Tag: kebab

Al Aziz

A few years back I did a review of all the kebabs in Itaewon. I ran all over the neighbourhood buying up one from each restaurant and then put them to the test. However since then, I’ve found an even better one thanks to a top tip from a very good friend. Although I think they were hoping I was going to keep this one on the down low, this gem of place was too good to keep to myself.

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The kebab house is located up on the hill near the mosque. The place is pretty small and there is only seating for a couple of patrons, although you can of course take your kebab to go.The simple menu is displayed on the wall as you walk in. The options include; chicken, falafel, lamb, cheese, cheese and zatarr, and meat and cheese.

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The first kebab I tried was the chicken (5,000).This is usually my go to kebab, so I needed to see how it compared to my usual favourite. Straight away I noticed that the bread was hand made. It was as puffy as cloud, and lovely and chewy like a good pita-esque bread should be. It was a real step up from the tortilla wrappers that most of the kebab shops in town use. Inside were chunks of tandoori-like marinated chicken that retained their tenderness while still having that charcoal taste. Also inside was a mayo based sauce and some salad. This was much more similar to the shish kebabs we get back in England. I know it doesn’t look like much in the picture but the taste was awesome.

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As well as the chicken we also tried the Falafel (5,00). I often make falafel at home, but have always found them dry when having them in restaurants here. This one was tasty as hell, crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. It was as good as the chicken in its own way. It would be hard to choose between them, luckily they are cheap enough to just get both!

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Last I tried the lamb (6,000). I got this one to take home for TFB so I don’t actually have a picture of it. The friendly owner advised me they are best eaten straight away but I had to take it for my beloved. This one was just as good as the ones that proceeded it. For a start it had big chunks of lamb meat, and not the reconstituted doner style stuff. Again it had the same fillings as the other, I just amped up the spice level a little on this one, which really worked with the lamb. If you like shish kebabs back home, then this is much more in the same wheelhouse. The marination on the meat is a little different and more Indian in the flavours but overall this is a pretty darn good kebab.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the other ones, but this one is in a league of its own, especially considering it is the same price. Be sure to go give it a try next time you are out on the lash.

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Al Aziz is located at 137-14, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight until you reach the corner with Dunkin Donuts and turn right. Walk up this road, and cross once you get to the foreign food mart. Keep going straight up the hill and take the next left and walk up this street. Al Aziz is on the left hand side before you get to the GS Mart. For more information you can call them on 02-790-9865.

Jil’Hal Bros – Hongdae

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One of my favourite foodie finds from last year was the chicken and rice from the Halal Bros in NYC. Then rediscovering it here in Seoul was the cherry on top of the cake. If you’ve yet to try the gloriousness that is chicken and rice, then you need to head on over to Jil’Hal Bros pronto. Since opening their first store in Cheongdam last summer, they have become insatiably popular and have since opened a second store in Hongdae. Meaning I no longer need to travel to Gangnam to get my fix, and trust me this stuff is more addictive than crack!

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The menu is the same as the original store, tender slices of lamb or chicken over rice with salad, sauce and pita, or kebab like wraps (4,500). As much as I liked the wraps they are fairly similar to those at half a dozen or so restaurants in Itaewon, so they don’t interest me as much. However the chicken over rice is epic (6,500). It’s insane that something so simple could be as highly addictive as it is. TFB prefers the lamb (7,000) but sometimes I’m greedy and get both. In fact whilst I’m being honest I get two chicken and one lamb! Only the combination of three boxes can satisfy my crazy cravings!

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The restaurant in Hongdae is pretty tiny but has bar style seating for about 5 if you want to eat in, they also have a couple of sodas and such forth. But whether you eat in or take away this is one treat that you need to try. Clearly the store is doing well and my wish is that they will soon open a store in Itaewon so I can eat it everyday until i grow tired of it and move on to my next obsession! But for now the new Hongdae store will do.

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Jil’Hal Bros is located at 153-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Hongdae Station (line 2) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight out of that exit for maybe 100m and then turn left. Jil’Hal bros is just along this street on your right hand side. For more information you can call them on or check out their facebook page. If you are lucky enough to live near to Hongdae you can even get it delivered!

 

 

Jil’Hal Bros

One of the standouts on my trip to New York this year had to be the chicken and rice from the Halal guys street cart. Nothing fancy but those delicious giant foil containers filled with chicken, rice, salad and pita bread rocked my world and they were only a mere $7 dollars, I just couldn’t get enough. Anyhow I put the deliciousness that was chicken and rice behind me after making my own a couple of times and realizing that I would never quite strike the right balance of flavours. When one day out of the blue one of my most diligent and well sourcing foodie friends discovered Jil’Hal in Cheongdam and once again all was right with the world.

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Kervan

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I had been meaning to try this place forever. I am mad for kebabs as you may have noticed from my kebab crawl post. And thought it was about high time that I got around to trying some other Turkish food. I did go to Turkey years ago, but can’t really remember what I ate. I knew there would be lots of lovely lamb on the menu to try, soi that was reason enough to go.

To start we tried the baba ghanoush (8,000) . This one was fresher than the ones you normally come across, probably due to the tomatoes, but it still retained the smokey aubergine goodness. It was nice and refreshing and I felt healthy eating it.

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We also ordered the cheese pide (15,500) . We needed something to dip into our baba ghanoush so, the pide seemed perfect. A thick dough crust that was stuffed with Turkish kashar cheese. They have various other flavorings with different meats and vegetables.

