth every penny in my opinion. The other burger we tried was the Uptown Girl (16,500), a burger topped with avocado, pepper jack, lettuce and tomato. When I first tried it, this one seemed a bit lacking in taste for me, so I asked for a slice of bacon which really kicked it up a notch, it could also benefit from a slightly spicier mayo. We got this one served with the Chili Cheese Fries (4,500 upgrade). These were awesome, some of the best I’ve had, the chili had an really tomato-ey chili topping which was super tasty. Not sure which fries I liked best, so I would recommend you get both!

For those poor souls who like to live a carb-free life, you may be interested in the Atkins Slider Trio (17,5000). This came as a trio of sliders, the wasabi, the bruchetta, and roast beef. The mini wasabi burger was topped with shiitake mushrooms, grilled onions, pepper jack cheese and wasabi mayo. This little beauty was just as good as the full sized version I previously reviewed.  The bruchetta was just a mini bunless version of the burger above. However the real star of this dish was the roast beef. This was my favourite by far, and the most amazing roast beef I have ever had in Korea. The pink slivers of juicy beef were sat in a puddle of super scrummy gravy. It was so good I wanted to lick the plate clean. I will definitely be trying the full-sized roast beef sandwich in the near future for sure. The only way they could improve this dish, is if they served them all inside mini buns, though I guess that would kind of defeat the point.

Despite our groaning bellies announcing we were full, we still had to have dessert. We opted for the Orange Dreamsicle Float (6,000). I loved the creamy orange combo. It was sweet and tangy all at the same time. It was a superb way to end the meal and a great way to beat the heat.

Tonight is the Grand Opening of the new NY Burger & Bagel so they are having a special event, a Bruchetta burger and fries, or Chicken Club Sandwich and fries for only 10,000 won. There will also be live music. This offer is for tonight only, so if you don’t have dinner plans it is the perfect place to go.

NY Burger & Bagel Hannam is located at 744-5 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hanggangjin station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight and cross the street whenever you get a chance. Then take a left at the Bun Cha place. At the next intersection take another left, and then keep walking down that street, you will see NY B&B in the new big black building to the right, the entrance is tucked away round the corner but you can’t miss the signs. For more information you can call them on 02-592-7992 or check out their facebook pages. The store is open 10:30am – 10:30pm Mon-Sat, and 10:30-9:00pm on Sundays.

100 Korean Food in 100 Days – Day 18 – Itaewon Gogit Jip

As day 18 of my 100 Korean foods in 100 Days Challenge reared its ugly head, I felt it was about darn time that I took y’all out for some BBQ. Korean BBQ is probably the land of the morning calm’s most famous dining experience, for good reason, it is insanely delicious. One of my favourite spots is the all you can eat Itaewon Gogit Jip, as you can get a huge variety of meats and sides for only 16,900 per person. So despite the weather being about 10,000 degrees, I ventured out with my two favourite boys and sat around a table filled with hot coals so I could make this video for you. I’m very kind-hearted like that.

When you go to eat BBQ there are dozens of different cuts of different meats that you can enjoy, but one of the most popular is Samgyupsal 삼겹살. The famed Korean pork belly was my 16th food to try. Typically it is cooked over the coals in the middle of the table, you then cut it up into smaller bite sized pieces with the provided scissors then eat it alongside your array of different side dishes of vegetables and sauces.

One way to enjoy it is by making a little vegetable wrap with the meat.To make a wrap, take one of the provided lettuce laves, I went for the Perilla leaf better known as Katnip 깻잎, which is a speciality Korean ingredient and my 17th Korean food. It has a slightly aniseed type flavour to it that really compliments the fatty pork. Top off with some Mung Bean Sprouts 숙주 (food 18), and a very generous blob of ssamjang, which is a mix of chili and soybean paste. It is a must when enjoying BBQ. You can use whatever side dishes you are given in your wrap, I also added onion and garlic but it is really up to you. You then roll it up and try and eat it all in one go, not super lady like but much less messy.

To complete our meal we ordered a bowl of egg soup, which goes by the name of Gyeran Jjim 계란찜 and was my 19th Korean food. This is almost always on the menu of any BBQ restaurant, sometimes it is included as one of the side dishes, and sometimes you can pay to order it separately. At Itaewon Gogit Jip you order it separately and it costs (3,000). The egg is steamed in a little seasoned stock, and as the water is boiled off into steam it cooks the egg leaving it very light and fluffy. It very unique, but absolutely delightful, you can’t leave Korea without trying it.

