Food in Seoul
Before I went to Seoul, I had a list of food that I must eat and experience on the trip. What I didn’t do was to find all the best place to eat them. 😀 I thought I would not have enough time to go to specific place to eat, so I’d rather eat when I remember, at places I pass by.
Whilst reading, have a listen to another soundtrack of my time in Korea. By Akdong Musician called Ramyun, I thought it would be appropriate for this post. I love these guys they are cute and good.
This is perhaps the easiest Korean food to be found in Korean restaurants in London. I wasn’t really concern about eating this, just thought it might be good to have some in Korea. So my Bibimbap on this trip is from Korean Air. It was good food for airline food. It came with a cute red chilly paste tube and clear soup.
2.Buy some snack food/drink from the corner shop
I do this quite a lot, mostly buying hot drinks. They are the best thing ever in cold weather. My favourite is the Hot honey drink, they are quite sweet but very refreshing. There were several times when I feel so tired and feel that I might catch a cold, these drinks seems to revive me. Here is a picture of my first buy from the corner shop. soy milk drink, banana milk and onigiri. I wasn’t really keen on the soy milk.
3.Bungeoppang – Carp bread
In several drama scenes they ate this, so really wanted to know what the red bean paste taste of. It was a bit like really dry crepes, it was perhaps even the same batter. The red bean paste is sweet and nice. I think you can buy 1 or 2, but 5 does go really quickly. So definitely a good snack on a cold day. I bought this near Ehwa University. I am not sure whether the ahjusshi have done it correctly as it doesn’t really look like a fish.
This is the Ahjusshi that is selling the ppang. I think Ppang is bread, is it from Pain (French) I am not sure, but I think in Japan they also call bread Pan.
4. Baskin Robbins Ice cream
I saw a few mention on Korean Blogs about the ice cream. In Indonesia it used to be popular and still has a lot of outlets but, it is not that popular in Europe I think. Despite the cold, as soon as the days brightened up I went into one. Having been, I can see why it is so popular in South Korea, look at these pictures of their ice cream cake! How pretty are they? It was so difficult to stop myself to buy one, but thank goodness I had my sensible hat on at the time that I actually thought ” it would be really silly and you couldn’t eat it all, where are you going to eat it anyway?” Hahahaha.
So I settled for 2 scoops of ice cream Shooting Star and Green Tea. I am obsessed with anything green tea taste.
5.Kimchi JJigae 김치찌개
Can’t seem to remember where I had this, it was around 22.30 at this place looks open there were a few people in it, it also looks pretty authentic with an ahjumma serving. So I braved myself sat down where I was told to, was given a menu and I ordered Tteokbokki 떡볶이 which also in my list and Kimchi Jjigae.
I really like the place, the ahjummah was nice and she was rushed of her feet after I came in there were 3 more groups of people. I think it is a common thing in this type of establishment they have all their cutlery in a covered metal container located in the table (there is a bit poking out in the bottom of the picture), never seen this anywhere before.
The Kimchi Jjigae is hot but not too spicy love how the soft tofu kept it shape, great food for a cold night.
6. Tteokbokki 떡볶이
I love this stuff, they are sold not only in the aforementioned place but also at road side tents that sells fried food. I kept seeing the sellers adding sugar to the Tteokbokki sauce, so they tend to be quite sweet yet spicy.
7. Jajangmyeon 짜장면
I had my Jjajangmyeon in National Museum Korea canteen, I am not sure it was the best place to have it, it doesn’t to have any taste beside a bit sweet. I will try again somewhere else. (I had my jajangmyeon with green tea latte and that was nice)
8. Fried things off the street vendors and drinking
They say Koreans eat to drink, which is different from here they eat with a drink or just drink, a few scenes of Korean drama showed they bought snack with a bunch of drinks. On the 3 night I decided to do just that on my own. 😀 I went in to one of the street tent near my hotel to buy some Tteokbokki, Sundae (blood sausage), shrimp in batter and octopus in batter fried. Also I bought this thing I am not sure off, I think it is clear rice noodles wrapped in nori (seaweed) and dipped in batter then fried, it has a weird texture but it was really nice. Then I popped in the nearest seven eleven to buy a bottle of soju and beer. The beer is very light, it is like blond beer and quite an easy drink, the soju is slightly sweet and is harder to drink. But of course not to hard when you are also having these snack. I would recommend this experience. 😛
9. Mandu 만두 – Korean Dumpling
I didn’t have the specific mandu which I think I could have in the place where I eat Kimchi Jigae but instead I had it with noodles. It was good and tasty. I ordered on a machine in the corner, put my money in, sat on a high stool in front of the kimchi and sauces then put my receipt slip on top of the work top, 5 minutes later the ahjumma puts my order in front of me. Magic.