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Lastly we ordered the lamb shish kebab (23,000). It was too tempting to resist.  There were chunks of char grilled lamb, that were so morish. You could taste the grilled flavours mingled with the lovely spices. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough! We shared this between two but it would have been better for only one. It came with rice and salad, but it would be nice if there was some bread with it too.

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I really enjoyed the food at Kervan, everything we had was tasty, but for me it is a little bit on the expensive side for the portions. However  you get what you pay for, so I’d keep this restaurant for a treat. It’s also very large so it’s a great place to go for large parties, as they have a lot of room.

Kervan is located at 2F -127-3, Itaewon dong, Yongsan gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight for about 100 meters, Kervan is on the right on the second floor above U Square, just before you get to Dunkin Donuts. For more information call them on 02-792-4767 or check out their website.

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Lamb Gyros

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You may be well aware by now that we are big lamb lovers in our house. We just can’t get enough of that sheepy goodness. However, lamb options in Korea are sadly rather limited. So when I discovered a bag of New Zealand leg of lamb shavings in the Foreign food mart, I just had to have it. I would more or less describe them as lamb sam gyub sal. It cost about 10,000 for 1kg. I decided to make some home-made lamb gyros and they went down a storm. Quick and easy to make, a great dinner on a hot summers eve.

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Ingredients

Gyros

500g of frozen lamb shavings

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of coriander

A pinch of chili powder (or as much as you like)

4 tortillas

1/2 a red onion

1 tomato

1 small handful of lettuce

1/2 a cucumber

Tzatziki

250g of plain yogurt

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1/4 of a cucumber

1 clove of garlic

12 mint leaves

A small pinch of salt.

Directions

To make the tzatziki put the yogurt in a bowl, add the lemon juice and salt, and stir. Finely chop the mint leaves and cucumber and add to the yoghurt. Crush the garlic and  stir into the tzatziki. Leave for about 20 minutes to marinate.

Wash your salad leaves and slice the tomato, onion, and cucumber and set aside. In a dry frying pan, fry the lamb shavings for a minute or two before adding the cumin, coriander and chili powder. Fry until the lamb has cooked through. Warm the tortillas by cooking on each side for one minute in the frying pan.  When everything is ready, assemble and devour. Voilà homemade lamb gyros.

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Itaewon Kebab Challenge

Last weekend I decided to put my powers of eating to good use and discover where to get Itaewon’s best kebab. I like to think of myself as quite the kebab connoisseur. They all taste different depending where in the world you buy them but they are all generally the same. I have sampled every Kebab in town on numerous occasions. My record for one night was 5. Though this was over many hours in case you’re turning away in disgust at my gluttony.

To make things fair I ordered the same kebab at every venue. A chicken kebab with everything, a little spicy with extra white sauce. God how I love the kebab white sauce, I could take a bath in it! I was hoping that I would have 5 venues to choose from but Pasha closed down. This was actually my least favourite kebab venue anyway, having only been there once and I had vowed never to return .

The contenders were Mr Kebab, Ankara Picnic, Sultan and the street kebabs.

Street Kebab

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First up was the street kebab. There are various vans that tend to set up shop on Friday and Saturday night just on the main crossing in Itaewon by exits 1 and 4. Their kebabs are the most expensive at 5,000 for a chicken and a whopping 6,000 for lamb. I used to be rather fond of the street ones but this was quite a poor offering. The meat was cold and it was also rather thin. They do get bonus points for the spicy potatoes they included. But overall this one wasn’t great, but the quality can vary from van to van. I assume I’m very drunk when I am usually buying these.

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Ankara Picnic

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Next stop was Ankara Picnic. They are located just by exit 3 of Itaewon station.  Their chicken kebab cost 4,000 and a lamb kebab is 5,000. They were very generous with their tasty white sauce. They also included tomatoes which really helped balance the ingredients. They were very busy though and I had to wait a good ten minutes before getting served. They have seating for about 8 people and serve soft drinks.

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Mr. Kebab

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Mr kebab has two locations in Itaewon but I visited the branch next to Dunkin Donuts. They also have a branch in Songtan. You find information on all their stores on their website. This kebab was a good size and well filled. However when I unwrapped it to take a picture it unravelled. The meat in this one definitely had the best flavour. The white sauce was also really good and there was plenty of salad. They have now started including potato wedges in the kebab which I’m not sure if I love or not. This location is the biggest with seating for 20-30 and they have a bathroom! Always good after a few too many drinks. They have a wide selection of kebabs, pilafs, drinks, ice-cream, and desserts. They also have a loyalty card which gets you a free kebab for every 11 that you buy.

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Sultan Kebab

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Last up is Sultan Kebab located near exit 3 around the corner from Ankara picnic, in the little alley way just next to Taco Bell.  Their prices are the cheapest in town with 4,000 for a chicken and 4,500 for lamb. It was also the largest kebab I was given. Usually Sultan Kebab is my favourite but this one was just lacking a little in flavour compared to Mr. Kebab. There were no tomatoes which I think affected the taste. They too serve a variety of kebabs, drinks,  ice cream, and baklava.  They have seating for 10 people and once again have a loyalty card which gets you a free one for every 10 you buy.

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Overall on this occasion first place had to go to Mr Kebab! It had the best flavour of all, it’s cheap and they have a loyalty card and a loo. What more could you want? Second place I am giving to Sultan Kebab. Ankara’s kebab was slightly better, but there wasn’t much in it. The queue is always much smaller at Sultan Kebab and they have a loyalty card which makes it better in my book. Fourth place was the kebab on the street, they are too expensive and have no drinks or facilities. Where’s your favourite kebab?