19/100 Korean foods eaten, 82 days remain!

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) 만두국 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 호떡94.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

Itaewon Gogit Jip is located at 9 Itaewon-ro 19-gil Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight, and take the first right after KFC. Walk to the end of the until you reach the road which runs parallel to the main road. Then turn left and walk to the very end of the alley way. You will see HBC Gogitjip just up ahead in the alleyway next to Grill 5 taco on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-3785-0514. They are open everyday from 6pm onwards.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen

As it is summer and we’re all showing an ungodly amount of flesh at the moment, I thought it might behove me to share somewhere that is a little bit more on the healthy side. So today, I will talk about the amazingness that is Plant, the vegan cafe and kitchen. Plant has been a stalwart of the vegan and vegetarian community for years, however their home was a tiny little place in a back alley location that you would never come across unless you were looking for it. Just recently they have moved to much bigger premises, which can fit a lot more hungry vegans. The old location is still there, and is now being used a Plant bakery.

The new plant restaurant is located in the old Left Coast location on the furniture street in Itaewon. They have really transformed the space and made it feel very homely with their plants and cute cushions while at the same time making it feel light airy and slightly tropical. I was getting a real Bali kind of vibe going on. The menu like the new location has grown too, and has some great new additions to it.

We started off with a drink each. I went for the Mango Coconut Smoothie (7,500), this was divine and a taste of tropical bliss, though I found the addition of coconut milk made it a touch on the pricey side. My fellow pals got a Kombucha (6,500), and the Power Green Smoothie (7,000)  which is made with soy milk. I know that many people struggle in Seoul to find coffees and drinks that are made with dairy free milk, and at Plant they have options with both soy milk and almond milk, which should be music to lactose intolerant ears.

My favourite dish of the day was the fabulous BBQ Jackfruit Tacos (12,000). These are the vegan version of pulled pork and while I have had them before elsewhere, these ones were by far the best I have ever had. The shreds of Jackfruit were charred on the outside and tossed in a tangy BBQ sauce. With the cabbage slaw and salsa and chips on the side they were very filling. I’m pretty sure that if no one mentioned it to you, you would have no idea they are meat free. Unfortunately they are only available on Tuesdays, so you will have to plan your visit accordingly if you want to try them.

For my lunch I ordered the Sesame Peanut Soba Bowl (11,000). This was a wooden bowl filled with soba noodles, sesame-peanut satay sauce, fried tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green salad, and pickled slices of carrot and radish. The peanut sauce was very morish and I found the tofu was a nice change from chicken while the noodles were very filling. A good hearty lunch for sure.

Lastly we got the Plant Cheeseburger (12,500). There are three kinds of burger on the menu, but this one is my friends favourite. This one comes with the Plant veggie patty, vegan cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pickled cabbage, sriracha aioli, and yellow mustard. I tried a bite and have to agree it was really lovely, the bun in particular was very good. This one might be even better than the vegan burgers they serve at Huggers. It also comes with a nice helping of fries on the side, because lets face it, who wants a burger without fries?

Overall we had a very enjoyable lunch. The tacos in particular were really something special, so I’ll certainly  be visiting again on a Tuesday. The new space has a great vibe and is very relaxing, and I’m sure absolute haven for the vegans of Seoul. Though we didn’t partake this time they also have some incredible vegan cakes and their previous location is now a full time vegan bakery.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen is located at 117 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and walk out of exit 4, turn back on yourself and take the road on your left (the street where Taco Bell is) and walk straight. Keep walking on the same side you’re on for about 150 meters, Plant is on the right on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-1981 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm, Fri + Sat 11am-10pm, and closed every Sunday.

Itaewon the Burger Gangnam

It took me a long time and many meals to find a burger that I love in this city, and I finally found it at Itaewon the burger. It is by far and away my favourite burger joint in Seoul, and it is clear that I am not the only one who thinks so as they have just expanded and opened a new location in Gangnam. Knowing what a fan I am of their food, they invited me and a couple of my bestest friends to come and give the the new menu items a try.  The new place is huge and located on the second floor of a building in Seolleung, it’s bigger, brighter, and more colourful than the sister store. I always find it difficult to find good places to eat when I am in this part of town, so I am sure people are out rejoicing in the streets about this new addition to the neighbourhood.

