Tag: Itaewon

Beth’s Poutine

Recently I have been taking a new route to work, and that route leads me through the Bogwangdong neighbourhood. Like the ever popular Hannam, Haebangchon, and Gyeongridan, this cool little area is only a short walk from Itaewon. If you’ve yet to explore these cool little communities then it’s time to get on it as you are really missing out.This insatiable cold weather has got me seriously craving comfort food, and nothing is more comforting than chips. So after passing by several times, the blue beacon of Beth’s Poutine finally lured me in through its doors. (more…)

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! (more…)

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. (more…)

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.