Tag: Lamb

Souva

Greek food in Seoul has pretty much been stuck in the dark ages for the last decade. The few restaurants that have been open since the dawn of time in Itaewon rarely change their menus or inspire me to eat their food, and since my favourite place for a gyro, Baby Greek, closed down I’d pretty much given up on eating them and stuck with a good old lamb kebab to satisfy my cravings. However last week it seemed as though a new day may be dawning when Souva opened up in a gigantic second floor restaurant in Gyeongridan. It being located in my hood, I set off with a couple of friends to go give it a try. As stated the place is huge, with a large bar as soon as you walk in and plenty of window seating. The designers have stuck with the typical industrial style chic that most of the local restaurants tend to go for, along with a few colourful nods to Greek culture. I was also pleased to find that the whole menu has been designed by a British/Greek consultant chef, who has worked with some of the biggest names in the cooking world. So far so good.

As soon as I saw that the cocktails were made by Phil of Southside Parlor, I knew they would be good, so I started the eve with the Sunshine Sangria (11,000). The mix of sauvignon blanc, aperol, peach liquor and mixed fruits was sweet, refreshing and exactly what you will want to be drinking this spring. I also tried the Zeus Almighty (13,000), made with rosemary gin, blood orange cordial, Campari, and pomegranate soda. If you enjoy a Negroni you will probably be a fan of this, its slightly less bitter cousin. It was very easy to drink, I had practically finished it by the time the food arrived.

After perusing the menu we decided to split a couple of dishes between us, and the first one to come out was the Trio of Dips (14,000). From left to right there is harissa hummus, whipped feta, and tzatziki. We were also given an ample supply of pita. This is not usually worth mentioning but I don’t know how many times I’ve been to restaurants in Seoul where they have seriously got the ratio of dip to dippables completely wrong. My favourite of the bunch by a mile was the tzatziki, this is the best tzatziki I’ve had in a long time. It was so thick, creamy, and flavourful from the herbs with a nice bit of tang from the lemon. It was also extremely thick. Good Greek yogurt is hard to find here, or very expensive to make. However this stuff was stiffer than a hard…. The feta dip too was nice, very salty from the feta so you didn’t need a lot of it. The hummus was not bad either, nothing to write home about but it did the job. The pita bread was great though, it was just so soft and fresh. I was told it comes from a local bakery, I’m guessing the bakers table, but I could be wrong.

I always enjoy a salad, especially one that comes with Halloumi,  so we opted for the Halloumi, Pomegranate, Edamame and Carrot Salad(13,000). Some of my favourite ingredients were in this so I was excited. Presented it looked pretty enough but in retrospect the salad would have been easier to eat if the halloumi was cut into smaller pieces. While there was nothing wrong with the salad per se, it just seemed to be lacking, and I don’t think we even finished it in the end. This was not the first carrot salad I ate this week and compared to the other, which was a third of the price, this one just couldn’t compete. There were a couple of other salads on the menu, so I would probably try something else next time.

Finally our Lamb Pita (12,000) arrived. This was the dish I was really excited about, being a huge lamb lover and kebabs being one of my favourite takeouts at home. When I bit into it, the lamb was flavourful and super tender, thanks to it being slow cooked. No one wants to gnaw on a gristly hard bit of meat so this was excellent. The pita was thick and pillowy, the sauce tasty and tangy. This really was spot on, and very filling. I’ve never had chips inside my pita before, but I don’t think they really made a huge difference either way. But this was so good, I’m still thinking about it. I will definitely be ordering it again.

Overall I was pretty impressed with this place, it’s a much more modern take on Greek food than what we have been used to. I’m glad Greek food in Seoul is finally getting a bit of life breathed into it. The cocktails were tasty and strong, while being reasonably priced and the food was pretty tasty for the most part. The space is huge, so it will be perfect for large groups, and if it stays busy it should be a fun venue to eat in. I’m sure if this place proves to be popular we can only expect to see more Greek restaurants opening which is never a bad thing.

Souva is located at 668 Itaewon 2(i)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station(line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight and take the underpass across the road. Take the left stairs up and follow the road around the corner Souva is on the second floor a little way along the Gyeongridan main street. For more information you can check out their website or call them on 070-8610-0277.

L’Empreinte Bistro

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Sometimes nothing beats a good French bistro and when I heard through the grape vine that there was a new one that had opened in a new hot little area called Yeonnam-dong, just by Hongdae it seemed like the ideal spot to go for lunch and a wander. From the outside the second floor restaurant doesn’t look all that special but once inside it is light and airy and has a very french country chic feel about it. All the furniture is vintage and imported from France. We were very lucky to be seated at the 120 year old table, and I couldn’t help but think of all the people who had enjoyed meals at it over the years. (more…)

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!

 

 

The Workshop

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HBC is known for its rapidly changing landscape these days, but some of the changes are positive ones. When the car garage closed, The Workshop popped up in its place. Now I’m sure local car owners may have been a bit disgruntled but as a non driver, a pub is far more useful to me. The Workshop is located above the Hidden Cellar, and is owned by the same lovely fellas. (more…)

Mozzie

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A few weeks ago I shared with you brand new Kiwi/Ozzy restaurant Mozzie. And after such a good meal on our first visit we vowed to go back. So when I received an invitation  to try a couple of other menu items on the house, it was impossible to refuse.

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Whenever we see lamb on a menu it is usually not resisted and that night was no exception, there’s a rack of lamb and a lamb shank available at Mozzie, but since we had eaten rack of lamb at the Park Hyatt a few days prior we settled on the Lamb Shank Redemption (28,000). The dish came with two quite hunking lamb shanks, sauteed potatoes, and a side salad. The fact there were two lamb shanks on the plate made it perfect for sharing and they were tender as hell. The fried potatoes on the plate were also deliciously crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle, dipped into the rich gravy on the side I was in comfort food heaven. My only gripe would be to serve it with vegetables rather than salad, not that the salad wasn’t good it would just make more sense to have a hot side.