The big speciality of this new location are these amazing freakshakes, which are sadly not available in Itaewon. So far there are three on the menu: The signature shake being the Swag the Party (13,900), a peanut butter shake topped with half a sweet shop. The glass is encrusted with MnMs, and topped with marshmallows, wafers, peanut butter cups, caramel sauce and a giant ass lollipop. This one is definitely for the sweet toothed among us and a total sugar rush, pro tip, you can get a salted version which is even yummier. The shake itself was lovely and if you are sharing between a few of you, I’m sure you’ll have fun doling out the candy between you.

As well as the Swag Party there is also the Toasted Marshmallow Mount (10,900), a chocolate and hazelnut milkshake which was topped with toasted marshmallows, hazelnuts, cookies, wafers and peanut butter cups. This one was my favourite, as I adore hazelnut, it was kind of like a giant Ferrero Rocher. Last up is the healthiest shake, the Avocado and Banana (10,900). This was a mix of vanilla, banana, and avocado. This one I wasn’t quite so sure about. I often enjoy a bit of avocado in my green smoothies as I like the creaminess but as a flavour all by itself I wasn’t convinced. My two dining companions liked it more than me though, and the slices of fresh avocado must make it worth about a billion dollars by itself.

The burger menu is the same as at the Itaewon location. My favourite of all the ones I have tried is the Big Double Burger (13,900). It consists of 2 x 140g beef burgers, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion,pickles, and a healthy slathering of mayo . It has been a couple of months since I last had one but after retasting it, I was glad to find that it lived up to all my expectations. When I bit into it, it got a loud and resounding Mmm. It was the favourite of both of my dining companions too.  The burgers here are flame grilled, which is probably what makes them so great in my eyes, and gives them a healthy edge on the competition.

Since my last review the Avocaddict (13,900) has been added to the menu. This is one serious burger, and I have tried it on a couple of occasions over the past few months. It is absolutely monstrous and you will have one hell of a time trying to eat it, just check out my Instagram video if you don’t believe me. This really is an avocado lovers dream, and as you can see they aren’t chintzy with the avocado. Avocado and bacon is always the perfect combination, throw it on a burger and it is party time. While it is jolly hard to eat, it is blooming tasty, the beef and avocado make such a good match. They also serve a version in a lettuce wrap instead of bread for anyone who wants a lighter option.

The other new item we got to try was the Bacon Cheese Fries (6,900). I have never been a fan of the fake cheese-like paste that Americans seem to be fond of. But these were awesome, not sure if it was the bacon, the fake cheese or a combination. They were just uber rich and salty, and we polished them off pretty quickly. The crunchy chunks of bacon were very plentiful, it was such a great sharing dish.

By the time the three of us has polished off this mountain of food, we were fit to bursting, which is always a good sign in my book. If you keep eating even though you are full it always means the food is good. The new restaurant is a great addition down in Gangnam. Other than Firebell there really aren’t a whole bunch of western burgers in this area, so hopefully it will prove to be very popular with the locals. The space is great, and I’m told reasonably quiet at the moment on the weekends because they mainly cater to the office crowds. So if you trying to get away from the madness that is Itaewon on the weekend then this is your place.

Itaewon the Burger Gangnam is located at 33, Samseong-ro 85-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.  To get there take a train to Seolleung station (line 2), and come out of exit 1.Walk straight then take the third right. Walk along this street then take the second left. You will see Itaewon the burger a little way down on the right hand side on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-565-8940 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Sat from 11:30am – 9:30pm with a break from 3pm-5pm.

Rooftops in Itaewon

You’d think in a city as cool as Seoul, there would be a hell of a lot more roof top action going on, but thanks to the zoning regulations, or some other boring reason like that, rooftops really aren’t permitted here, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In the Itaewon area alone there are dozens of different rooftop bars to soak up the sunshine, with new places popping up all the time. Since summer has now officially started, I thought would share my top five favourite places to hang out and drink while catching a tan.

1.Southside Parlor – Not only does this Texan bar make one hell of a cocktail, they also have a pretty large and impressive rooftop going on. The whole bar has just undergone a complete transformation, but thankfully my favourite cocktail The Pimp Cup  is still on the menu. This is the Lone Star State’s take on the classic British cocktail Pimm’s. They also have awesome edibles like their highly addictive piggy chips and tacos.

