Tag: Where

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.

.

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.

Itaewon Gogit Jip

I have been meaning to write a review of this place ever since the HBC branch shut down. It was a sad sad day in HBC when the gogit jip closed it doors for the final time. However just up the street in Itaewon is actually a bigger and better location. Its pretty much the same deal as the HBC branch an all you can eat meat extravaganza of Korean BBQ for 16,900 won per person. As you can see below you have 90 minutes to eat as much meat as you can, though this is more than ample. You should also remember to bring cash or pay 1,500 extra for using a card.

Being a total greedy guts the all you can eat offering lights up my world, I can eat until my jeans are straining and my belly begs me stop. The place is huge for starters, making it perfect for large groups, plus the all you can eat option makes it a hell of a lot easier when it comes to splitting the bill. It is also ideal for newbies as can try all the different cuts of meat without the bill spiralling out of control. The place sadly no longer offers its all you can drink beer for 5,000 which is a shame but the beer and soju are cheap enough that you can frivolously add a few bottles on to your tab.

Depending on the size of your party your be deposited a wooden board or two with a selection of meats. Personally I rather enjoy this because you get a bit of everything but if you want to stick to one cut then you can do that too. It usually varies from visit to visit and I’m assuming on the price of the meat but this time  we got rib eye, samgyubsal, moksal,cheek, and some other bit which we couldn’t quite figure out. You can also help yourself to banchan(side dishes), the waitress will bring the first round but after that you get it yourself. In regards to sides they have a fair selection with the obligatory kimchi, beansprouts, chillies, onions, garlic, spicy pickled lotus root (which I’m kind of obsessed with), salad, and all the samjang you can eat.

My favourite meat of the selection it is probably the ribeye, which we always have first, probably because its the quickest to cook and we always starving by the time we arrive. Thrown on the hot coals were two huge slabs of steak. While it isn’t going to be the best quality steak you’ve ever eaten it will certainly satisfy your carnivorous cravings.

After the beef had been devoured we worked our way on to the pork cuts. My favourite is the pork belly (samgyupsal) because I like a fatty cut but we were also given galburisal (cheek) which we really enjoyed. The pork is perfect for turning into lettuce wraps when topped with samjang and all the accompanying vegetables. Kind of like a Korean take on a DIY taco.

After that if you aren’t full you can order more of whatever you like which is usually ribeye. They also have quite an array of side dishes which you can pay extra for. Personally I’d rather skip the rice and soup and have more meat but if you can’t live without your bap or jiggae you can order it on the side. The place tends to get pretty busy on weekends so try and arrive as early as possible left you find yourself in a big queue. However there are plenty of good bars near by so you can always grab yourself a drink while you wait.

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.

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe

Last weekend I decided to embrace the spring weather and get my fat arse out for a workout. Much to his dismay I dragged TFB out with me too. After a bracing walk around the park and quick sop at the HBC Ogari fruit and veg lady we headed back down. For being so virtuous I thought we were both in need of reward so we stopped by Brooklyn Bagel cafe on the way home for a treat. The small store is located at the far end of the main drag of HBC almost opposite the CU. Up at the counter is a menu and a refrigerator full of different cream cheeses and 8 different flavours of bagels. The cute cafe has seating inside and out which is always a plus on a sunny day.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for one of the sandwich style bagels and settled on the Chicken Salad (4,000). The best thing about this sandwich is that they let you choose your bagel, and after looking at their selection I went for the everything bagel. The bagel was nice enough, and it came stuffed with a rather nice chicken mayo and a little bit of salad. For 4,000 it was definitely a bargain, you rarely find a sandwich that is under 5,000 these days and although it was small I think most people would be satisfied.

TFB true to form opted for the Salmon with cream cheese (6,000), probably because he knew I wouldn’t ask for a bite. He got his salmon on a jalapeno bagel which personally I thought an odd choice but each to their own. I didn’t actually try this, as you know my feelings about salmon well, especially stuff at the cheaper end of the scale. But he said it had a nice flavour, and there was plenty of salmon with a little bit of zing from the red onion. He agree that the bagel was decent for the price, though wouldn’t have noticed that it was jalapeño flavoured.

Overall I cant say its the best bagel I’ve ever had, or even the best one I have had in Seoul, so I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. However if you are in HBC and in need of a sandwich style snack on a budget or fancy picking up breakfast for you and your latest Tinder hook up then its worth swinging by especially if you are up early or on a walk of shame because it opens at 7am.