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The second dish we decided to get was the Crikey Chicken (18,000) as it came so highly recommended from the next table. When it came out I could see why, a huge chicken breast stuffed with with cheese and ham and served with a delightful creamy sauce style gravy. The chicken was served with the same delicious fried potatoes that we had with the lamb. One thing you can certainly say about Mozzie is that you definitely get a lot of food for your money, when the food comes out you kind of wonder how you’ll manage to finish it, but I haven’t left a morsel of food yet.

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It was a very chilly night so we had a couple of hot Toddy’s to warm us up (10,000). Made with Jameson and some lemon and honey syrup these were pretty darn tasty, the only thing they were missing was a clove studded piece of lemon and a slick of cinnamon. They’ve got all the ingredients to make some very good cocktails they just need to work on making them a little bit prettier.

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Mozzie is located at 126-7 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take the subway to Itaewon station(line 6), and come out of exit 3. Walk straight until the next intersection and take a right. Cross the road and take the first left (by Mr Kebab). Mozzie is up on your left maybe 50m up that road, opposite the infamous Old Town. For more information you can call them on +82 10-9417-9554 or check out theirfacebook page. Mozzie is open every day from 5pm-12am.

Sponsored Post – High Street Market – Roast Dinners

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Now that Halloween is behind us, it’s time for us to focus upon the more important fall/winter holidays. The times of year when it’s important to spend time with your loved ones and stuff your face until your clothes are bulging at the seams. Back home Thanksgiving and Christmas mean turkey, however in Korea turkey meat just isn’t all that popular and coupled with this years shortage a good turkey will be very hard to find indeed. (more…)

Texas de Brazil

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When word gets around about a luxurious all you can eat Brazilian meat feast, it doesn’t me take long to drag my fat arse over there to give it a try. Nothing gets my juices flowing like the words “all you can eat meat.” A few years ago I was lucky enough to spend some time traveling in Brazil and feasting in the numerous rodizio restaurants was one of the highlights, so I was very interested to see how this one would compare. (more…)

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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Casablanca – Majdub

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Last night I went to my favourite HBC eatery for a night of Moroccan music and a special four course meal prepared by brothers and friends Wahid and Karim. Moroccan band Majdub completed their tour of Korea by finishing their last gig in the HBC sandwicherie. (more…)

Twiga – Revisited

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Earlier this year I  visited new South African restaurant Twiga, and had the best cheesecake of my life. 6 months later I was invited back to see how things had changed. As soon as we arrived owner Vanita greeted us warmly like long lost friends. She told me that things had changed a little since my last visit, including the chef. Her original head chef returned home due to a personal crisis and she now has French chef Gregory at the helm. Gregory being french wanted to inject his own flair and skills into the menu, so there is now a French and South African fusion going on. As well as offering their evening A La Carte menu, they now have a brunch menu too.

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Since it was a Friday night, it was right down to business with a vodka lemonade. Using a dash of chef Gregory’s homemade lemongrass infused vodka it was a rather nice tipple. I’d be interested to see if they can make a complete cocktail list, as this one was right up my ally.

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The menu is still fairly small, as they plan on having weekly specials to make use of in season produce. The bobotie is still there along with their fantastic lamb sausages. Gregory’s arrival has put quiche on the menu (8,500 per slice), and luckily for us they had three varieties  available. I of course thought it churlish not to try them all  There was a salmon and spinach quiche which the Fat Boyfriend devoured with gusto, a traditional bacon,  and a Boerwors South African quiche. With a French chef in the kitchen I had high hopes for the quiche and wasn’t disappointed. The pastry was so rich and buttery. The bacon quiche was rich and satisfying, though the bacon was possibly a tad too thick for me. Surprisingly we both favoured the boerwors quiche of the three, the lamb sausages paired rather well with the egg and pastry. Who would have thought French-South African fusion would be such a great match. the quiche also came with salad and new potatoes, making it perfect for lunch or dinner.

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The Lamb Chops (28,000) are still a star of the menu. Though the accompaniments have changed a little since my last visit. They are now served with a luxurious mashed potato, baked asparagus, and rich red wine sauce. The two succulent lamb chops were cooked to medium at my request, and were just as good as last time. The red wine sauce was so moreish I could have drank a pint of it! I just stopped short of licking the plate clean, but it was a close call.

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Thankfully Vanita’s famous cheesecake (6,500) is still on the menu, along with a few new desserts showcased in a brand spanking new glass cabinet, or dessert showcase if you will. I thought it prudent to try a piece of Gregory’s chocolate tart (6,500) too. Beautifully made with a sweet pastry, and a rich chocolate throughout. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side it would have been just perfect.

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As part of the new revamp they intend to start serving Sunday roast dinners, and I for one can’t wait. Reservations will be very necessary to get a a starter, plate of roast lamb or chicken served with all the usual accompaniments, and a dessert for 35,000. This will be a weekend event only so be sure to book your seat before they are all gone. I have a feeling this it’s going to be very popular indeed, as there really aren’t enough restaurants serving roast dinners in Korea.

Twiga is located on the 5th floor, 26-38 Noksapyeondae-ro, Itaewon, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station and come out of exit 3. Walk across the cross walk so you are outside Suji’s Deli and go right and walk  along the main road. Keep going straight until you see the over pass bridge and take the road turning left. Twiga is about halfway up the road on the right hand side, just opposite the Saudi Arabian Embassy. For more information or to make a reservation call 02-797-5011.