2. Brick Yard – I can’t believe that Brickyard has just turned two years old, my how time has flown. The cocktail menu has changed quite a lot in that time and isn’t as fancy as it used to be thanks to my favourite barman leaving, but they still rustle up a refreshing drink and the rooftop is as bitching as ever.

3. Rooftop Bottle Shop –  Located above Sam Ryan’s, this self-service bar is an Itaewon institution. The rooftop is huge, and you can help yourself an amazing array of beers and ciders out of the fridge. They also sell liquor by the bottle, plus mixers and even provide ice and glasses. There is also food and snacks available for when you get peckish. Check out this facebook page for more.

4. Sonnendeck – Sonnendeck has an awesomely amazing rooftop filled with fake grass and huge giant bean bag loungers. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy some Sunday Funday. Some past events here include a La Marmite brunch pop up, and Drag Queen brunch, if that’s not a reason to get out of bed I don’t know what is. They also have parties that go all night too, this Saturday the amazing team behind Little Baja will be hosting a taco and cocktail pop up. Check out the event facebook page to see more details.

5. Hamilton Hotel – Right in the middle of Itaewon is the Hamilton hotel, which has its own pool that is open to the public for a small fee (20,000-25,000). The bar offers all manner of drinks and the tunes are pumping out all day. It gets insanely crowded on weekends so if you have your heart set on renting a lounge chair (15,000) come early. Most days it is open between 10am-6pm, but every Saturday in July & August they are having special all night parties. It’s the closest you are going to get to an Ibiza vibe in Seoul .

Left Coast Burgers

Left Coast Burgers needs no introduction, I mean you are probably asking why why the hell I am writing about it. However they recently moved to a new location, and as I like to keep you all abreast of all burger related information in Itaewon, I grabbed all of my favourite gal pals and headed off to give it a try. The new location up behind the Hamilton is a wee bit  smaller than the last one. In fact the location is not the only thing that has shrank in size, the new burgers look like they have been on a diet too. Thankfully this change is reflected in the new prices which are much lower than they used to be. They now offer most of the burgers in singles or doubles, the adorable owner Angela informed me the old size are more like the new double burgers, so you will definitely want to double up if you have an appetite as large as mine.

After perusing the new simpler menu I decided to go for the double Cheeseburger (7,900), and because I am greedy I got the Fried Chicken Burger (6,900) too. The Double Cheeseburger came  with 2 beef burgers topped with cheese and roasted garlic mayo. If I’m being honest this one was too simple for me, as much as I was living for the garlic mayo, I wish i had gone for the LCB instead which came with grilled onions, tomato and special sauce. I had a bite of my friends and it was delicious, if you like a simple burger though I’m sure you will be pleased with the cheeseburger, especially at its new budget friendly price. The chicken burger left me wanting more too, when I read that it was topped with swiss, bacon, and ranch sauce I was practically salivating, but in reality it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations, for want of a better word it just seemed a little sad in terms of flavour and texture, hopefully this will be worked on as I adore a good chicken burger and good one is hard to find in Itaewon.

The best burger of the day was definitely the double John Wayne (10,900) which was ordered by my beloved TFB and comes topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, onion rings, and BBQ sauce. I’m a sucker for any burger that is topped with bacon and BBQ sauce, especially when you add onion rings into the mix too. Left Coast was always famous for their epic and imaginative burgers so hopefully more of these will make their way back on to the menu. TFB actually got this bad boy to go, probably because he knew I would end up eating it if he didn’t make a fast getaway. We got a side of fries and it came in this super cute takeout box.

Overall its good to see that Left Coast is back in business after a brief hiatus. The menu has a few new items including salads and soft serve ice cream, and has put on their delicious breakfast burrito full time. While I’m still hoping some of the old burgers like the Juicy Lucy will make a comeback, the new prices are really great and I’m sure will make a lot of people happy in these economically depressing times. I am also thrilled that they have made a big effort to make their takeout customers a little happier by providing adorable take out boxes via Shuttle. If you are as lazy as I am, you can order without leaving your bed by clicking here.

Left Coast is located at 23 Itaewon-ro, 19gil Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight and take the fourth alleyway on the right (its the last one) walk straight up that road past Shenanigan’s, and Brick Yard etc. You should see Left Coast just up ahead on the left hand side opposite the carpark. For more information you can call them on 02-790-3459 or check out their facebook page. Left Coast is open Tuesday – Sunday for lunch & dinner.