Rice porridge, I had one with spicy octopus in a cute place near my hotel one morning. It was rather too sour, I am not sure about it, I might just have to try again one day.
11. Korean Barbeque – Palsaik Samgyupsal
It took awhile for me to sum up the courage to go to the Korean BBQ it just seems that you don’t see people by themselves in the Korean BBQ places and I have heard that the portion is a lot so one could not possibly eat on their own. I went to eat at Palsaik Samgyupsal (8 colour pork) on my last night, simply because I found on the map that it was only 5 minutes walk from my hotel. I read about this place in a few blog. Went in and when I hesitantly say that I need a table for one is that possible, they were really nice and said yes of course. Waited a couple of minutes to be shown to my table, the place was absolutely packed with people.
When they gave me a menu, I looked around and see what people had on their tables, and saw the portion for the 8 colour pork, it was hummoungus, I could have never ate them all. So I went for the set for 2 people (the smallest there is). It contained two meat and 2 bachan. I still feel that I was greedy.After I ordered they then put these on my table.
A massive pan of soup filled with seafood and soft tofu, I then had to ask ” is this included in the set” and they said ” yes everyone gets this. It was a really big pan, I thought to myself I should have just ordered one meat with this and no rice. See left top corner for soup. It had clams, big bits of crab, shrimp and octopus. They are nice and fresh. Then you get like a long plate of salad to eat your meat with. The waitress then put the meat on for you and cook it for you, when it is ready they will tell you that it is ready to eat.
Although I have seen it before I had to ask how I eat the meal, so the lovely waitress said to put a bit of sauce on the salad leaf, then the meat, a bit of kimchi and some of the sides which can be mushroom or garlic, wrapped it up and put the whole thing in your mouth. Image above for the leaf and meat before they are wrapped.It was sooo nice. Yummm. It is making me hungry just writing about it. I had all this with Makgeolli 막걸리 – wheat and rice alcohol. Makgeolli, now makgeolli comes in a white bottle and you drink it from a small bowl. I think from all the 3 alcoholic drinks I like Makgeolli best, it is really sweet and slightly sparkling. It taste a bit like fermented sticky rice called Tape Ketan from Indonesia. So it reminded me of Indonesia.
12. Dragon’s Beard and other things that are not on my list but I ate
Dragon beard is chinese cotton candy, I saw a vendor near ssamziegil talking to some other tourist about it and making it. Whilst watching him I asked whether I can buy one, he said no you can only buy 5 or 10, maybe I looked so dissapointed he then asked whether I am travelling on my own and I said yes, he then gave me one, and when I said how much was it he said ‘no its for you free’. That was so nice. I thank him and carried on.
I had coffee as well, they are the same prices as London coffee prices, so I am shocked compared to the other things sold coffee is quite expensive.
I had really nice sweet tteok from a place in the airport, in Indonesia we call sweet tteok- Mochi which I think is a japanese name.
This sweet tteok I think the dough is mixed with sweet potato, they are so nice. I would recommend if you have less than 2 days flight to buy this as a gift, although I ate my last of 6 sweet tteok 1 week after purchase and I am absolutely fine. hahahhaha.
Oh and another oleh-oleh (Indonesian for souvenir or something you take home from your holiday for others) is this bag of cute small pancakes and cookies made from rice flour. I bought these by accident as I was panicking realising that I didn’t have anything for my brother and my dad from Korea. But they turn out to be quite nice and interesting. So I bought another one on the way back to Europe for my work colleague.
There, I think I ate lots and got through my list, the only thing on my food list I didn’t eat was the life octopus, it is not that I don’t want to try it I just didn’t know where to do this. 😀
Pffiuh that is a long post, I love talking about food, it just makes me hungry. I think there is a couple more posts on Korea, then we are ready to talk about my trip to Sumatra.