Brooklyn Bagel Cafe is located at 44 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6). Walk straight out of exit 2 for about 200 meters and take the first left and walk straight along the road with all the kimchi pots. Keep walking straight along this street past Phillies and Casablanca, you will see Brooklyn Bagel Cafe up ahead on the right hand side next to 8 Piece. For more information you can visit their facebook page. They are open every day from 7am-8pm.

Phum Baitang – Cooking Class

Whenever I take a trip to another country, I always make a point of booking myself and TFB in for a cooking class. As well as tasting the national dishes, I also love to see the ingredients and cooking techniques that are used in making them. I always feel that I learn so much from these experience, as well as getting a chance to add a couple of new dishes to my repertoire. In Siem Reap we were lucky enough to be invited to take part in the cooking class operated by the stunningly beautiful Phum Baitang resort. (more…)

10 must eats in Siem Reap

If you have been following my Instagram account then you will know that for the past week or so I’ve been living in up in Cambodia. I have have spent the past week and half eating everything in site while sunning myself in the gorgeous Pavillion D’Orient Hotel in Siem Reap. If you’ve never visited the home of Angkor Wat before, then you should know that this place is filled to the brim with all kinds of delicious treats and that Khmer cuisine has been seriously over looked in favour of its neighbours’. The best part about Cambodian food is that it is insanely affordable, everything is at most a third of the price that it is in Seoul, if not cheaper. So for that alone it makes the perfect holiday destination.

1 – Fire Ants – When researching what to eat in Siem Reap, I came across many recommendations for Marum Restaurant which is a profit free place dedicated to helping the local community by training their staff how to cook. One of their most famous dishes is the Spicy Beef with Fire Ants ($6.60), a delicious stir fried beef dish which is strewn with crispy ants. This dish was scrumptious and I wasn’t at all creeped out eating ants, you can have it by itself or add a side of rice to make it a meal. They also have a fab happy hour from 4pm-7pm which we took full advantage of while enjoying their lovely garden setting.

2 – Noodle Soup – I adore a big bowl of noodle soup which regular readers will know about from my tonkotsu ramen obsession. The Khmer noodle soup is slightly different from its other Asian counterparts but no less delicious.  A huge bowl of tasty broth is filled with thick handmade noodles and garnished with fresh herbs, chillies and lime. This particular bowl was served as  part of the breakfast at the  60s inspired Viroth Hotel. The meatballs inside were a bit on the strange side, but he noodles were incredible and I happily scarfed down a bowl each morning.

3 – Lok Lak– Beef Lok lak is one of Cambodias most famous dishes,  and you will see it on virtually every menu in the city. The beef dish comes served with salad for you to eat alongside the meat. The meal is then either rounded our with rice or with french fries. This dish is from Our favourite cheap eatery The Red Angkor. A brother and sister team own the place and always give a warm welcome while serving incredibly tasty food at rock bottom prices. Nothing on the menu costs over $4 and this Lok Lak was a mere $2.50 they also offer 50 cent beers which pretty much guaranteed that we visited the place frequently throughout our trip.

4 – BBQ Skewers – Another dish that you must try in Cambodia is their BBQ. Not that different to the style we have here in Korea, but the meat selection is usually a wee bit more adventerous. We unfortunately didn’t have time to to make it a meal and have the full shebang but we did enjoy these fantastic Beef Skewers ($3) at the Khmer Grill. Yes, that’s right, they were a dollar a piece. The chunks of beef were sandwiched between slices of carrot, onion and paprika, cooked on the outdoor bbq and served with a lime and pepper dip. Suffice to say, it was three dollars very well spent!

5 – Amok Curry – The amok curry is probably the other most famed Cambodian dish. We tried a couple of varieties during the course of our trip, including one served in a coconut. The curry itself is very mild, and those who enjoy Thai curries may want to amp up the flavour a little. This is a version that we made in our cooking class at Phum Baitang which was filled with the snake fish we had bought at the local market. Again this is a dish you can expect to see on menus everywhere, there are also versions with chicken and pork if you don’t like fish.

6 – Fresh Juice & Smoothies – Cambodia is filled to the brim with delicious fresh fruits and veggies, you only need to take a look around the local markets to see the bounty of fresh produce available and many of the newer western restaurants are taking advantage of this to make refreshing fruit juices and smoothies. We came across several Balinese-type, healthy places which along with drinks had a variety of dishes catering to vegans, vegetarians and those with dietary restrictions. The juices at ARTillery Cafe were some of our favourites, and it was conveniently located right next to our hotel. Pictured is the Ginger Aid and Mango Madness ( both $3).