Nekkid Wings

Passing through Itaewon a few weeks ago I came across a mural of a naked man, so of course I used the opportunity to take some hilarious selfies. Also in the picture was what looked like a brown splodge, and it finally clicked a few days later that this was the home of Nekkid Wings. The newest addition to Itaewon’s restaurant scene is the cool and fun restaurant specialising in, you guessed it, chicken wings.

The restaurant is located in the myriad of alleyways just by Linus’ BBQ. The restaurant is in quite a large space and it was packed on the weekend night we visited. It’s best to go with friends as all the wings are served on huge platter like boards. The menu offers wings by themselves but we opted to go for the Double Platter (28,000) which comes with 20 wings, 2 sides, 2 celery and carrot sticks and 2 dips. Being a large group we also got the Party Platter (56,000) which is 40 wings, 4 sides, 3 celery and carrot sticks and 3 dips. These two happily fed seven of us.

There are a whopping 11 different flavours of sauce on the menu and I am sure they are set to add more. One thing I also appreciated was that you can choose a different flavour per 5 wings that you order, so even if you are going for a simple 10 you still get to try two different kinds. The wings themselves have a crispy exterior and have juicy white meat inside.We tried virtually every flavour on the menu and the firm favourites of the large group were the buffalo and the BBQ but that is to be expected. More out there flavours we liked were the Amazinger, a kind of Yangnyum type, and the Mandarin which was my personal favourite. Honestly the only one we didn’t care for was the Korean style ,probably because of the doenjang, which kind of ruined the flavour for me.

The wing platters come with sides, and we of course tried them all. The big onion ring was my favourite, it’s not made from a giant onion but lots of small chopped up onions, breaded and deep fried. It was delish. The shoe string fries were also decent but nothing memorable, the hand cooked crisps were my least favourite. There are also two dips available, a ranch and blue cheese. The ranch was from a bottle and tasted a little sickly and artificial, but the blue cheese on the other hand was made in house and much better, hopefully they will sort out the ranch in time because I consider it to be a very important part of the wing experience.

There are a variety of craft beers on the menu which vary between 6,000 – 8,000 and they also have a signature cocktails on the menu called Nekkid Sour(7,500). I of course gave it a try and was delightfully surprised. The rosemary, gin, and earl grey concoction was a refreshing blend of sweet and sour, not to dissimilar to a long island ice tea.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Nekkid Wings and I shall certainly go again. It’s something new and different and is perfect for large groups. We all left full and happy and that is good enough for me.

Nekkid Wings is located at 174-11, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 2) and come out of exit three. Walk straight and then cross left over to Itaewon at the crossing. Go down the alleyway ahead on the left and walk straight. For more information you can call them on 010-5891-7411 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday except Monday from 11:30am – 11:30pm, with a break from 3pm-4pm on weekdays. 

+ 84 – Itaewon

Last week I got some very exciting news +84, a Vietnamese joint I love in Insadong, opened its second branch in Itaewon. What better way to celebrate than with a bowl of delicious Bun Cha. The restaurant is located in behind the main road on the Wolfhound road. They have taken over the spot which used to be occupied by Chinese dumpling place, Chungaeka Dumpling.

The new location is about 3 times bigger than the last one, which is good news to anyone who stood in line waiting to get in at the original. The menu has also grown considerably and quite a few new dishes have been added since my last visit. I should also note that some of the prices have gone up, though considering the size of the new restaurant and its location I am not surprised.

The first thing we ordered was a bowl of their delicious Bun Cha (11,000), as it’s my favourite Vietnamese dish. The bun cha is a sweet and sour kind of cold soup, which is stuffed with veggies and pieces of pork, it’s served with a pile of rice noodles on the side and a heap of salad. I was really excited to eat this again, but I’m not sure if it was quite so flavourful as last time, it was still pretty decent but the meat seemed a little different to me which may have affected the overall flavour. We did however enjoy the addition of the Vietnamese herbs, which we were told were imported and the reason for the price increase, which seems fair. As well as the bun cha, we also ordered a portion of the Fried Spring Rolls (6,000). These were were crispy and delicious, and the perfect side to eat along side the soup.

