Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Korean BBQ Pork Ribs

Suh Lae Gal Mae Gi (서래 갈매기)

There are many places that serve Korean BBQ in Seoul that you can find in almost any neighborhood. However, most of these places serve certain types of cuts and meats. One of my absolute favorite cuts is pork ribs, although this restaurant had their own way of marinating and serving it. The presentation and cooking method is different from the traditional American style pork ribs. I enjoy both types of dishes very much because they both provide delicious way of eating barbecued meat. We ordered what's called Dwaeji Galbi (translation = pork ribs), and thoroughly enjoyed every bite of it. They are conveniently located off exit 7 in Gangnam station, and the entire meal comes with various banchan, salad, and soy bean soup. The meat is cooked on a grill that is heated over charcoal (which is typical for most Korean bbq restaurants). They also provide thinly sliced garlic pieces that go really well with everything. Although the seating arrangements are really crowded, the staff is really friendly and prompt. I would highly recommend visiting this place if you are in the area and craving some bbq pork ribs.

Price: $$
Stars: 4 stars
Location: Yeoksam-dong 817-21 Tel: 02-563-6861

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mexican Restaurant in Seoul


This place reminds of Chipotle from the states. In fact I wouldn't doubt it if the founders were inspired by Chipotle. I have no problems with that because I actually enjoyed this place. They have many locations throughout the city and it has become one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Seoul. Although I haven't been to every single Mexican food places, Tomatillo does a great job in providing clean, generous portions, of Korea's best attempt at great Mexican food. I had a chance to try out their burritos, taco, and tostada. Unlike Chipotle, you don't choose what toppings you want in your foods, but I believe you can inform the cashier when you order what you would like to be included. I ordered their carne asada burrito with everything, a carnitas or pork taco, and carne asada tostada. I was very pleased with all three - I can't believe I ate all of it either! Check out their facebook page here, and whenever you're craving some good, hearty Mexican food, go find the closest restaurant and chow down.

Price: $$
Stars: 4 stars
Location: Various locations throughout Seoul

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Korean Comfort Food

Kimlee Topokki

Whenever you walk around the neighborhoods in Seoul, you'll eventually come across street carts serving up what I like to call Korean Comfort Food. Although there are many of these places, most of them serve up much of the same things. This Seoul restaurant serves many of the same things as these street carts, but found in a brick and mortar location in Gangnam. It's located off exit 7, one street over and provides the option to either sit and dine or take things to go from their to-go window. We ordered the tteokbokki, and a fried rice dish between  my friend in I. I knew that the food itself would taste pretty typical because these types of foods are easily found everywhere, but this particular restaurant had a weird flavor. The food didn't look too fresh, and for some reason the fried rice was way too oily. I wanted to make this post so that whoever comes across this particular article doesn't make the same mistake I did. I would not recommend this place. But it may have been because we ate there on an unlucky night.

Price: $
Stars: 1
Location: Gangnam station exit 7

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seoul Sushi Rolls

California Roll

One of my bucket list items is to eat some fresh, delicious sushi in Japan - hopefully anywhere and everywhere great sushi can be found. I have a particular view and idea of what good sushi is and usually categorize rolls apart from sushi. However, you will usually find many restaurants that serve a variety of both kinds. California Roll is a restaurant in Seoul in the Gangnam area (exit 7) that left positive memory for me. I was specifically looking for sashimi / sushi in Seoul and happened to stumble upon this restaurant during an eating frenzy. There sushi was good (can't say it was great), their rolls were delicious and beautifully presented, and their noodle dish was also pretty darn good. The ambiance was very clean and retro - and the only drawback of the evening was the staff, the lack of knowledge and experience of our waiter. I'm sure there are better places to find fresh sushi/sashimi, however the convenient location, and variety of their menu was good enough to keep me happy during my mealtime.

Price: $$$
Stars: 3.5
Location: Gangnam Station, exit 7 (near Coco Curry)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Japanese food in Seoul

Mitaniya (미타니야)

Seoul is definitely a growing progressive city. The number of ethnic restaurants and food that are opening throughout the greater metro Seoul area is indicative of South Korea's openness to different cuisines. There is one restaurant in Seoul that strives to bring the authentic taste of it's neighbor, Japan, to the Korean peninsula. Mitaniya is located near the center of Seoul in the Ichon-dong area. They are located on the basement level of a discreet building, but those who know of good Japanese food in Seoul, know of Mitaniya. They specialize in various izakaya, sushi, and traditional Japanese cuisines that you usually find in Japan. The staff is ultra friendly, and you can tell that they take great measures to provide an authentic take of the healthy cuisines that is Japanese. The dining is area is pretty small, so depending on time/day, it may be a long wait. The portions are not really big, but typical of Japanese style izakaya in Seoul. This is a great place to eat at if you're looking for traditional Japanese food. And if you're lucky, you just might run into some celebrities out to get their Nippon fix!

Price: $$$
Stars: 4.5 stars
Location: Ichon-dong 300-301

Monday, May 23, 2011

Han Shik in Apkujeong

Chung Dam Gol (청담골)

There are times when you just want to eat some simple Korean food. What I enjoy about Korea is the variety of the types of restaurants in Seoul. One type of meal that I thoroughly enjoy is Han Shik (Korean Cuisine) - which usually includes a lot of ban-chan and various traditional dishes. This restaurant located in Apkujeong was a place that left a lasting impact on my taste buds. There wasn't any one thing that was super spectacular but the freshness of all of the dishes that came out made me a fan. I ate dinner with my cousins, and we shared an excellent dining experience. They bring a large square tray filled with a lot of banchan dishes, and we each ordered some fish and jji-gae (or Korean stew). I personally ordered the mackeral, and deonjang jjigae - a typical favorite of mine. The fish was grilled superbly and the stew was filled with generous chunks of mushrooms, tofu, and zucchini. I usually judge the quality of a restaurant based on their banchan, and I must say that based on that measurement, this place deserves 4 stars and 2 thumbs up. They have another location within Seoul, and I'm sure the level and quality of their other location is just as excellent.

Price: $$
Stars: 4 stars
Location: 609-6 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul South Korea 02-518-0450

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Halal Food in Itaewon Seoul

Ankara Picnic

One of my all-time favorite meals can be found at a very unique place and time. It's actually the 53rd/6th Halal Cart in NYC. It's usually referred to as chicken/rice and it only appears during the late evening hours. If you ever get a chance to visit NYC, this place is a must. Outside of NYC, it's really hard to find something similar or comparable. One evening my cousin was walking through Itaewon, and found Ankara Picnic - a Seoul Restaurant that serves halal food. Their main dish is a shawarma-like wrap consisting of either chicken or lamb. It looks like a burrito, but the taste is very distinct from Mexican food. This was the closest thing that I've found in Korea that tastes similar to the chicken/rice cart in NYC. The meat is constantly roasting on a spinner, and cooked to perfection. The server will grab a wrap (not sure if it's tortilla), slice the meat, add some vegetables, their delicious white sauce (possibly a yogurt based sauce), and some hot sauce. I personally recommend ordering the chicken as it has a cleaner taste then the lamb. I would also suggest asking for very little hot sauce, or none at all, because it will make you sweat. The price is reasonable for a quick, satisfying bite of a chicken wrap. There are only a few chairs inside to sit and eat, so it's more of a grab and go type of food. Nevertheless, Ankara Picnic in Itaewon gives an excellent taste of halal food on the go.

Price: $$
Stars: 4 stars
Location: Itaewon Station - exit 3 (can't miss it)