7 – Chicken cashew – We enjoyed this dish in virtually every restaurant we went to, as it is a pretty much a favourite of mine and TFBs in South East Asia. The cream of the crop of these cashew chicken dishes  was at the New Leaf Eatery for $6. Other than the Red Angkor this was probably our favourite place to eat. It’s another non profit restaurant and the food was just incredible. It was one of the few places we ate western food too, their steak baguette was knock out and well worth a try if you are in the mood for a sandwich.

8 – Frog – Kermit and his loved ones are a pretty popular dish on the menus of Khmer cuisine, and find them cooked in a variety of different ways. We tried this spicy stir fried version at the Khmer Grill ($3), but you can also get them deep fried. This was my first time eating frog, and I have to say it’s just a lot like a tiny chicken wing. If you really want to go crazy, some of the street stalls serve tarantula, cockroach, lizard, and snakes for 50 cents a piece. I couldn’t bring myself to try them though, it made be shudder every time I gazed upon those deep fried cockroaches. I know that’s lame as hell for a food blogger but I just didn’t have the stomach for it.

9 – Rice Soup (Bawbaw) –  Of all the new dishes that I tried the Bawbaw was probably top of my list. Similar to the Khmer noodles, the broth is full of rice, rice noodles, meal and veggies. It is a little similar to Vietnamese pho, but in a totally different way. The broth is so simple and clean, yet studded with flavour. If I was feeling sick this would be my absolute go to soup. At our beautiful hotel Pavillion D’Orient they served this bowl of magical goodness for breakfast though they also had it on their restaurant menu for ($5) and it is an absolute must try.

10 – Angkor Beer & Nuts – You cant leave Cambodia without trying the local beer and there are two varieties, Angkor beer and Cambodia beer, TFB preferred the Angkor and I tend to agree with him. The beers can be purchased for as little as 50 cents on draft and about 60 cents a can in the supermarket. When buying a beer in a bar you’ll also be given a bowl full of nuts that are seasoned with chili, lime leaves and garlic. Those babies are insanely addictive and I even took to buying extra beers just so I could eat the nuts. I am going to have to have a go at recreating these myself because I have already eaten my way through the humble supply I bought before I left. If anyone is in Cambodia right now, I’ll love you forever if you bring me back a bag or two!

Eggnog Recipe

I can’t even remember the last time I shared a recipe, but so many people have been asking for it on Instagram after seeing my pictures that I couldn’t resist, plus its the season of sharing. Now I don’t like to blow my own trumpet, but I’m pretty sure I make the world’s best eggnog, Everyone I have ever made it for has fallen in love with the stuff, even those who were convinced they didn’t like it. If you’ve had it before, you’ll know that homemade eggnog is nothing like the crap you buy in the carton so put that yucky stuff out of your mind right now. A home made eggnog is a rich and creamy bourbon spiced custardy drink of Christmas flavoured goodness. (more…)

Omyrose at Seoul Dining

14976064_10154566441131142_1578047580_o

Last week I was invited to an event to promote a new range of Korean liquors called Omyrose, which are made by J.K Lee with  omija berries grown right here in Korea. Now I think we all know how much I enjoy a drink, and the prospect of trying something new was very enticing to me. The event was held at Seoul Dining, a new restaurant in the Dongguk university area. The slick and sleek restaurant has only been open for a month but it exuded a warm and welcoming high end atmosphere.

14958462_10154557192291142_1906395580_n

We started out the night with a glass of the Korean Omyrose sparkling wine. The sparkling wine has a rather lovely pink hue to it that really reminded me of a kir royal cocktail. The wine itself was a touch sweet with a slightly bitter finish but I rather enjoyed it, and quaffed quite a few glasses to say the least. The sparkling wine was paired with raw cooked scallops with apple and sesame oil, in a mussel sauce, which was light and delicate taste of the sea. It was a nice contrast against the heady flavour of the wine.

14962285_10154557192441142_2059691788_n

Our next drink was The Omyrose rosé (try saying that after a few too many). Again  the wine was slightly sweet from the berries but it had a very buttery finish. I’ve never been into dry wines so I was quite enamored with his one too. The rosé was paired with several dishes but for the most memorable being  a pumpkin and potato soup, cauliflower quinoa, and squid ceviche, The warm and comforting soup was so silky it felt like a pair of loving arms wrapping itself around your heart. While the squid ceviche provided a refreshing kick and some extra texture. It was the ideal autumnal dish.