Being two very big eaters we also decided to get a Bahn Mi on the side. There are several varieties available but we got the grilled pork and lemon grass (7,000). The bread on this baby was excellent, not sure where it comes from but I need to find out! This is the bread that sandwich dreams are made of, it was lusciously crisp on the outside while being lovely and soft in the middle. The grilled pork had tonnes of flavour, and was topped with pickled veggies, sriracha, and a nice drizzle of mayo. This wasn’t the most traditional version on the menu but I liked it. You’d be hard pushed to find someone who’d be unhappy with one of these for lunch.

Overall I am pretty chuffed that +84 have come to party and am looking forward to trying more of the menu over the next few visits. They had only been open for a few days when I visited so I’m sure it will take them a little bit of time to tweak that bun cha until its perfect, but generally I see a lot of promise.

Plus 84 is located at 2F 61 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station(line 6) and come out exit 4. Walk straight until you get to Dillinger’s and then take the stairs down to your left. Take a right at the bottom of the stairs and walk along that road. It is on your right hand side. for more information you can call them on 02-797-0838 or check out their facebook page. They are open everyday from 11:30 am -9:30pm.

Seoul’s Best Burger

Move over Fashion week, it is time for Seoul’s most important event, American Burger Week! Well technically it’s burger fortnight. From April 14th –  28th, 13 of Seoul’s burger restaurants will be participating in the special event which is being hosted by the US Beef Council. The restaurants involved are Gony’s, Gilbert’s Burger & Fries, NY B&B, The Melting Pot, Devils door, Rye Post, Meat & Bun, Burger B, Say cheese, Itaewon the Burger, Kinders, Firebell, and Fingertips. I’m told that all the restaurants in question use American beef and will be running promotions and giveaways for the two weeks. Now I  haven’t been to all of the restaurants in question,  but I have been to a fair few, some I was in love with, some not so much. So as it’s burger week and all, I thought I would use this opportunity to list my favourite places in Seoul to get a burger.

1. Itaewon the Burger – This baby while still quite new is absolutely top of my list, number one because the burgers are flame grilled hunks of deliciousness but also because it’s in my neigbourhood. There are two burgers that I love here. The Big Double Burger (12,900) which includes two meat patties, bacon and cheese, or the Avocadict burger (13,800), which includes a mountain of avocado, a beef patty, cheese, bacon, pickles, special sauce, lettuce and tomato. The prize for number one probably has to go to the Big Double, as the Avocadict although delicious fails at being a burger slightly by being so impossible to eat.

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2. NY B&B – This place is my Gangnam go to. Again this place is fairly new, but they have really came up with some awesome homemade burgers. The Wasabi Burger (11,500) is probably my favourite. This delight is topped with Pepper Jack cheese, grilled onion, shiitake mushroom, and wasabi mayo. As much as I love wasabi I was first a little skeptical about this meaty treat but it has ended up being my favourite on their menu. The menu is pretty large, so there is something for everyone. Special mentions for the Once in a Bleu Moon and the Bubba Gump which were both pretty good too.

3. Gony’s – Gony’s is a new comer to me and I was kinda torn between this one and Gilbert for third place but I decided to give Gony’s the edge because they also serve a mean chicken burger and that is pretty hard thing to find in Seoul. On the beef front the Bacon Cheeseburger (9,800) is pure perfection and everything you are looking for in a good old fashioned burger.

4. Gilbert’s Burgers & Fries – Gilbert’s always serves a good burger and they have quite a few locations too, making it the most accessible on the list. My favourite burger on their menu is the 5oz Gilbert (10,500). This one is topped with American cheese, red onion, tomato, lettuce, bacon, fried egg, and a homemade sauce. As you can see from above the egg yolk oozes out of the side of the burger which really gets my motor running and adds an extra richness to the burger.

5. WinK – Last place on this list goes to WinK who have been making some really solid burgers for the past year. I’m kinda torn when it comes to choosing my favourite though. I adore The Mega Burger (14,000), which has everything but the kitchen sink on it but it really works. Inside the buttered bun is a 150g whole beef patty, pulled pork, several kinds of cheese, egg, avocado, lettuce onions, tomato, and mayo. However I’m also partial to the brand new Mushroom & Emmental burger (11,500), which I tried on my last brunch visit. So I guess it depends on whether you like mushrooms or not.

Do you agree or disagree? Have I missed out your favourite? Please comment below with your thoughts about Seoul’s best burger.  For more details about Korea Burger Week  check out their website. For full reviews and directions of the restaurants please click the links above.