There is nothing quite like the words, “all you can eat,” to get my juices flowing. I hate when my shallow pockets prevent me from eating just as much as I want, so that magical phrase is music to my ears. Unsurprisingly, when one of my very best foodie friends suggested we go and check out an all you can eat lamb skewer place, I was there like a shot.
The restaurant is located just next to Sookmyung Women’s University and is nestled in amongst a dozen or so other shops or restaurants. Clearly I need to pay more attention when I am walking around because I have probably passed this place half a dozen or so times before. The Chinese neighbourhood over in Daerim is probably considered the Chinese lamb skewer capital of the city but if you live in the middle or east of the city this is much easier to get to. The best part of this is that the all you can eat lamb skewer option costs a mere 13,900. Alright indeed.
It’s not just lamb that you get as part of the deal, I was pleasantly surprised to find it included pork, chicken, and shrimp. The skewers are cooked with the assistance of an electrical a contraption right at your table then you are given a pile of delicious Chinese spices to dip them into. They are very moreish indeed, and we couldn’t cook them fast enough in the beginning. The sides with the skewers are very simple peanuts, kimchi style radish, and the Chinese pickles. I would have loved it if they had included the tofu ribbons too but I can live without them. I didn’t notice until the end, but they also have an extra menu of side dishes which you can purchase separately, there were a couple of dishes like fried eggplant that I will certainly try next time.
You get a 2 hour limit and in less than that time we made it through 5 rounds, much to the chagrin of the surly waitress. Lamb skewers are one of my favourite dishes to eat, the tender chunks of fatty meat work so well with the mix of spices. With a a couple of Cass beers (4,000) they are the perfect food to share with friends. Overall I was very happy with this place, the variety you get for the price is pretty unbelievable and we all had an epic night. I plan to return very soon with TFB, who was very sad to miss out on attending.
청도 is located at 90-10 Garwol-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sookmyung Women’s University Station (line 4) and come out of exit 7. Walk straight and you will see 청도 just ahead on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-702-7033.
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.
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…)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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…)
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.
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…)