15033586_10154557192331142_452739581_n

After a couple of other of courses including grey mullet, and confit chicken leg, it was time to move on to the stronger liquors. First was the oaky finish omija liquor. It was strong and we were given a glass of ice to pour it over. This to me tasted like the love child of a tequila and a scotch, probably due to the oak flavour from the barrel. This one was a bit too intense for me, though I’m rarely into drinking straight liquor.  I’d love to see what it tasted like in a cocktail though.

15032357_10154557192391142_1291537669_n

The liquor was served with my favourite dish of the meal, char-grilled Iberico pork pluma, with onion and anchovy pesto. Just one bite of the tender grilled pork was enough to make me fall in love with this dish. The meat just oozed flavour. When talking with the Chef Eric, he told me he first started making this dish in Portugal when working in a restaurant there, and it is now his signature dish. I can see why as it was absolutely delicious.

15049817_10154566427706142_1665465389_n

After the incredible pork we finished with a shot of the white liquor, a clear version of the one we enjoyed before and the most expensive of the bunch, though it does come in a rather beautiful bottle. This one was served straight up in a shot glass, but again I just found it too strong to enjoy neat. Along with the liquor we served espresso and a deconstructed tiramisu which was a very enjoyable way to end the meal.

14961342_10154557192401142_977283068_n

Overall I was really impressed by the Omyrose wines, and its great to see a new high end brand of Korean liquors, as they make especially good gifts. For anyone interested in Omyrose it is available in Shinsaegae and other large department stores and costs between 50,000 – 360,000 per bottle. I also really enjoyed the set dinner prepared by Seoul Dining. I took a look at their menu before I left and found that the 7 course dinner cost 77,000 and thought it to be very reasonably. It featured an excellent mix of Korean ingredients presented in the style of modern western cooking. It would be the perfect location for any special occasion.

14970828_10154557192256142_737059003_o

Seoul Dining is located at 272, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Dongguk University Station (line 3) and come out of exit 3. Walk straight for about 100 meters, you will see the Welcome City building ahead of you on the right hand side. Walk up the stairs and you will see the Seoul Dining restaurant on your right. For more information or to make a reservation you can call them on 010-3586-8061. They are open from Tuesday – Saturday for lunch and dinner.

Thanksgiving Guide 2016

thanksgiving-dinner

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.

15036714_1284281244957139_6012526918466690560_n

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.

15036722_1786342784961387_6580783730928120800_n

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.

14720328_1770299493227355_5306095061648152114_n

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.

14963284_699044816927852_5220301345613559871_n

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.

54ead6c0a4eb3_-_thanksgiving-rustic-food-1114-xln

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.

14947704_1266432356740538_504938660782225309_n

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.

14705806_1034326270024126_958583149219644997_n

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!

unnamed

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.

14433071_1283439838367021_5722131946211418409_n

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.

15107261_1180929978668568_4719306262963385765_n-1

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!

Dublin’s Best Eats!

This trip has certainly seen a lot of stops, and one of our favourites has been the Emerald Isle where my beloved TFB hails from. The land of leprechauns, pots of gold, U2, and drunkards has won my girlish heart thanks to the friendly people and fabulous food and drink. Dublin is a city that I have truly fallen for and I can’t wait for our next trip so we can explore the culinary landscape further. Now this is in no way a definitive list, feel free to comment below to let me know what I missed. But if you are heading to the fair city be sure to try a few of these. (more…)

Shake Shack

IMG_3799

Yesterday New York’s Shake Shack opened its very first branch here in Korea. The launch store is located on the main Gangnam street between Gangnam Station and and Sinnonhyeon Station. The burger joint is already insanely popular in New York and creates all kinds of crazy queues there too. When I visited NY last year  I waited in line for half an hour myself, despite the fact there were at least half a dozen locations.

If there’s one thing that Koreans love to do, it’s queue up in line for food, so unsurprisingly the queues were epicly long. The place doesn’t actually open until 11am but I know there were people waiting in line for it from 7 am onward, now that’s what I call dedication to burgers. What is most surprising is that I joined that queue, even more so if you consider the fact I wasn’t all that fussed by the burgers the first time I tried them. However as much as I hate to queue I really wanted to give it a try before my vacation next week. I’d been keeping an eye on the food board groups so I knew what I was letting myself in for, and when my friend arrived at 3:30pm she was told the wait would be 2 hours long, which was just about manageable. The staff were really well prepared, they were handing out umbrellas and bottles of water, which I thought was quite sweet, they also had rock, scissors, paper games for free promotional goodies.

IMG_3806

I finally got to Shake Shack around 4pm, my friend had already been waiting for about 30 minutes at that point, but once I joined the queue seemed to go pretty fast. As a rule I absolute loathe queues, so I brought supplies to keep me happy, namely vodka. It may have been a scorching 33 degrees, but with my Berry Moscow Mule in hand I was refreshed and having a good time.

IMG_3827

The menu is the same as in the states, but with a few Korean extras, thankfully no kimchi burgers but I’m sure it is only a matter of time. There are burgers, hot dogs, shakes, concretes, local beers and wine. The menu is in Korean, but they also have English versions too. I also thought its pretty cool that they don’t put a limit on how much you can order. We saw dozens of people leaving with armfuls of take out bags, so that may be another option for you if you can’t face the line. I’ve also heard you can get it delivered via concierge serves like Atlas.

IMG_3937

There are six different burgers on the menu priced between 5,400 – 12,900, thought the pricier ones are all doubles which I thought was very reasonable. There is also virtually no mark up on the prices compared to the states which is another plus factor. I think everyone and their dog has complained about burger prices over here so that was a nice surprise. By the time we got to the front we ended up ordering three different burgers, my favourite was the Smoke Shack (8,900), which was topped with apple wood smoked bacon, cherry pepper shake sauce, and american cheese. I love a good BBQ bacon cheese burger, and this was pretty great, no Mmm factor but it was a solid 8/10. I’d have liked a touch more seasoning in the burger itself but overall I enjoyed it. Though next time I would probably try adding the extra patty.

IMG_3953

My bestie got the Shroom Burger (9,400), a portebello mushroom stuffed with muenster and cheddar which is breaded and deep fried and then topped with lettuce, tomato and shake sauce. This is their vegetarian option but you can also add a beef patty to it if you like. This is one of the burgers I had in NYC, it was nicer than I remember, probably because I didn’t get for take out this time. The cheese stuffed mushroom was good, but not as good at the Smoke shack in my eye, though my girl Lizzy disagreed, this one was her favourite.

IMG_3911

As I’m such a kind and devoted girl friend, I also picked up the Shack Burger (6,900) for TFB. He had neither the time or the inclination to stand in a queue for burgers but we thought we would treat him anyway. For a simple six dollar burger this was pretty up there, not amazing but good for what it is. Though I couldn’t help but think it was kind of like the love child of a McDonald’s quarter pounder and a Burger King whopper. If you could just walk in off the street and get one in 5 minutes then this would be the place to go, but with the queues like they are right now I’d suggest sticking with a whopper.

IMG_3954

Potato wise, there are Fries (3,900) and the Cheese Fries (4,900). Honestly the cheese fries sucked, there was just a splatter of this vile yellow sauce on them, I’m not sure what it was made from but it sure didn’t taste like cheese. The fries themselves were fine but really not worth the five dollar price tag and the portion was quite small too, give me some maccy D’s fries any day of the week.

IMG_3865

Between us we split a Black & White Shake (5,900). When our order arrived we were given the red bean by mistake, which was terribly upsetting, but they soon rectified the mistake. The black and white shake was alright but I honestly didn’t think it was anything special. It also didn’t seem that thick and actually melted very quickly, perhaps their ice cream machine was overworked but it was a bit shit if I’m being honest. I would rather spend the extra money on two burgers next time and forget the sides.

IMG_3951

Shake Shacks other claim to fame is its concrete frozen custards. So I had to try the new Gangnam flavour (5,900). A single vanilla concrete mixed with jam, cookies, marshmallow, and soy bean powder. I was really looking forward to this but again, it was already half melted when it arrived. It tasted nice enough but again not good enough to justify the price. This is Seoul and there are hundreds of places selling pretty great shakes and ice creams on almost every street that you walk down. They are going to need to really up their game if they want to compete on more than a brand name recognition basis.

IMG_3961IMG_3861

Overall I liked the burgers, they are certainly worth it, the fries and shakes not so much. While the queues are still monstrous I’d advise you to save time and pay a couple extra bucks and go to Gilbert or Left Coast. However once the queues have dissipated and you can walk straight in and order, they are great burgers for the price. If you do decide to wait in line, just be prepared and bring plenty of booze like we did.

IMG_3968

Shake Shack is located at 452 Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gangnam station (line 2) and come out of exit 11. Walk straight for 200 meters, you will see Shake Shack ahead on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-553-5576, or check out their website for more details.